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July 16, 1976 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-07-16

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

1- 14 'Friday, :holy 16 1976

THE DETROIT 'JEWISH NEWS

Did You Hear About the Women Rabbis?

BY DAVID SCHWARTZ

(Copyright 1976, JTA, Inc.)

So now we hear one rab-
binical college has three
women students. Perhaps
the libbers will be demand-
ing that we stop saying
Amen and say A-woman.
There is another problem?
If the woman becomes a
rabbi, will her husband be a
rebitzin? Probably a lot of
men would not object. The
rebitzen was highly re-
garded.
The idea of women minis-
ters is not so new really. It
goes back to the days of
Moses. The Midrash says

.

that when the Jews came
out of Egypt, Moses first ad-
dressed the women regard-
ing them as the real teach-
ers of the faith, since they
would have the main care of
the spiritual rearing of the
children.
In Talmud days, rabbis
were just workmen. Hillel
was a woodchopper;
Joshua, a shoe maker,
another Joshua, a black-
smith; Hosia, a laundry
man; Yehuda, an apothe-
car y.
Maybe the reason women
were not rabbis, was the
same reason women were

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not blacksmiths. Perhaps, if
there had been Day Care
Centers, they might have
been rabbis.
In Talmud days, rabbis
received no pay. They
usually worked at some sec-
ular occupation for their
sustenance.
It was said of one rabbi, if
it weren't for the many fast
days, he would have starved
to death. The Chafetz
Chayim, one of the great Or-
thodox pillars of the laSt
century, ran a little store,
but when business got good
— he closed it. Some were
patronizing it because he
was a rabbi — and he
thought this was unfair to
his competitor.
The position of rabbi is
different from that of the
clergymen of other faiths.
The rabbi has no special
function at the service. He
can deliver a sermon but
that is not a requisite. He
is simply available at the
Orthodox service, if any-
one has a religious prob-
lem.
There was for instance,
the fellow who left Judaism
but later sought to return.
He asked the rabbi. "I will
look it up in the Gem Ge-
mara. Come back at the end
of the month," said the
rabbi. At the end of the
month the fellow is back.
The rabbi says it is okay —
he can start going to the
synagogue again. But now
the fellow asks if his rein-

statement can be delayed
for a month. His wife has a
jug of pickled ham and they
would like to finish it off
first.
Among Hasidim, the
rebbe, may on occasion do a
little miracle to help along a
member. A woman once
told her rebbe that she suc-
ceeded in giving birth to a
son without rabinical inte-
recession.
"Sometimes," the rabbi
explained, "God wants to
show He can do a miracle
just like the rabbi."
In the more assimilated
environment of today,
there have been more
marked changes in the
service. Dr. Abraham
Feldman writing of the
changes in the rabbinate
tells of the boy who ex-
plained the difference be-
tween the rabbi and the
cantor. "The cantor sings
and the rabbi tells what
page to turn to."
"Rabbi," said a member
of a congregation, "I heard
your sermon yesterday and
lay awake all night."
"Well," said the rabbi,
"my sermon must have
given you food for thought."
"It is not that," said the
member. "You see when I
sleep during the day, I can't
sleep at night."
At one modern congrega-
tion, it is said, they have a
wonderful set of buttons.
You press one button, and a
prayer book appears, press
another button and you get
a talith. One time a member
pressed the wrong button
and the rabbi disappeared •

Ex-JDC Leader
Pleads Innocent

WASHINGTON (JTA) —
Dr. William Perl, the
70-year-old former national
chairman of the Jewish De-
fense League, pleaded not
guilty in U.S. District Court
in Baltimore to charges of
"conspiracy to fire shots at
the apartment" of two So-
viet Embassy officials. A
pre-trial hearing was set for
Aug. 10 for lawyers to file
motions in the case.
Perl was arrested June 29
by FBI agents in connection
with allegations that shots
were fired May 23 at an
apartment occupied by two
Soviet second secretaries
here. He is free on $20,000
bail.



