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June 27, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-06-27

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THE JEWISH NEWS

Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle coin mencing with the issue (if July 2(1. 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 titi5, Southfield.
-1S075.
Second-Class Postage Paid at Southfield. Michigan and Additional Mailing Offices. Subscription $10 a ycar.

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor and Publisher

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

DREW LIEBERWITZ

Business Manager

Alan, Hitsky. News Editor . . . Heidi l'ress. kssi.t ant

Advertising Manager

\CIA

Editor

SABBATH SCRIPTURAL SELECTIONS

This Sabbath, the 19th day o.t. Tammuz, 5735, the j011owilly scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuch& portion, Num. 25:10 - 30:1. Prophetical portion, Jeremiah

Candle lighting. Friday. June 27. 8:51 pan.

OL. L\% II, No. 16

Page Four

Friday. June 27. 1975

Friendships: Politically Motivated

Secret diplomacy is making new strides in
- the Middle East. It appears, however, also to be
greatly enmeshed in conflicting standards and
inconsistencies.
President Ford has enthusiastic reports
about the Egyptian ruler; he joins in smiles for
the Israeli representative, and with regard to
the latter there now emerge the "leaks" about
toughness, serenity, pressure: in other words,
the bowing with the Moslem, the gloom for the
Jew.
Perhaps these impressions given by knowl-
edgeable newsmen are exaggerated. There are
newly spreading suspicions and an attitude
which Arab propagandists have described as an
erosion in the anti-Arab sentiments. Neverthe-
less, the prospects, as evidenced by the "reas-
sessments," is grave, and the position of Israel
must not be viewed with too much overconfi-
dence.
The business of an erosion in anti-Arab
press attitudes calls for a corrective warning.
The situation in the Middle East is too serious to
tolerate prejudices one way or another. Jews
generally join with their- Israeli-kinsmen in
hopes for justice and for the minimal one can
expect in human ranks: recognition of Israel's
right to live and to function as a sovereign body.
If there are anti-Arab sentiments they exist
only to the extent of opposition to aims to de-
stroy Israel. Utilization of the new type of prop-
aganda is merely a means to undermine the ex-
istence of a progressive community in the
Middle East.
The attitudes in the White House and the
State Department provide special causes for
concern. The requests from Israel, and from
Jewry on behalf of Israel, are only for means for
defense, with Israelis defending themselves. The
world arsenal is operating on an overtime basis
to provide the arms for Israel's enemies, and
American military bases are training experts

for the threatening Middle East war machine.
Rebukes and taunts directed at Israel do not
provide comfort in a situation that could border
on new tragedies.
The new concerns are obviously under-
standable. The public handshake and clanking
of glasses in salutes energize smiles for televi-
sion cameras, but the aftermath, the revelation
of new pressures, the intimidations — these
serve to add suspicion to doubt and concern to
unavoidable fears.
Emphasis in Israel and in American Jewish
ranks is on the traditional friendship between
this country and Israel. If responsible American
leaders will permit suspicions to creep_into
Jewish 'ranks, thereby creating doubts about
A most notable contribution to rabbinic literature is evidenced in
American sincerity in such a relationship, then
both the President and the State Department the newest volume issued by the Jewish Publication Society.
"Pesikta de-Rab Kahana — R. Kahana's Compilation of Dis-
will be held responsible for a diminution of good courses
for Sabbaths and Festivals," translated by Dr. Wiliam G.
relations between the two friendly nations.
Braude and Dr. Israel J. Kapstein presents for the first time in an
Israel is on the spot, the Arab states are _English text the rabbinic discourses delivered in Palestinian syn-
being tested for a human response to concur in agogues and schools during the first five centuries of the Common
Israel's right to exist, and the Unified States,- as Era.
The translators add great significance to the volume. Their schol-
Israel's only defending friend on the interna-
arly
backgrounds attest to a notable achievement by two most-quali-
tional scene, is being watched as a major factor fied men
of learning.
in a world crisis whose decisions will most seri-
Dr. Braude, rabbi emeritus of Congregation Sons of Israel and
ously affect the future. American officials know David, is the translator of two other classics. "The Midrash on -
full well that only a stroug_Israel can serve as a Psalms" and "Pesikta Rabbati," both published by Yale University
deterrent to renewed attacks; that a weak Israel Press and highly acclaimed.
will invite new warfare; and America's responsi-
Dr. Kapstein is professor emeritus of English at" Brown Univer-
bility is to assure provisions for Israel to assure sity, is author of many scholarly essays, short stories and poems and
the much-desired continuation of non-belliger- of a novel, "Something of a Hero."
The translators make the important observation that "Pesikta de-
ence.
Rab Kahana" is "a bridge between the Jewish past and the Jewish
American sentiments, as evidenced in the present, a bridge between Jewish thought and the world's understand-
overwhelming support for Israel stemming from ing of Judaism, a bridge between Jews and all those who are not Jews
the U.S. Congress, is the guide for White House but share with them the heritage of Jewish Scripture and the teach-
and State Department. Will there be obstruc- ings of the Rabbis."
Long known only to scholars and specialists, the work is a verita-
tions from the Executive Branch of this nation?
Such doubts must be obviated promptly and ble treasure of homiletic commentary on Scripture. The present tran-
speedily. This makes the American obligation slation — the first into English — restores the work to a more popu-
lar audience. This is only fitting, for in. their original oral form the
much more serious than Israel's.–

