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August 02, 1974 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-08-02

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

40--Friday, August 2, 1974

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Germans, Israelis
Join Efforts on
Plant Cultivation

Musician Strikes
Sour Note on Trip

NEW YORK—Larry Adler,
harmonica player for 45
years, had some difficulty
when he entered Montreal
recently.
Adler was "dumbfounded"
when he learned that the
customs officer was unable
to identify his harmonica.
According to the New York
Times, when Adler, who is
known as a harmonica vir-
tuoso, identified the instru-
ment as a harmonica the
following ensued:
"What's it for?" the cus-
torn man asked.
"I play it," Adler answer-
ed.
"Where are you going to
play it?"
"With the Montreal Sym-
phony Orchestra."
The customs official ex-
amined the harmonica and
found Adler's name inscribed
on it. "Your name's on it.
That's advertising material.
We charge duty on that."
He demanded that Adler pay
$1.60 duty on the harmonica.

BONN (JTA)—A five-year
German - Israeli re s e arch
project is to be carried out
in Israel.
The German group is led
by the Giessen phytopatholo-
gist Prof. Juergen Kranz of
the Tropical Institute of the
Justus Liebig University.
The Volkswagenwerk Foun-
dation has provided DM
620,000 towards the project.
In Israel, as in other Asian
and African countries, plant
life is seriously threatened
with disease.
_ Plant protection agents and
cultivation methods are to be
tested in numerous laboratory
and field experiments with
the aid of the Giessen scien-
tists. The data will be ana-
lyzed at the computer cen-
ter of Giessen University.
Prof. Kranz says the results
of this research work will be
important for all dry and
semi-dry countries.

Boris Smolar's

'Between You
•. . and Me'

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, JTA
(Copyright 1974, JTA Inc.)

COMPUTERIZED JUDAICA: At Bar-Ilan University
in Israel I watched, with fascination, the IBM computers
operating on correspondence conducted by rabbis of various
ountries in Asia, Africa and Europe during the last 1700
years. The American computers were working on "Shealot
U'Tshuvot,"—"Responsa."
"Shealot U`Tshuvot" is a mass collection of some
500,000 questions and answers exchanged between some
5,000 rabbinical authorities—primarily in Hebrew, Ara -mic
and Arabic—concerning problems of human relationship
and how they are to be solved in the spirit of Halakha,
Jewish law.
Chief Justice Earl Warren, who presided over the
U.S. Supreme Court for 16 years until his death last month,
had taken an interest in the Bar-Ilan program of com-
puterizing the "Shealot U'Tshuvot." He considered them a
fertile source of legal material and of decisions of wisdom.
Others in the U.S. government look upon this program as
a most extraordinary project and urge American agencies
to finance it. The National Endowment for Humanities in
Washington financed it to the extent of about $70,000 and
is continuing to support it. Yale and other American
universities made arrangements with Bar-Ilan concerning
the use of computerized Responsa.

Envoy Asked
to Deny Remark
on 'Syrian Jews

LONDON (JTA) — Conser-
vative MP Michael Fidler
said he was still not satis-
fied with a foreign office ex-
planation that the British am-
bassador in Damascus did
not make a statement sup-
porting the Syrian govern-
ment's claim that Jews in
Syria are not being mis-
treated.

WZO to Negotiate
With Reform Leaders

JERUSALEM (JTA) —The
World Zionist Organization
Executive appointed a four-
man committee to negotiate
with the leaders of the Re--\
form movement on its affil-
iate with the Zionist move-
ment.
The committee will corn-
prise Pinhas Sapir, WZO Ex-
ecutive chairman; Leon Dul-
zin, WZO treasurer; Avra- /1
ham Shenker, head of the `\
WZO organization and infor-
mation department; and
Moshe Krone, WZO Torah e
ucation department head.
The committee will also
negotiate with the leaders of
the Conservative movement
who have also expressed in-
terest in joing the WZO.

