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May 16, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-05-16

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THE JEWISH NEWS

Incorporating The Detroit Jewish . Chronicle corn mencing with the isne of Jnly 20, 1951



Member. American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press.Association, National Editorial Association.
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 `i10 a year.

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ
Editor and Publisher

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Business Manager

DREW LIEBERWITZ
Advertising Manager

Alan Hitsky, News Editor . . . Heidi Press, Assistant News Editor

SHAVUOT SCRIPTURAL SELECTIONS

Today, the sixth of Sivan, 5735, is the first day of Shavuot, and
the following scriptural selections are read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchctl portion, Exod. 19:1-20:23; Num. 28:26-31.
Prophetical portion, Ezekiel 1:1-28; 3:12.
Second day of Shavuot, Saturday: Pentateuchal portion, Deut. 15:19-16:17;
Num. 28:26-31. Prophetical Portion, Habbakuk 3:1-19.

Sabbath candle lighting, Friday, May 16, 8:28 p.m.

VOL. LXVII, No. 10

Shavuot

Page Four

Friday, May 16, 1975

Law and Transgressions

Shavuot, as the Festival of the Giving of the
Law — and of receiving it — will always retain a
great measure oft sanctity. As the Zman Matan
Torahtenu—the time of the Torah presentation
to the People Israel, it has assumed a measure of
universality in that spirit of the Declaration of
the Ten Words, of the formulation of the Deca-
logue. Accepted by all faiths, the Ten Command-
ments, which spiritualize Shavuot, the festival
of their origin, have become the property of
mankind. This should universalize Shavuot, even
if it is celebrated by all mankind.
Yet it is among the most abused of the prin-
ciple-formulating ideals. The Law spoken of on
Shavuot is being broken everywhere. The ideals
inherent in the Ten Commandments are being
shattered.
Wherever one turns, there is violence, im-
morality, warfare, rejection of the godly and of
the,quest for peace and the sanctity of a day like
the Sabbath, the background created in the De-
calogue for a day of rest.
Does one, therefore, welcome Shavuot with
despair? That would be delineating all the prin-
ciples of humaneness which must serve as the
very backbone of the festival now being observed

.

by the Jewish people. To fortify it and its ideals
there also must be a striving for peace, the re-
tention of hope that the basic ideals which dis-
tinguish Jewry are not to be abandoned on an
altar of destruction.
Shalom is a missing word that does not ap-
pear in the Decalogue. Nevertheless it is a basic
ideal that has become inseparable from Jewish
hopefulness for the dawning of a better day for
all mankind. Neither is amunah — faith — as
much as mentioned in the Ten Words. Neverthe-
less it is rooted in Jewish life and Jewish think-
ing.
Therefore even in the hours of agony for
many in the world, of danger for Jewry and oth-
ers, there can not be an abandonment of faith, a
sacrifice of the hope for justice and freedom, a
refusal to believe that peace will eventually
emerge.
Perhaps these are the ideas to be nurtured
on Shavuot, the Festival of the Law, in spite of
the transgressors. With faith one has hope } with
hope peoples and individuals carry on relent-
lessly. That's the spirit that motivates the Hag
Sameakh, the Happy Holiday greeting on' Sha-
vuot.

Crucial Days for M. E. and Mankind

Many decisions may be made between now
and the first 12 days in June to determine the
United States position in the Middle East, the
fate of Israel, the attitude of the Arabs and the
possible reactions that may reverberate from
the capitals of the world.
In the ensuing discussions and the specula-
tions that will surely be expressed in editorial
columns and by commentators on the news of
the world, Israel's status will be treated as if the
fate of the beleaguered little state may be at
stake. This factor must be disposed of at the out-
set. Israel has a determination to live and her
kinsmen are dedicated to the proposition that
there is to be no submission to suicide for a peo-
ple seriously endangered by neighbors who are
bent upon destroying the sovereignty of the
state.
Entering into the discussion, inevitably, is
the question of intransigence. Israel who is ac-
cused of it, whereas every voice from the antago-
nists shout jihad — holy war — and refuses to
recognize the very existence of the tiny Jewish
state.
Both factors—that of fate and of intransig-
ence—are incontrovertible factors in a tragic sit-
uation that can and should be resolved amicably.
As long, however, as Arabs who seek Israel's de-
struction refuse to discuss face to face with Is-
rael, the issue will be difficult to resolve.
Now the stage is being set for a series of
meetings by President Gerald Ford with Egypt's
President Anwar El Sadat in Salzburg to be fol-
lowed by meetings with Israel Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin in Washington. Once again, the
two contending factions will be worlds apart,
and the mediator is the President who rebuked
Israel as the intransigent while giving the im-
pression that the Egyptian was on the road to
peace.

