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January 02, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-01-02

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THE JEWISH NEWS

Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chrwricle commencing with the isslw ()J . Inty 20, 1951

Member American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association. National l',ditorial Association.
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co.. 17515 W. Nine Mile, Suite 865, Southfield, Mich. .18075.
Second-Class Postage Paid at Southfield, Michigan and Additional Mailing Offices. Subscription $10 a year.

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor and Publisher

.

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

DREW LIEBERWITZ

Business Manager

Advertising Manager

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

Sabbath Scriptural Selections

This Sabbath, the first da.y of Shevat, 5736, is Rosh. Hodesh Shevat, and the
following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:

Pentateuchal portion, Exodus 6:2-9:35. Prophetical portion, Exekiel 28:25-29:21.
Rosh. Hodesh selection, Num. 28:1-15.

Candle lighting, Friday, Jan. 2, 4:54 p.m. '

VOL.

LXV111, No. 17

Page Four

Friday, January.2, 1976

Politicization of Moralities

American Jewry may well become the cu- the problems, the tragedies and the war threats
riosity of a testing ground in which it will be the of the Middle East is nothing less than outra-
object of target practice by news analysts geous. It is a trend to be fought against, to be
rejected, to be challenged whenever efforts are
searching for targets in a political warfare.
being made to delimit Israel's needs and to delay
The presidential election year is certain to favorable action while awaiting election returns.
be viewed as a factor in the Middle East issue
The fact is that traditionally both political
and readers of newspapers and listeners to the parties have supported Israel, perhaps all presi-
commentators who are too often viewed as ex- dential candidates have sided with the moral is-
perts on all-too-many issues are certain to speak sues affecting Jews as citizens and as defenders
of the contest for the presidency as a game in of their Israeli kinsmen. Therefore any sugges-
quest for Jewish votes.
tion of the presidential election affecting the
Coming so soon after so many expressions status of Israel might be interpreted only as a
of contempt for the politicizing of moral issues warning that the incumbent and his Adminis-
at the United Nations, the similar trend, which tration are awaiting results and therefore are
has been condemned consistently in these col- delaying action and could be interpreted as their
saying to Jews, Israelis and all Americans:."Just
umns, is no less objectionable.
Politicization of moral issues, neglect in wait and see what we'll do when we are retained
consideration of the quest for justice and the in power!" But the present Administration is on
battle for life by a small people, denigration of record as pledging continuity in American-Is-
the great libertarian principles of the Zionist raeli friendships: therefore why the injection of
ideal — these are merged into an introduction of the political issue on that score? Is it the villainy
villainy in an American political 'campaign. It is of politicians or speculation of news commenta-
an anticipation that should encourage, educating tors seeking sensations? In either case, politiciz-
the voters to reject beating around the bushes at ing a vital issue affecting Israel and involving
a time when serious moral issues are at stake. more than five million American Jews is im-
Sorrowfully it must be admitted that the last moral and should be treated as immorality.
* * *
word is with the "experts" who choose to inject
Several occurences are not to be ignored in
political considerations into the morality of a
people's struggle for recognition of the desire to the consideration of the political speculations.
live as a small sovereign entity; and for its kins- The Ford-Kissinger attitudes have been ques-
men's right to protect and encourage that desire. tioned as to the threat of conflicts in dealing
with the Arab-Israel conflicts. White House
Additionally unfortunate is the admission messages to Prime Minister Rabin caused con-
that the White House and State Department sternation. Israel's Defense Minister Shimon
currently seem to be influenced by the myth of Peres returned to his homeland with a bitter
the Jewish vote and the mirage of Jewish voters taste caused by the negotiations with American
mobilizing an army to capture the White House. spokesmen. He was unhesitant in his assertion
An eminent retired columnist as much as sug- that the relationships between this country and
gested that there is an organized effort to harm Israel have become tense.
the incumbent, with a view of electing a Demo-
These are threatening moods. They are not
cratic administration, and many similar views the echoes of the great American experience of
are being bandied around in speculations about several decades of friendship for the Zionist
both parties. These are not only fables based ei- cause. They may be a result of oil choking, 'or
ther on venom or multiplied confusions, but truth suppression or politicizing of moral issues.
they invite suspicion of deliberateness in efforts
It is the latter that will be a bone of conten-
either to harm some candidates or, perhaps, to tion and a cause for concern and tension in the
undermine justice when applied to Israel.
year that has just commenced. The American
Politicizing the Jewish issue and the Jewish sense of fair play demands a battle to a finish
voters of this country in the process of viewing against such reduction of moralities in politics.

