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June 20, 1975 - Image 4

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The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-06-20

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4 Friday, June 20, 1975

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

THE JEWISH NEWS

Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with the issue offuly 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 s65, Southfield, Midi. -18075.
Second-Class Postage Paid at Southfield, Michigan and Additional Mailing Offices. Subscription $10 a year.

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

Editor and Publisher

Business Manager

Ilan Ilitsky,

:\ CIA S

DREW LIEBERWITZ

Advertising Manager

Editor.. . . Heidi Press. %,sistant Nt.'s,- Editor

SABBATH SCRIPTURAL SELECTIONS

This Sabbath, the 12th day of Tammuz, 5 735,
the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Num. 19:1 - 25:9. Prophetical
portion, Micah 5:6 - 6:8. Fast of the 17th of Tam mux Thursday:
Pentateuchal portion, Exod. 32:1144; 34:1-10. Prophetical portion (afternoon only), Isaiah .55:6 56:8.

Candle lighting, Friday, June 20, 8:53 p.m.

LVV11, No. 15

Page Four

-

Friday, June 20, 1975

Collective Concern for Synagogues

Faith in the status of the synagogue and con-
fidence in the continuity of the spiritual and cul-
tural aspects of one of Detroit's major congrega-
tional entities — Adat Shalom — provides
heartening sentiments for the entire Greater
Detroit*community. Adat Shalom, under able
lay leadership and inspired direction of Rabbi
Jacob E. Segal, has been a bulwark of strength
for Jewry. That aspect of major Jewish concern
remains intact, in gratitude to the devotions of
those who are faced with the serious responsibil-
ities of retaining priority for the house of wor-
ship and its related educational functions in a
synagogue that has been put to the test and is
not found wanting.
The experience of this large congregational
body serves as a valuable guide for future ac-
tions in relation to the planning for future reli-
gious activities in this and in other American
Jewish communities.
Perhaps it is inopportune at this time to de-
plore the faults related to the edifice complex
that had engulfed a generation that was en-
gaged in constructing vast structures, for reli-
gious worship and for other purposes. If, as ac-
knowledged, the error of vastness should have
been avoided, it is all-too-late to cry over spilt
energies that can not be regained. If the noose is
already tight around the necks of the blunder-
ers, it should serve as an admonition to prevent
repetition of mistakes of the past.
Unquestionably, planning of large structures
for two- or three-day-a-year observers of Jewish
religious obligations may have been at the root
of the problem. If such limitations are unavoida-
ble, then the provision of large structures for the
mass of worshipers should at least have been
planned in accordance with the year-round
needs. If the beth tefila, the house of worship, is
secondary to the beth midrash, the house of
learning, then planning must be for the major
need.
Doubtless, neighborhood changes, the migra-
tions from abandoned to new sections in a large
community, contributed to the aim of syn-
agogue-minded people to build anew, and the
temptation always is to build big, to provide the

best facilities, to aim for the most comfortable.
That trend has not ended. While there are merg-
ers of some synagogues, the totality of the need
should be taken into consideration; and, in fu-
ture planning, if new edifices can be avoided by
encouraging additional mergers, such duties
should be considered in all seriousness.
In view of the encouraging formation of
rabbinic and lay leadership councils, represent-
ing the three major factions in Jewry, the re-
sponsibility devolves upon them to undertake
new tasks as communal planners to guide those
engaged in new tasks to avoid the errors of the
past, to merge when possible, to abandon the
complex of straining for vast structures, to build
humbly and frugally. Primarily, the objectives
must be with emphasis on the school and the
educational factors.

