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July 25, 1969 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1969-07-25

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A Versailles in Jerusalem—Notable Israel Museum Acquisition

i that if the king needs something
By TAMAR MEROZ
A white and gilt Baroque ball- let him ask for it himself. The
room reflecting the splendor of king did.
Louis XV was opened on the moun- No wonder that when Bernard's
tains of Jerusalem. It was once son Jacques-Samuel, who was the
part of a fabulous private mansion superintendent of the queen's
of the 18th century, and has now court, wanted to have a fashion-
been brought from France and re- able "hotel particulier," the best
constructed to the last detail to was barely good enough for him.
form a new pavilion at the Israel Eventually he had a suitable house
Museum. built at 46 rue du Bac. The ball-
The room resembles the cham- room now placed in Jerusalem
bers of the royal palace of Ver- originally belonged to that house.
sailles. Not only was it built in the It was built in the years 1740-1745,
same style and in the same period, during the reign of Louis XV, who
it was even decorated by the same was not Louis XIV's son, but his
artists. It is panelled in rich gilded great grandson. The house was de-
carvings from floor to ceiling. Its signed by Gabriel Germain Boff-
old mirrors reflect the heavy chan- rand, one of the designers of Ver-
deliers, the tapestries, the marblesailles. Exactly how did Jacques-
statues and the gilt furniture. I Samuel Bernard pass his time in
The ballroom was built for the his fabulous residence? In J. J.
son of Samuel Bernard, the finan- Rousseau's "Confessions" we find a
cier of Louis XIV, "le Roi Soleil," description of Jacques-Samuel's
one of the most extravagant kings sister, Mme. Dupont, who also pos-
of all time. He conceived the pa- sessed a house like this which was
lace of Versailles, which he intend- "the most brilliant and entertain-
ed "to surpass in splendor every- ing in Paris, a meeting-place for
thing in existence." all celebrities, men of letters, am-
Bernard, knowing that what bassadors and dukes."
The house had stood there until
was good for the king was good
for himself, helped to finance the the middle of the 19th century,
king's grandiose plans and won a when Baron Haussmann laid out
the plan of the new Paris with
knighthood for his efforts.
Voltaire was impressed: "It is a ruler and compass. During the
long time," he wrote, "since we execution of this plan, every house
saw somebody like Samuel Bernard that stood in the way was simply
who singlehanded saved the State torn down. A famous cartoon of
from a crisis and nonetheless man- the time shows a man in a night-
aged to leave behind a fortune of cap waking up in a bedroom as its
ten millions." Montesquieu, on the walls are broached by workmen,
other hand, was infuriated and because the new road was suppos-
stated that "everything is lost when ed to pass right down the middle.
A similar thing happened to the
mere wealth makes one an honor-
able person. Thereby honor loses - Hotel Samuel Bernard." The new
Boulevard
Saint-Germain was due
all its value."
But in this period of prodigal to pass in the middle of the house
spending, a man like Bernard could —the facade still stands there but
get away with anything: when a the ballroom was torn down to
minister of the realm was sent by make place for the new road. Its
the king to bring money from Ber- interior, carved wall-panelling and
nard's bank, he was roundly told all was carefully removed.

In 1875, it was acquired by the
late Baron Edmond de Roths-
child. The Baron, who was known
as "the benefactor," had the
room reconstructed in his home
and used it as a study.
From this very room he directed
his great enterprises of settling
Jews in Palestine. Some years
after his death the house was sold
and all the Baroque interiors put
in storage. There they remained
until last year.
At that time the present Baron
Edmon de Rothschild, the benefac-
tor's grandson, decided to present
the room to the Israel Museum,
and construct a special pavilion to
house it for the education of Is-
rael's children.
The baron and his wife Nadine,
on top of the donation of the
room and its contents, presented
the Israel Museum with $100,000
for the building and maintenance
of the pavilion.
The wall-panels were packed and
shipped in 19 great cases weighing
many tons. The Baron further en-
gaged M. Henri Samuel, director
of the well known French firm
Alvoine, who had participated in
the restoration of Versailles and
had designated the interior of a
palace of the royal family of Iran.
One of the main problems that
arose concerned the old gilt-carved
wall panels, which needed some
patching-up. Expert restorers were
brought over from France. They
modeled the damaged parts in a
mixture of chalk powder and glue.
using over 150 different gouges and
then covered them with gold-leaf.
But when the bright new gold leaf
stood out against the dull patina of
the old surface, it had to be aged
overnight, and this was accom-
plished by carefully daubing the
newly gilt places with a special
mixture. The restored and old
parts now blend perfectly and no-