Crackpots on the Loose Again

Every period of economic decline can boast
of a crop of prognosticators. Inevitably, they are
prophets of doom and their visions of despair do
not always materialize, to the relief of the pan-
icked and frightened.
Unfortunately, in the instance of the Jews,
it is not always the economic need that creates
a crackpot ideology. The Arab propaganda has
not helped. The new racism in the ranks of those
who should have appreciated the role played by
Jews in fighting for civil rights and against bigo-
try has been harmful. Spread of myths becomes
a normality in a society already depressed by
vandalism and insecurities.
Now there is a spate of new destructive lu-
nacies, with Jews as targets. The mail is being
flooded again with anti-Semitic vulgarities,

tombstones haVe been damaged in cemeteries
and letter writers profit from freedom of the
press with their venomous tracts.
These are passing phases in American so-
ciety. The lunatic fringe is not defeatable. It
always finds some ready ears for its venom.

Nevertheless it is necessary to be on guard.
The courts do not always react properly out of a
desire to ignore the half-wits, and the police
have much to contend with in many other dem-
onstrations of indecency, immorality and law-
lessness. But when the anti-Semitic expressions
appear in the press or in public forums it is ur-
gent that they be refuted. That's a task the civic
protective agancies are designed and obligated
to pursue.

Traditional Jewish Lore
Defines 'How We Live'

Drawing upon Jewish traditions and the teachings emphasized in
Ethics of the Fathers (Pirke Abot), Carol Hulziger and Mary White-
head prepared a most fascinating work defining the Jewish way of
life.
In "How We Live: A Book About Ourselves," (Ktav), the two au-
thors drew upon basic Jewish ethical teachings to describe the Jewish
concerns, the festivals as they are emphasized in traditional observ-
ances, the obligations in Jewish living and the joys that accompany
them.
Commencing, appropriately, with "If I am not for myself what
am I, and if I am for myself alone what am I," they resort to many
ethical teachings as illustrations of the manner of Jewish living, pro-
viding a guide for pride and for pursuance of Jewish folkways.
With impressive illustrations by Ben Einhoen, this volume, writ-
ten for young readers, serves as a guide for all who seek knowledge
about the basics in Jewish living.

'Bar Mitzva Book' Includes
A Variety of Jewish Subjects

- History, religion, literature, art, archeology and many other sub-
jects are covered in "The Bar Mitzva Book," edited by Moira Paterson
(Praeger).
Actually, the large book, intended for young confirmands, could
be called an anthology of Jewish knowledge and fits well for wider
usage by all ages of people interested in Jewish developments and in-
terpretations of Jewish experiences.
The advisory board of editors attests to the concern shown in the
preparation of this work. It includes Dr. Eugene Borowitz, president
of the Religious Education Association and a member of the Jewish
Theological Seminary faculty; Dr. Nachum L. Rabinovitch, principal
of Jews College, London; and Dr. Louis I. Rabinowitz, former South
Africa Chief Rabbi.
Israel's role, the Zionist ideal and related subjects dealing with
the redemption of Zion have a good share of the contents. Repeatedly,
archeology receives proper consideration in the many essays by the
knowledgeable and authoritative contributors to this volume and the r
eminent scholars whose works are quoted.
The 210 black and white illustrations and the 32 color plates
therefore add splendidly to the impressive work.
The list of authors whose works appear in this attractive book
immediately enhances its totality. They include Martin Buber, Isaac
Babel, Moishe Nadir, Bernard Malamud, and many others. The inclu-
sion of notable Nadir and Babel stories inspires an interest in classics
by the Londoner and the Soviet Jewish writer.
Why is this a Bar Mitzva book? The introductory essay, "You, my
son, are the true king of Israel" is in a sense explanatory. It addresses
itself to the confirmand, it relates to the Bar Mitzva lad's need for
knowledge of his people and his heritage.
The youth also are introduced to the community, and the explana-
tory roles of communal functions assist the young lad as they do also
all readers of this volume.
This work is a combination of the factual and the fictional. It is
history and literature and relates the present to the heritage of the
Jewish people as it influences the present generation, with emphasis
ton youth as it emerges into manhood.

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