'The Polish Lad,' Controversial
Novel in JPS English Edition

A famous satiric novel, "The Polish Lad," by Isaac Joel Linetski,
has just been issued in a translation from the Yiddish by Moshe
Adat Shalom has a commendable record of Spiegel.
The new Jewish Publication Society book of fiction was first pub-
service to the community. The congregation that
lished
in 1867 as a serial in Kol Mevasser,- the Odessa Yiddish maga-
is now emerging out of its difficulties has been
a strong factor in espousing assistance to Israel zine. Widely reprinted in at least 30 editions until 1939, it drew wide
attention for its depiction of a Hasidic environment in a small Polish
while it placed emphasis on enriching educa- Jewish
community.
tional programs. Its leadership remains dedi-
The author drew upon his own personal experiences to describe
cated to the obligations to uphold Jewish tradi- the life he delineated.
tions. It needs the community's encouragement
Because of the stormy controversy the novel provokes in Eastern
and the good news about its solvency provides European Jewish ranks, "The Polish Lad" now gains renewed import-
renewed faith in the synagogue's Jewish fellow ance as a work of fiction in the era of Yiddish language strength.
citizens.
"The Polish Lad" constitutes a vigorous polemic waged by the au-
The community at large must, indeed, con- thor against the exaggerated piety, the fanaticism, and the prevailing
sider seriously all aspects of over-all planning. superstitions of his Hasidic milieu — his heritage from birth and his
With priority given to Israel and the needs of the torment throughout life. Yet, Linetski battles his personal persecutors
Jewish state, there has not been and there must it the armor of wit and humor, whose special bite is faithfully ren-
not be a reduction of support for the institutions dered in the present translation.
Critic Charles Madison, in his study "Yiddish Literature: Its
on the American scene. The synagogue retains
the major role in such needs. Israel will be Scope and Major Writers," notes this "acidulous mockery" in Linet-
strong as long as the Jewish communities in the ski's work but emphasizes that the "net effect of the book, . . . was
Diaspora retain their vitality. Towards such an wholesome . . . Even Hasidim, who denounced the book publicly, read
end, a strong Adat Shalom, as a link in a it with great interest."
Another student of Jewish letters, Leo Wiener, in his "History of
strengthened Diaspora Jewry is urgent in the
planning for a vitalized American Jewry. In the Yiddish Literature," notes that "The Polish Lad" is "a valuable cyclo-
paedia of the life and thought of (Linetski's) contemporaries in which
process of such an assured wholesomeness in one
get information on the folklore, games, education, supersti-
Jewish affairs, Adat Shalom's confidence in a tions, may
and habits of his people in the middle of the (Nineteenth) Cen-
brighter future does much to assure retention of tury."
the dignity of Jewish life in the American
This edition of "The Polish Lad," which includes a critical intro-
sphere.
duction by Milton Hindus, professor of English at Brandeis Univer-
sity, is part of the ongoing effort by the Jewish Publication Society to
make available to English readers important fictional classics in He-
brew and Yiddish.

Hatreds at Root of M. E. Agonies

Time must serve as healer of wounds. This is
especially true in the Middle East. It is too early
to judge the Ford-Sadat-Rabin exchanges of
views and the solutions that may emerge from
them.
Whatever hopefulness develops as a result of
American intercessions, the fact remains that
the chief cure lies in cementing good will be-
tween the kindred peoples in the Middle East.
The agony is greatly aggravated by the
hatreds that have ensued. The young generation
of Arabs has been imbued with such deep-rooted
prejudices that it is difficult to judge the future
other than strewn with obstacles. The present is
a situation marred by the venom that has been
injected in two generations.
Israel, tragically, serves as a unifying force
among Arabs. Had it not been for the hatred for
Israel that unites them, feuding Arabs would be
destroying one another. But the venom is so bit-
ter that a philosophy of terrorism ensues, ap-

parently as an aim of obstructing peace. There-
fore the attacks on Mettula and Nahariah in the
past weekend marked renewed hatred instead of
an effort at reaching even a minute measure of
accord.
What's the solution? If industrial and com-
mercial relations could be established between
Israel and the Arab antagonists, on a scale simi-
lar to the Open Bridges programs between Israel
and Jordan; if tourism were to be encouraged
between Israel and the Arab states; and if there
were to be an extension of inter-cultural ex-
changes and freedom of choice of universities by
students of all lands in all the existing colleges,
there surely would emerge a better understand-
ing.
Presently direct talks between Jews and Ar-
abs have become impossibilities. At best, they
are delayed. But this block on the road to peace
might be overcome if business and cultural rela-
tions were to be established. Perhaps solutions
will come in these forms.

History of Venice Jewry

One of the classics from the library of works by the late Dr. Cecil
Roth is made available in a reprinted paperback by Schocken Books.
"History of the Jews in Venice," first published by the Jewish
Publication Society of America in 1950, is a noteworthy study of an
historic community.
In this work, Dr. Roth traced the background of Jewish settle-
ment in Venice, described life in the ghetto, its famous synagogue and
the spiritual aspects that made the canal city attract "some of the
most vivid personalities in the whole range of Jewish history. At the
same time, it developed a social life of extraordinary warmth and in-
terest . . ."
Cecil Roth, in "History of the Jews in Venice" focuses on the da
to-day life of the Jews and their institutions. He tells of the role Jews
played in Venetian life generally, but for the most part describes their
organizational and institutional life and portrays many fascinating
people — merchants and scholars — who were associated with the
ghetto.
It is in this respect, as a social history of a Jewish community
sharing much in common with other Jewish communities of the period
— approximately 800 to 1500 CE — that "History of the Jews in Ven-
ice" shows its importance.

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