Eloquent L e tt e r to Daughter of Israeli
Murdered by Terrorist Pleads for Peace

This letter to the daughter of a young Israeli officer, killed by a
terrorist ambush, recently appeared in one of the Israeli newspapers.
les an eloquent and moving expression of the spirit of the people of

Israel.
You are asking, my child, why After all, you are a big girl, and
Daddy went away and did not re- like all our children in Israel, who
turn. I shall tell you because you, grow up under the circumstances
like all children, will understand w e live in, you are more grown up
simple matters that many grown- than others; you have grown up
ups do not. You will understand before your time. And so you know
what should be explained day and that the weapons of our soldiers
night, in the Glass Palace, to rep- are pure. Zahal goes to fight open-
resentatives of the nations of the ly, soldier against soldier. The
world who do not understand sim- enemy, because he was defeated
ple matters you do, perhaps be- in battle, has chosen inferior and
cause they do not want to under - cowardly ways to fight; methods
that our army could never adopt.
stand.
A woman was sitting at the en- The enemy has chosen to hide be-
trance to the cave; a Bedouin hind nursing women; he has
nusring her baby. Your Dad and chosen to put bombs in super-
his comrades knew that the hour of markets full of women and chil-
nursing is holy because it is a time dren who came to shop. The
when a mother and her child are - heroes - have chosen to put bombs
close to each other, like in no other under the tables of a cafeteria
time. Therefore, although nis where Jewish and Arab students
weapon was with him, he would net drink ,a cup of coffee at the univ-
disturb the Bedouin woman in her ersity. The enemy has chosen to
nursing. Your Daddy did not want put button mines in schoolyards
the baby to remain hungry and so and bombs in wastebaskets. Zahal
they did not harm her and the will never adopt such methods, be-
baby. When they turned away from cause Zahal's weapons are defense
the cave, the terrorists rushed out weapons and pure weapons.
You know, like we all know, that
and shot your Daddy and his corn-
rades in the back, from behind the your Dad and many other dear and
young
soldiers, fathers of children,
nursing mother.
War is a terrible thing, and who could have been alive had they
like you should know that, living chosen to kill a nursing Bedouin
among halutzim in a kibutz. You woman or an Arab shaking with
know well how we loath war and fear. You- surely have heard the
fighting and killing. Who like you story of how, in the War of In-
knows how we yearn for peace, a dependence in 1948, 35 young boys
peace we have been waiting for, who rushed to the aid of the be-
for years. But the enemy declared sieged Etzion Bloc were killed just
that his aim is to annihilate us and because 'they spared the life of an
we have already felt what that old Bedouin, who later went to in-
means. We know what genocide form about them.
This is one story. You must have
feels like, therefore we stood up
like one man, to fight for our heard others where, for instance,
existence. a sick Bedouin girl was flown by
Surely. you too, with all the other I our soldiers from Sinai to a hospi-
children in our country, helped in tal to save her. You must have
the war effort and you too tried to heard how, during the cruel battle
hide your tears when Daddy went near the walls of Jerusalem,
to fight in the war. Just like now I Daddy and his comrades saved a
you probably try to hide them and , little Arab girl and brought her to
to help Mother carry her grief. 1 the hospital. And have you heard

while the setting sun lights up an
body can tell them apart.
The large mirrors also date from elephant in the distance.
Europe is also depicted as a stout
the same period. This is the reason
why they are dark, because in the lady, who holds sceptre and a
18th century mirrors were still globe, and leaves no doubt as to
coated with mercury. But the panes who rules the world.
Asia is a lady accompanied by a
of the windows are new. Since the
old panes had been prepared by young camel. America wears a
feather
head-dress and is shown
blowing glass bulbs and pressing
them flat, no two of them looked subduing an alligator who flaunts
alike. The new panes were there- its tail into the sky in an elegant
fore varnished in different shades Baroque swing.
The portraits on the richly-carv-
to reproduce the antique worn ap-
ed walls join everything else in the
pearance.
When the room was finished room in expressing the opulence
the expert decorators, brought and vanity typical of the nobility
from Paris for this task alone, of the day. A portrait by Natier
hung up the low heavy crystal of a lady as Diana is typical of his
chandeliers, fitted with special work. He was the most sought after
bulbs that look like real candles. portraitist because he not only rep-
A carpet was spread on the par- resented his subjects as mytho-
quet a la Versailles, and the gilt logical figures but treated their
Baroque furniture harmoniously features in the most flattering way.
Aved, a typical court artist,
placed. The walls were hung with
painted the second portrait of a
two Gobelin tapestries.
Four paintings are fixed over the lady. In this room she is shown
four doors, as though growing out in her boudoir surrounded by lace
of the walls. They were commis- and cosmetic paraphernalia. Little
sioned in the 18th century express- did she suspect at the time that a
ly for this room, and in an alle- couple of centuries later, when her
gorical manner describe the four name will have been long forgot-
ten, her picture with all her arsen-
continents then known.
Africa is a plump dark lady al, useless against the ravage of
time,
will be preserved to hang in
wearing ostrich feathers in her
hair. She sits next to a great lion the middle of Jerusalem.

