THE JEWISH NEWS
Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with issue of July 20, 1951
Member American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National Editorial Associa-
tion. Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17515 W. Nine Mile, Suite 865, Southfield, Mich. 48075.
Second-Class Postage Paid at Southfield, Michigan and Additional Mailing Offices. Subscription $10 a year.
Editor and Publisher
CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the 17th day of Shevat, 5734, the following scriptural selections
will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Exodus 18:1-20:23. Prophetical portion, Isaiah 6:1-7:6: 9:5-6.
Candle lighting, Friday, Feb. 8, 6:38 p.m.
VOL. LXIV. No. 22
February 8, 1974
Energy Crisis: Israel as Scapegoat
Many of the predictions regarding solu-
tions for the energy crisis claim a period as
long as 10 years or more to find solutions.
Meanwhile Israel and Zionism are being
touted as causes for the Arab embargo, while
the actual facts militate against using the
Jewish angle as a scapegoat.
An important analysis provided by the
Institute of Human Relations of the American
Jewish Committee demands more thorough
study of the facts. The AJC-Institute elabora-
tion on the subject, assessing the blame,
states in part:
vationist Paul Ehrlich made it clear that the corn-
ing crunch had been predictable since the late
40s and 50s. "It was a case of simple multiplica-
tion—the number of people times what we were
doing," he explained.
Twenty years ago, the Paley Report, commis-
sioned by President Eisenhower, warned of a corn-
ing shortage of oil and coal. In the 1960s, conser-
There are many reasons why this country and
other industrialized nations are running out of fuel,
but they all add up to the fact that consumption of
energy has grown much faster than the sources of
supply. Stephen Wakefield, assistant secretary of
the interior for energy and materials, summarized
this situation in an address to the Independent
Petroleum Association of America on October 22,
1973. The great economic boom which followed
World War II, he pointed out, with its sharp rise
in industrial production, created a great demand
for oil in this country. A few years later, the same
thing happened in Europe and Japan as their war-
torn economies recovered and they began their
unprecedented economic expansion.
Israel's newest problems, the seriousness
of the disengagement, the negotiations that
may enlist a response from Arab states that
have hitherto ignored every approach to
amity, have combined to create more urgent
concerns about the future than ever before.
The citizens of Israel are in a state of un-
certainty relative to possibilities for a future
that will assure them living room and secur-
It is no wonder, therefore, that a group
of concerned Israelis should have organized
a project they call "Operation Ben-Gurion,"
"to perpetuate the immortality" of the late
founding prime minister of the Jewish state.
The purpose is to overcome the damage
caused by propaganda which : "Constantly
repeats certain misconceptions about Israel
and its people, broadcasts crude lies about
Zionism; spreads distortions about the Jewish
people and its history, defames the Jewish
national character and weaves fanciful no-
tions about the Palestinian Arabs."
The sharing of such concerns in this
country by Christians as well as Jews has
been demonstrated in the numerous letters
to editors of American newspapers, and the
increasing amount of space given to these
correspondents by editors who recognize the
validity of the writers' views and the justice
of keeping Israel protected against a mount-
ing tide of dangers stemming from many
Because the attacks on Israel also rep-
resent a menace to world Jewry, it is inter-
esting to note that as a slogan on the first
of the brochures issued by "Operation Ben-
Gurion" appears this quotation from "Anti-
Semite and Jew" by Jean-Paul Sartre:
"The cause of the Jews would be half
won if only their friends brought to
their defense a little of the passion and
the perseverance their enemies use to
bring them down." •
This is a powerful admonition to Jews
and to all libertarians, to all who seek to
prevent anything approaching holocaustian
What "Operation Ben-Gurion" does is
part of an obligation resting upon all who
recognize the urgent need of being on the
alert, of never permitting a lie to attain
roots among the unknowing. Let the facts
be known and there will be greater chances
for freedom to survive.
The storm signals continued loud and clear. By
1970, Federal Power Commission member John A.
Carver, Jr. cautioned: "A crisis exists right now;
for the next three decades we will be in a race
for our lives to meet our energy needs." And in
the summer of 1973, a Federal commission looking
into the problem concluded that "an energy short-
age of severely disruptive and damaging propor-
tions is a distinct possibility in the immediate
For two decades, America exploited its own oil,
coal and gas resources, while Western Europe and
Japan leaned increasingly on the new and plentiful
supply discovered and developed in the Middle
East. But as the energy demands in the U.S. in-
crease, the cheap, readily available sources of fuel
began to disappear, and the cost of exploring for,
and developing, less accessible sources made those
finds uncompetitive with import oil. In the late
1960s the nation changed from an oil-exporting
country to an oil-importing one. And while most of
its imports came from Venezuela, Canada and
Iran, about six to eight per cent of its foreign oil
came from the Middle East.
