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April 26, 1974 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-04-26

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

7,7*.4.67

Rabbi Yosef Appeals to Reform, Conservative Jews to Recognize Authenticity of Religious Law

By YITZHAK RABI
NEW YORK (JTA)—Chief
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Israel's
Sephardic chief rabbi, ap-
pealed here to American Re-
form and Conservative Jews
"to recognize the authentic-
ity of Halakha" (religious
law) and declared that there
can be no compromise on the
issue of Who Is a Jew on
the part of the Orthodox re-
ligious establishment in Is-
rael.
"We are the guardian of
the holy Jewish heritage and
we cannot, therefore, desert
it," Rabbi Yosef said at a
press conference at the Re-
gency Hotel.

He arrived here Sunday
for a two-week "spiritual
tour" of the country. His one-
week stay in New York is
under the sponsorship of the
American Sephardi Federa-
tion and the Sephardi Leader-
ship Council of the United
Jewish Appeal of Greater
New York. It is his first visit
to the U.S.
Answering questions on the
controversial Who Is a Jew
issue, the Sephardic chief
rabbi said he would meet
with Reform and Conserva-
tive leaders to discuss the
question. He insisted, never-
theless, "The Halakha is not
maleable," and said, "we

16 Friday, April 26, 1974

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS



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Freak Mid-air Copter Crash
TEL AVIV (JTA) — Eight
Israeli airmen were killed in
a freak mid-air accident in-
volving two air force heli-
copters last Friday.
Funeral services were held
Sunday.
Air Force Commander Gen.
)1enjamin Peled is personally

HARTFORD (JTA) — The
Jewish Aid Congregation, a
small Orthodox synagogue in
Colchester, is functioning
normally again after a three-
day spree of vandalism and
defilement that began on
Passover eve and for which
two boys, age 13-14, have
since been arrested.
The youngsters, whose
identities have been with-
held, were turned over to
their parents' custody by the
juvenile authorities pending
a hearing on charges of first
degree criminal mischief and
third degree burglary.
Jack Herman, president of
the 80-member congregation
which has no permanent
rabbi, said the "spiritual
damage" was greater than
the monetary damage which
he estimated at $4,000.
State Police Commissioner
Cleveland B. Fuessenich, de-
clared in a statement to the
Connecticut Jewish Ledger
that he had been "assured
by investigators that there is
no anti-Semitism involved
and this was strictly an act
of destruction by the juven-
iles involved in a building

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not always represent an
answer to the problems of
religious citizens.
He said that Jewish immi-
grants arriving from the
Soviet Union uncircumcized
were recognized as Jews but
had to undergo circumcision
rites. He said that so far
none has refused.
Rabbi Yosef said his office
was working regularly on the
problem of "agunot," pre-
sumed windows whose hus-
bands are not certified as
dead. He added that 900 mar-
ried soldiers were killed in
the Yam Kippur War and

that the chief rabbinate,
working with the army chief
chaplain, Gen. Mordechai
Firon, has so far certified
the deaths of 800 of them.
Rabbi Yosef claimed that
the Israeli army experienced
a religious revival during
the Yom Kippur War. He
said that many soldiers had
become practicing Jews and
enrolled in yeshivot.
Speaking about the Falas-
has, the Black Jews of
Ethiopia, Rabbi Yosef said
they numbered 80,000 a cen-
tury ago but now only 20,000.
He said it was considered
"Mitzva" to redeem
Falashas by bringing them to
Israel but noted that his be-
come more difficult since
over the other. The lower Ethiopia severed diplomatic
helicopter was apparently not relations with Israel.
visible to the pilot of the
HOW ABOUT HAWAII?
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SAVE MANY SSS
CALL ME AT HAMILTON, MILLER,
The landing gear of the
latter helicopter was struck I HUDSON & FAYNE TRAVEL CORP
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rectly beneath it which
crashed and burst into flames
557-5145
killing all aboard. The sec-
ond helicopter, though dam-
aged, landed safely with no
injuries to its personnel.
Fire engines from the
nearby Hatzor township were
at the scene of the crash in
less than three minutes but
RESORT
the eight men died before
SOUTH HAVEN, MICHIGAN
rescuers could reach them.
The dead were identified
as: Capt. Adam Averbach,
24, of Sdot Yam, son of the
settlement's founder, Joseph
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Freak Midair Copter Crash Kills 8

0

affora

IN„,.

11 Jewish women in Syria
have been imprisoned recent_
137 and were mistreated by
the Syrian authorities. He
said that according to infor-
mation he has, two Jews
detained in Syria in connec-
tion with the murders of four
Jewish women have been
sentenced to death.
Rabbi Yosef said he be-
lieved there should be a re-
ligious party in Israel to unite
all religious elements and
look after their interests. He
claimed that while many re-
ligious people voted for the
Labor Party, that party did

investigating the t r a g e d y
which occurred when both
copters attempted to land on
the Manhayim air strip near
Safed in Upper Galilee.
The two aircraft were re-
turning from operational mis-
sions. According to eye-wit-
nesses, both descended at the
same moment, one directly

Connecticut Synagogue Opens
After Defilement by 2 Youths

By A Famous Maker
Designed to Sell
for '52.

44

will try to convince the Re-
form and Conservative Jews
to come back to our holy
Torah."
Rabbi Yosef said that dur-
ing his visit he would per-
sonally raise the plight of
Syrian Jewry with American
national leaders, New York
municipal leaders and with
United Nations Secretary
General Kurt Waldheim. He
said he would also take up
the question of Israeli pris-
oners of war in Syria with
the vier/ to expediting their
return.
Rabbi Yosef disclosed that

557-8Z92.

mill

that was readily available to
them."
But the morbid nature of
the destruction and defile-
ment, aimed mainly at reli-
gious objects and Jewish
symbols in the synagogue,
appeared to indicate that the
acts went beyond mere van-
dalism.
According to the Jewish
Ledger's account, the young-
sters first broke into the
synagogue on Saturday, April
6 when four fire extinguish-
ers were stolen and.. a fifth
used to spray the premises.
Plans to replace the broken
wooden doors with metal
Ones were delayed by the
holidays.
On the following Monday,
toilet paper was found strewn
around the premises. On
Monday evening, a member
of the congregation saw
lights on in the synagogue
and two youths fled as he
approached. Inside he found
human excrement and vomit
had been placed carefully
and systematically on the
bima including the center of
the Torah reading table and
on mantles covering the con-
gregation's three Tor a h
scrolls, the Ledger reported.
In addition, yarmulkes and
talesim were stuffed into
toilet bOwls and strewn on
the floors, quantities of mat-
zot were broken and scat-
tered about the building,
toilet paper was wrapped
around the wrought iron rail-
ings of the bima, and the
ark cover and a large Jew-
ish flag were slashed with a
razor but an American flag
was left untouched. Chairs
set up for services and other
non-religious objects were
not disturbed.
The congregation is housed
in a two-story building built
in 1960. Most of its members
are over age 50. News of the
desecration brought an out-
pouring of sympathy and
cash donations from Jews
and non-Jews in Colchester
and nearby communities, the
Ledger reported.

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