Cohen's 'Justice, Justice' Emphasizes
Jewish Civil Rights Cause Obligations

Rabbi Henry Cohen, in "Justice,' ces of such prejudice but also in-
Justice," published by the Union , dicates the exaggerations. Rabbi
of American Hebrew Congrega- I Cohen urges that the Negro should ,
Lions, provides a splendidly re- ! be better informed about the role
searched "Jewish view of the of Jews in the civil rights move-
Negro revolt." ment, and he urges elimination of
Prefacing his book with the the sources of the frustrations. He
quotation f r o m Deuteronomy quotes an American Jewish Con-
(16:20) "Justice, justice shalt thou gress appeal for guidance by
pursue." Rabbi Cohen supplements moral values.
What is the Jewish view of the
it with his explanatory talmudic
Negro revolt? Rabbi Cohen
note from Tanhuma:
answers that it is learning "to
" Why is the word justice writ-
ten twice? To teach us that we see
with
minds
and our
hearts
. . . our
trying
to understand
must practice justice at all times
what combination of conditions
for our profit or
- -whether s ,
can produce the kind of frustra-
for our loss, and towards all men
tion and despair that explodes
—towards Jews and non-Jews
Into violence ... it is examining
alike."
our fundamental values and ask-
It is evident that this is a very
ing ourselves why we believe in
timely work, and it refutes the
them." And these approaches
claim that Jews are not serious-
must be, he declares, in an
ly concerned about the problems
awareness "that in Judaism
of poverty, the issues involved
there are various theological
in the civil rights movement, the
doctrines, all of which imply
need to enforce justice without
that we should care about rights
discrimination.
of our fellowmen."
This effective work is comple-
important
paperb
a
ck
This
touches upon every aspect of the mented with important factual
struggle for justice in our time. It charts, with data relating to the
deals with the educational aspects, existing conditions and with guid-
with housing, with civil disobedi- ance towards proper Jewish eva-
luation for wholehearted support of
ence.
A chapter devoted to "Negro and cooperation in the movement
anti-Semitism" describes the sour- for justified civil rights.

the story of how a whole armored
convoy was stopped because a little
Arab boy was lying in the road and
how our soldiers helped him lov-
in gly ?
Such are our soldiers. They hate
war but they have to fight because!
they have to defend you and your I
sisters and your home. Our homes
are in towns and villages. Our sol-
diers love the green fields and
many are taken to the tank straight
from the plough. Surely that is the
reason why they are so careful
about anything that is green and
bears fruit.
Our soldiers will take care of us
in their own way and not like the
cowardly way of our enemies
They will take care of your home
in the kibutz and of mine in Jeru-
salem and of all homes from the
banks of the River Jordan, where
children sleep in shelters, up to
the banks of the Suez Canal, where
our soldiers are dug in their for-
tifications. Whoever has seen the
children wake up in the morning
to see grey concrete walls instead
of the rays of the sun, knows that
we do not want to raise them like
that, but as long as the sword is
hanging above us, we have no
other option.
Such are our soldiers. Such was
your Daddy. He would have liked
this Bedouin baby to grow up to a
better future, where he could tend
his sheep in peace. Such are our
soldiers. They have gone, leaving
a mother, a sister, a wife and chil-
dren. We miss them all, and the
whole nation misses them as if
they were the children of each one
of us. Because we are, after all, one
big family. A family fighting for
its home.
Louis Broido (left), chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee,
Therefore, my child, keep your watches a 14-year-old student of mechanics at the War Chabad Hasi-
head up and know that we are
dic community's vocational training center. The visit was part of a
proud of them because we know recent survey of JDC programs in Israel. JDC will spend over $3,800.--
that our weapons and the way we 000 (mostly UJA funds) in Israel in 1969, on aid to aged; ill andliandi —
fight is pure, that is the way it capped newcomers, and support for yeshivot and the ORT vocational
was and will always be. That Is program. To the right of Broido are Harold Trobe, JDC director for
the way Zahal will fight until peace Israel, and Rabbi Z. Wolf, director of Kfar Chabad.
will come.
YEMIMA . AVIDAR 40 Friday, July 2S, 1 969
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Kfar Chabad Aided

by JDC

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