Is it possible that President Ford and Secre-
tary of State Henry A. Kissinger who will join
him in . the deliberations in June are blind to
realities? Is it believable that they and others
not of the Israel and Arab ranks truly believe
that the Arabs are willing to speak of peace and
that Israel is the intransigent? Haven't they
studied the record as it has been chronicled in
recent years ?
The Arabs keep threatening a jihad while
Israel begs for recognition and for neighborli-
ness by the 120,000,000 antagonists with the
3,000,000 Israelis.
In 1972 Sadat boasted: "The most • splendid
_
thing our Prophet Mohammed did was to evict
them (the Jews) from the entire Arabian Penin-
sula." Asked by James Reston, in an interview
for the New Ydrk Times, in 1970, in response to
a question whether he would recognize Israel,
ever, even within the 1967 border, Sadat re-
plied: "Never, never, never!" Neither Sadat
nor his fellow potentates in Arabia have
changed their views. Yet they will be dealt with
as if they possess the will for peace and Israel is
the villain!
Such is the condition under which the early
June meetings are being convened. Perhaps the
Ford-Kissinger attitudes are treated unjustly.
But they must be confronted by facts, not fic-
tion.
American Jewry adheres to facts in stand-
ing by Israel in a time for crisis. The insistence
in the battle for justice for Israel is that fables
be abandoned, that peace aims be treated fairly,
justly, without rancor.
The crucial weeks ahead demand that the
American principle of fair play should not be
abandoned in Salzburg and in Washington. An
adherence to justice will assure fair play in Je-
rusalem and Cairo.

Walled Garden:' Cherished
Values of
Family Life

Family life as the cementing strength of togetherness for Jews is
usually demonstrated as a major factor of strength in the record of
Jewry. Is it a continuing source of wholesomeness that marks the
Jew's chief function in a troubled world?
Chaim Bermant, the eminent British Jewish novelist and essay-
ist, in one of his most impressive works, "The Walled Garden" (Mac-
millan), provides a history and a background of the cherished tradi-
tions. As the book's subtitle, "The Saga of Jewish Family Life and
Tradition" describes his analyses, the many aspects related to the
theme give emphasis to a most fascinating subject.
Beautifully illustrated with many appropriate pictures and 32
full pages of color portraits, the Bermant volume interprets the Jew-
ish experience from birth to the end of days, interspersed with all the
factors of a full Jewish life.
All'of the legacies relevant to the Jewish traditional practices are
formulated here to describe the Brit Mila, Bar Mitzva, wedding cere-
monies, the house of worship, the festivals.
To bring it up to date, the author also takes into account life in
Israel, with a descriptive essay on life in the Israeli kibutz.
With a sense of realism, Bermant defines the status of the Jew,
as reflected in family life, and he also poses some questions regarding
the rebellious and the challenges that relate to the currencies in world
pressures. Thus, he introduces his subject with this realism:
"To be part of a Jewish family is to be hemmed in, to a greater
or lesser degree, by history, by antecedent and precedent, by the
attitudes of past generations and responsibilities to future ones.
There are, indeed, families whose reverence for the past and the
future is so complete that they are almost bypassed by the present.
It would seem almost as if one had no life of one's own and even
where one was not consciously conforming to precedent, one be-
came conditioned by it.
Ours, more than any other, is the age of the individualist.
Each man does, or at least would like to do, according to that
which is right in his own eyes. The necessary restraints of family
life are resented and there has been a fairly widespread rebellion
against the very loyalties on which family life is based, for it is felt
that the sense of duty to kin that inculcates can mean a deficient
sense of duty to society, that the family that stays together `preys'

together.

External forces are also threatening the continuity of family
life: the erosion of faith; a decline in all forms of authority {per-
haps a by-product of the first); greater mobility, which makes it
easier for scattered members of a family to maintain contact, but
at the same time tends to scatter them; and above all, the pace of
change. One is born in one world, matures in another and dies in a
third. The present generation is not at all sure where it has been
or where it is going, let alone confident to direct the next. Can the
family withstand such pressures?"
There is no denuding, however, of the forces that emanate from
the established codes, from inherited beauties and devotions that
mark the power of Jewish sustenance.
The descriptions of family practices are fortified here also by the
evaluations that have as much merit as the historical and spiritual
analyses.
"The Walled Garden" (printed in Israel) is a powerful work that
will be cherished by readers in homes and schools. Its readership will
not be limited in value to Jews, since all faiths will benefit from the
knowledge this illustrative volume provides. It is a most worthy prod-i
uct for the spiritual bookshelf of the home and all libraries.

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