As the demand for Arab oil grew, Wakefield
explained, and particularly, beginning in 1970, as
the United States began to compete with Europe
and Japan for that oil, the economic clout of the
producing nations, organized in the Organization
of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), grew
The price they exacted for each barrel of crude
skyrocketed. And so much money poured into the
treasuries of the Arab oil nations that they literally
had no way to absorb it. Instead of increasing their
production to keep up with rising demands, Saudi
Arabia, Kuwait and other Arab states agreed on
precisely the opposite tactic. They decided to limit
production sharply, thus slowing the rate at which
their own oil reserves are depleted and at the
same time, assuring that, as the competition be-
came keener, the price per barrel would continue
to rise. All that was left was to put a politically
useful face on that decision.
The worldwide energy shortage is clearly ines-
capable. Cheap oil is unlikely ever to be enjoyed
again. And the ultimate blame, if such it is, must
rest with the insatiable appetite of all the world's
people for the economic growth and easy living
that energy makes possible.
It is clear that if there were no Israel there still
would be the "insatiable appetite" for "easy living,"
the developing industrial competitiveness, the pow-
ers behind the scene and those on the ground floor
of the oil producing countries.
Congressional studies will undoubtedly expose
much of the blame.
Meanwhile there is a serious duty to enlighten the
peoples who are victims of the energy crisis so that
there should be an understanding that if there would
be no Israel there would be the greed and the power
control that has created a worldwide crisis. In the
course of time the American people will undoubtedly
learn not necessarily to live with the • crisis but to
find a way for self-sustenance to eliminate the threats
that accompany selfish motivations.
13th Century 'Sefer HaYashar'
Issued in Bilingual Edition
"Sefer HaYashar, The Book of the Righteous," believed to have
been written in the 13th Century, a famous ethical text that has
previously appeared in some 50 other editions, has been reissued b),
Ktav in a volume containing the entire Hebrew text, with a new
English translation by Rabbi Seymour J. Cohen of Cong. Anshe Eme'
Authorship has been ascribed alternately to Rabbenu Tam, Zerahiah
ah-Yevani and Jonah Gerondi, and it is believed to be the work of
Kabalist and remains anonymous.
Rabbi Cohen explains that it was influenced by the writings o
the 11th Century scholar Bahya ibn Pakucla.
In "Sefer HaYashar" the author or authors undertook to explai
why God created the wicked among men as well as the righteou•
Concern is shown for man's attitudes towards the Almighty. prayer.
penitence and other ethical and religious matters. It was a volume ex-
tensively used during the Musar Movement.
Besides translating the work in a form suitable for the lay reader
as well as the rabbinic scholars, Rabbi Cohen has annotated the
There are two important addenda in this volume: Prof. Jacob
Guttmann's essay "The Ethical Work `Sefer HaYashar' and the Phil6
sophical Views Contained Therein" and G. Vakda's "The Love and thr
Fear of God in 'Sefer HaYahshar."
History of Jews of Poland
Describes Joys, Miseries
Polish Jewry, now nearly entirely defunct, with only 10,000 left
from a population that numbered 3,500,000 prior to World War II, was
rooted in traditions and great accomplishments. Its rich history dates
back many centuries. Retention of historic facts regarding this im
portant community is of extreme value for the Jewish records. Dr;
Bernard D. Weinryb, a noted scholar now associated with the Russia
Research Center at Harvard University, provides valuable data about
the social and economic role of Polish Jews from 1100 to 1800 in "Th,
Jews of Poland," published by the Jewish Publication Society of
Important movements in Jewish life, Hasidism. the Frankists and
messianic trends and the many developments which affected the rela-
tionships between Jews and Christians are fully described, and the
many trials and tribulations the community had to overcome are furr)
While there was a distinctive Jewish existence in Poland, ti_
relations they had with Jews in other lands taken into account ane
the contrasts drawn are notable:
Tracing the historic background of a people that developed intr
a large and a great community, with economic and cultural stamina
unparalleled in many other lands, Dr. Weinryb proceeds to outlinf
a growth that parallels European transformations affect'
differing peoples. There was a rooting and an expansion' . -
steady and impressive.
The Weinryh history describes the triumphs and the miseries
and it relates that dangers undergone in the process of retainin
communal identity. There were programs in the 13th, 14th and 15th
centuries, as well as in the eras closer to the present, and the
means of defense utilized by the Polish Jews are among the mod
interesting revelations in a history that assumes totality for analys
of every aspect in the life of a people. A part of Poland, there we
conditions that formulated the autonomy that marked the Jews
Struggles between nobility and the kings affected the Jewis
position, and the developing conditions were affected by the economi
status of the people dominated by the evolutionary trends in the lan
There were many catastrophes. There were the numerous sec
the influence of the Shabatai Zevi upheaval, the emergenece of Hasidis
mystician and Kabala — all their roles in the life that suffered
well as thrived during the centuries under review.
The tabulations and charts, the population studies and other fac
add immeasurably to the importance of this history which serves a
a very valuable contribution to the study of a great community tha i
was doomed to extinction in our time.