Rabbis' 5-Decade Discussions
For Sabbaths and Festivals

Rescue Urgent for Syrian Jewry

Of the 850,000 Jews in Arab lands in 1948, less
than 50,000 remain today, and the most op-
pressed are the 4,500 Jews who still live in Syria.
There is tyranny in Syria, and the tyrants
were given comfort on one of the most - impor-
tant television programs by a nationally promi-
nent director and producer.
An issue has been created that causes serious
concern. The demand for a correction in the situ-
ation that has thus been created is not unrea-
sonable. The American Jewish Congress atti-
tude is one that calls for truthful evaluation of
a virtual imprisonment of 4,500 Jews by a gov
ernment that has robbed them of all civic and
religious rights but has found a way of coercing
a handful of the sufferers into submission for
the subversion of the true facts.
Freedom actions inIehalf of Syrian Jews
were instituted as soon as the tortuous persecu-
tions became known. For a number of years spe-
cial action groups have been formulating ap-
peals in behalf of the Syrian Jews. The
movement must be accentuated and in the proc-
ess every effort must be made to correct the
misinformation that has been broadcast on tele-
vision. The Jews of Syria can be rescued only if

the emphasis will be on truth. There must be no
cessation to demands for the facts to refute the
canards that support terrorism.
The revelation of the tragic events in Syria by
an escapee from the tyranny, published in last
week's issue of this newspaper, should - serve as
added incentive to reveal the facts and to strive
for their right to emigrate.

The End of June

"What is so rare as a day in June" is now
being transformed in the Jewish community
into a blessing that the month is ending. So
many fund-raising functions marked the last
four weeks that evidence of "being tired" is on
the record.
The reason for the massive events in a sin-
gle month was the discipline that forced supple-
mentary campaigns to be postponed until after
the Allied Jewish Campaign's tasks have been
completed. Such a cooperative spirit is to be
commended.
Perhaps the summer can now be devoted to
planning the evaluation of the community's cul-
tural and spiritual needs.

discourses, designed for the pleasure and instruction of the general
Jewish public, were eagerly attended. As noted in the introduction to
the "Pesikta de-Rab Kahana," "Audiences often broke into applause at
the skill of the preachers . . . and their appearance at synagogues and
houses of study frequently outdrew the attendance at Roman theaters
and circuses."
The work is attributed to R. Kahana, a Fifth Century Palestinian
sage, who collected the discourses (known as piskas) from his contem-
poraries, edited and arranged them, chronologically and topically, as
they appear in the current translation.
"Pesikta de-Rab Kahana" compiles 500 years of oral commentar-
ies diligently formulated by rabbis and scholars who gathered in the
houses of study throughout the various communities. Firm in the con-
viction that every word and phrase in the Torah was infused with
infinite and inexhaustible meaning, these masters devotedly probed
the depths of Scripture. Yet, far from being scholarly recluses, they
actively participated in the daily community life and events that de--
termined the history of the Jewish people.
Although the "Pesikta's" primary purpose was the religious in-
struction of the Jewish people, it provides innumerable glimpses into
the political and social environment of Israel in the time of the Rabbis,
which prove fascinating to modern readers. Zealous to make God's
precepts living realities in the day-to-day life of Israel, the Rabbis
embellished their discourses with biographical anecdotes, accounts of
miracles, vivid descriptions of contemporary activities, historical ob-
servations, and practical advice.
However, the root of the work is Torah, not only the interweaving
of scriptural narrative and doctrine, but also the rich medley of fable
and legend, of history and tradition, of speculation and interpretation
that accumulated around the Hebrew Bible over centuries. Hence, un-
derlying each piska's presentation of its special holiday subject there
is a broader theme that unifies the individual homilies — man's, par-
ticularly Israel's, spiritual journey from the creation to the coming of
the Messiah.

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