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February 22, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-02-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE JEWISH NEWS

Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with issue of July 20, I951

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.

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor and Publisher

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

Business Manager

CHARLOTTE DUBIN

City Editor

DREW LIEBERWITZ

Advertising Manager

Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, Rosh Hodesh Adar, the following scriptural. selections will be read
in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portions, Exodus 25:1-27:19, Numbers 28:9-15, Exodus 20:11-16. Pro-
phetical portion, II Kings 12:1-17.
Candle lighting, Friday, Feb. 22, 6:55 p.m.

VOL. LXIV. No. 24

Page Four

February 22, 1974

The 12,000 Unsolicited . . . and More

A Time for Unprecedented Generosity

Greater Detroit Jewish communities are on the road toward outstanding philanthropic
achievements. The record sum already announced in the 1974 Allied Campaign-Israel Emer-
- gency Fund is an indication of a continuing concern to strengthen the bonds of kinship that
are so vital today for Israel's security and perhaps her very existence.
With only half of the 1973 contributors having been contacted for the impressive sum
pledged thus far for 1974, the task ahead, in the coming four weeks, is marked by the serious
responsibility of assuring the largest possible enrollment in the ranks of Israel's supporters.
American Jewry's assistance is vital. Unless Israel is relieved of many of the educational,
welfare and medical responsibilities, the military burden — borne by Israel alone — will
become more difficult to carry.
It is to be assumed that there is a proper understanding of the urgency of the existing
situation. Even the largest funds to be subscribed by Diaspora Jews are hardly sufficient
to provide for the numerous needs that have arisen in the embattled area. Nevertheless,
taking into account our own community alone, 'besides the 12,000 who have made their
gifts to the Allied Jewish Campaign last year and who are to be contacted for the current
campaign, there are thousands of others who have not been reached in the past, who have
not responded voluntarily, whose enrollment as members of the great community of Israel's
kinsmen is so urgently needed to make a reality of the belief that there is a measure of unity
in defending Israel's right to national existence.

This is a testing time. When the Yom Kippur War broke out, there was an anguished
outcry for justice to Israel. Generosity was displayed in extremes. Jews and many of our
Christian friends rallied in Israel's behalf. The monetary gifts were in large figures.
There must be no slowing of that effort. The enmities that have emerged in the
meantime, the oil embargo, the nearly total antagonism among the nations of the world,
except for the Dutch friendship and the American support, have added to the dangers that
confront Israel. All the obstacles can be overcome with time, provided there is no indifference
to the needs in Jewish ranks. Nothing could be more damaging to Israel or to Jewish unity
in time of danger than a lack of concern by Israel's fellow Jews.

If there is anything that gives Israel courage it is the renewal of tourism, the visits
that Jews make in Israel, either as individuals or as members of United Jewish Appeal and
Israel Bonds missions. To be seen there is to symbolize the uninterrupted dedication to the
idea that a people battling for existence must not be abandoned.

That is why, also, aliya on a permanent or limited basis, is so urgent. Israelis are
pleading with their kinsmen abroad to come to them, to settle there, and if not on a permanent
basis at least to volunteer services for a year. Nearly 200,000 Israeli reservists are away
from their homes, their jobs, their businesses, and the economy of the country is strained.
Those who come for a while to relieve the burdens are rendering great service.
Aliya Month proclaimed by the Israel government and the World Zionist Organization
is of great significance. It is a,realistic effort to solve existing problems. It is a basic need
for involvement, for identification with fellow Jews who are in distress and who need the
encouragement that is an urgency of the hour.
*
*
*
The duty to provide for Israel's continued existence also includes the need to con-
tribute towards the retention of a strong economy in Israel: It calls for investments as well
as philanthropic gifts. It demands - an unending interest in the Israel Bond program. While UJA
funds assist in relieving want, in providing for schooling and hospitalization, in integrating
immigrants by assuring that they will not be homeless and that their children will have
proper schooling and that they and their families will have homes and proper medical
facilities, Israel Bond dollars make possible the building of factories, the country's indus-
trialization and the assurance of jobs for new settlers as a result of the economic opportuni-
ties that are created through such efforts.