In response to a letter from
David Ennals, minister of
state at the foreign office,
which said that Ambassador
David Roberts did not make
the statement attributed to
him in newspapers, Fidler
said: "Would it not be better
if we had some official state-
ment from our ambassador,
repudiating the view ascrib-
Photography
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Fidler noted that until Rob-
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cern among a great many
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ON STRIKES, INFLATION, INTERMARRIAGE: land.
Over 30 Years
"Shealot U'Tshuvot" correspondence goes back to the time
when there was no printing. The exchange of letters be-
tween the rabbis and scholars includes many hand-written
inquiries and answers, some of them dating back to the
post-talmudic era from the 7th 'Century in Asia and from
the 11th Century in Africa and Europe. The problems they
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If you are one who watches the value of your savings
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dwindling through inflation, you will be interested to dis-
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cover from the computerized Responsa that this is not a
modern phenomenon. The computer found that in the 13th
Century in Spain, the famous rabbinical authority Rashba
(Rabbi Shlomo Ben Aderet) was asked: If the government
Howard Perry, Bette Perry,
devalues the currency, in which coin must previously con-
Barbara Braunner, Lynn Dubin,
tracted debts be paid? The question was most important
for many Jews at that time engaged in trading and in
money lending. The ruling of -the Rashba was that if the
Harvey Prinfle, Norma Pont,
government decrees that payment must be in new coin,
the Jewish law will also require this.
Rene Silver or Ernest Moore
On strikes we find in the computerized Responsa a
question by a rabbi concerning the right of workers with
perishable goods to strike. The ruling was that they could
do so, but they had to compensate the owner for any loss
Coming Attractions:
caused to the goods through their work stoppage.
A computerized search was run on the Responsa of
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cause of the persecutions on Jews there and who became
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in 1391 the chief rabbi of the Jewish community of Al-
giers. One of the problems established by the computer
resembles very much the problem now acute in Israel of
Soviet Jews who immigrated to Israel with their non-
Jewish wives and mixed-marriage children. This modern-
day problem, it turned out, existed way back in the 14th
Century when many Jews in Spain became Marranos. It
was dealt with by the Rivash, and the principles laid down
by him are as, applicable today as they were in his time.

DRAPKIN

,

Achenbach Resigns
From Post Officially

BONN (JTA)—Free Demo-
cratic Party Deputy Ernst
Achenbach, formerly resigned
from the Bundestag Foreign
Affairs Committee consider-
ing the 1971 Franco-German
Nazi re-trial treaty. His pos-
sible resignation as Bunde-
stag deputy was not discus-
sed.
Achenbach, a former Nazi
diplomat in wartime Paris,
has been a key figure in
blocking ratification of the
1971 treaty.

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reau of Standards is so impressed with the computerized
Responsa that it is using the Bar-Ilan material for pro-
graming with records of all American patents.
The Bar-Ilan University is very proud of its brainchild.
Members of its law faculty believe that in time the com-
puter will become an essential source of law• for all Jewish
courts. Israel's Minister of Justice is interested in the
Bar-Ilan program because it makes available vital sources
of Hebrew law to which Israeli courts can refer for guid-
ance in troubled areas, especially in the future when
Israeli statues are expected to be amended.
The idea of computing and storing the Responsa origi-
nated with Professor Aviezer Fraenkel, a well-known math-
erriatician and computer scientist. Prof. Aaron Schreiber,
another scholar, was able to interest U.S. government agen-
cies in the project and to obtain the grants from the Na-
tional Endowment for Humanities in Washington. The rea-
son for the American grant is that in the United States
the legal profession is faced with several million court
problems in researching the law to which thousands more
are being added every year.

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Bonn Gives Israel Loan for Economy

BONN (JTA)—West Ger- and telephone projects and
many will provide Israel eco- for the Israel Development
nomic assistance totaling DM Bank. The level of annual
140,000,000 under an agree-
aid to Israel has remained
ment signed here recently.
Officials said the loan constant over the past few
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