There should be a proper understanding of the latest move to make the $250 Israel
Bond the smallest denomination for such investments. Processing the project is costly and
if it costs as much to put through a $100,000 Bond as it does one in the amount of $100, and
the cost for the latter is prohibitive, this denomination should have been abandoned on
time without challenge. It is true that participation in efforts in Israel's behalf should be
made available for all, regardless of wealth. But the call is for a billion-dollar program in
Israel Bond sales in 1974, and this cannot be attained in small sums. The era when, for in-
stance, it was said in appeals for the Keren Kayemet — Jewish National Fund — that "a
penny a day is the J•F way" is long past. The less affluent, desiring to make investments,
must plan on a longer-time basis to save up the minimum required for Bond purchases.
*
*
The duties devolving upon all of us are clear. The philanthropic dollar is vital. The
investment funds are urgent.
More than that: people are important, and volunteers in Israel are a great necessity.
Tourism must again assume a role of a great Israeli industry.

Working together, Jewish communities in the free world, especially the Jews of this
country, can fulfill these tasks with a sense of honor that will give us the pride needed in
life-saving, protecting a people under duress and perpetuating the ideal, of Zion redeemed.

Elie Wiesel's 'Ani Maamin,'
Cantata Powerfully Effective

"Ani Maamin" is more than a phrase: it is a tradition. It is the
affirmation of Jews in the unshakable faith that has sustained them.
Elie Wiesel, having transformed it onto a cantata for presentation
at Carnegie Hall, New York, last November, appended to "Ani Maa-
min" a subtitle: "A Song Lost and Found Again," for the book in
which the text was perpetuated and had just been published by Ran-
dom House.
It began with a limited signed edition of '750 copies that were not
for sale, and the edition issued for public acquisition is in the same
format.
It was designed by Philip Grushkin. The text appears in the lan-
guage in which Wiesel writes primarily—the French—and this volume
contains the "Ani Maamin" cantata in both French and English, the
English translation being by Wiesel's wife, Marion Wiesel, who also
translated from the French her husband's most recent work, "The
Oath." The music for the cantata, at its presentation on two nights
in November, was composed by Darius Milhaud.
The opening words of the cantata immediately provide an ex-
planatory introduction to the entire theme. Wiesel begins:
"Ani maamin beviat ha-Mashiah, I believe in the coming of the
Messiah. One of the thirteen Articles of Faith set forth by Maimonides,
it was also the song transformed into a hymn by pious and obstinate
Jews in the ghettos and camps. Rather than appeasing, rather than
consoling the survivors, this faith disconcerts them. Both affirmation
and provocation; it cannot help but evoke uneasiness .. . "
From this point onward, through 100 pages, half in English, half
in French, there is the deeply moving reconstruction of Jewish his-
tory and Jewish faith, with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob responding
with their affirmations to the messages inspired by the narrator
whose deep rooted identification is linked with the historic factors of
the Patriarchs' historic messages.
Wiesel has a definitive note explaining how he arrived at the
core of his poem. He states:
"I used to sing it long ago in my small home town: Sighet in
Transylvania. For me it was an appeal of faith, to hope; and affirmation
that even though the Messiah was late in coming—I believed that he
would come . . . one day. Then I heard it sung inside the kingdom of
madness by Jews who knew they were on the threshold of death. How
could they believe in the Messiah over there? How could they go on
waiting for him? They should have known better . . . When you think
of the Holocaust, you are inevitably confronted by the questions: Where
was God? What did he know? What did he do? These questions are
at the core of this poem—or tale, for it was also a tale, naturally."
Both in narration and in text, Wiesel's "Ani Maamin" is effective.
There are, as proof, these concluding lines, sung by the chorus, in
which Wiesel re-emphasized his personal experiences as a survivor
from Nazism and his lifelong call to his people to remember the
Holocaust:
Ani maamin, Abraham
Ani maamin.
Despite Treblinka.
Ani maamin for him,
Ani maamin, Isaac,
In spite of him.
Because of Belsen.
I believe in you,
Ani maamin, Jacob,
Even against your will.
Because and in spite of
Even if you punish me
Majdanek.
For believing in you.
Dead in vain,
Blessed are the fools
Dead for naught,
Who shout their faith.
Ani 'maamin.
Blessed are the fools
Pray, men.
Who. go on laughing,
Pray to God,
Who mock the man who mocks
Against God,
the Jew,
For God.
Who help their brothers
Ani maamin.
Singing, over and over and over:
Whether the Messiah comes,
Ani maamin.
Ani maamin.
Ani maamin beviat ha-Mashiah,
Or is late in coming,
Veaf al pi sheytmameha,
Ani maamin.
Akhake lo bekhol yom sheyavo,
Whether God is, silent
Ani maamin.
Or weeps,
Wiesel's powerful "Ani Maamin" thus merits the interest of all
Jews. It earns reproduction. It is an inspiration as incomparable
effectiveness.

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