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4

9,

Study Shows Israel Students'
View of U.S. Jews Is Slanted

NEW YORK (JTA) — Is-
raeli students receive a
skimpy and unbalanced
view of the history and ac-
complishments of American
Jewry in their high school
studies, due primarily to the
inadequate material on the
subject found in Israeli his-
tory texts.
This finding was reported
by the Israel office of the
American Jewish Commit-
tee, which recently released
a two-year study on
"Teaching About American
Jewry in Israeli High
Schools."
The study, which was fi-
nanced by a grant from the
AJCommittee's Jacob Blau-
stein Institute for the Ad-
vancement of Human
Rights, was conducted by
Reuven Surkis, director of
the Historical Society of Is-
rael. -
In an introduction to the
study, Dr. M. Bernard Res-
nikoff, director of the
AJCommittee's Israel of-
fice, pointed out that the
poor information that Is-
raeli students have about
Jews in the United States,
as revealed in the study,
adversely affects the under-
standing of the Jewish com-
munity in the U.S. by Is-
raeli Jews and therefore
makes their compatability
more difficult.

He expressed the hope
that the study "will sensi-
tize teachers, curriculum
planners and others to the
need for concerted im-
provement in this crucial
area of education."

Analyzing the textbook
materials used, Surkis
found specific deficiencies.
These included: key con-
cerns of American Jews,
American pluralism, the
pervasiveness of the general
culture, and church-state
separation are inadequately
discussed. Some texts relate
the history of American Je-
wry completely separa
from the life of other Jewi
communities, and make nu
comparisons. The relation-
ships between American
Jews and other ethnic
groups in the U.S. are neg-
lected. The texts generally
question the viability of
pluralism in the U.S. and
question whether it is possi-
ble to cultivate Jewish life in
America. An undue empha-
sis is given to anti-Semitism
in the U.S.

In his interviews with the
212 Israeli high school his-
tory teachers, about 10 per-
cent of the total number in
the country, Surkis found
that only two teachers had
taken a course on American
Jewry in university studies.

Jewish Doctors Studied
Warsaw Ghetto Starvation

In the middle of the War-
saw Ghetto tragedy a deter-
mined group of Jewish
physicians, forced into the
situation by circumstance,
undertook a study of the ef-
fects of starvation on hu-
man beings. Their 265-page
book was entitled "Charobo
Glodowa," and according to
an Aug. 1975 review in The
New England Journal of
Medicine by Doctors Fran-
cis Moore and Jan Dmo-
chowski, it was smuggled
out of the ghetto in 1943 and
published in Polish in 1946
through the aid of the
"American Joint Commit-
tee."
The studies were con-
ducted in 1942 when hospi-
tals still had limited facili-
ties. The study was
terminated abruptly when
the hospital was liquidated
by the Nazis.
The average daily intake
of the starving was 600 to
800 calories. The cases stud-
ied were selected by Jewish
physicians from the pa-
tients sent to the hospitals.
Those with signs of ad-
vanced starvation, but with-
out complicating diseases,
were placed in separate
wards to avoid disease infec-
tion. Treatment was limited
because of severe shortages
of food in the hospitals.
The results of the study
were surprising. The
usual diseases associated

NEW YORK — After 23
year-old Leonid Kovner told
authorities it would be
senseless to carry out their
punitive army draft against
him because he wished to go
to Israel, he was taken to
the military registration
office, where 50 war veter-
ans had assembled.
The surprise "court" de-
clared he should be stripped
of his university degree and
reserve officer's rank and
that he should be guilty of a
criminal offense for refus-
ing conscription.

with over-crowding; ty-
phoid, typhus, meningitis
and tuberculosis were not
particularly common in
the victims studied.

Crush the head of the best
serpent.
—The Talmud

The doctors reported,
"The ability to fight was fin-
ally demonstrated in this

starved population, who
fought with great vigor and
determination, despite their
certain knowledge of hope-
lessness. This finding dem-
onstrated that in semi-star-
vation, not only is
immunology given a high
priority in the bodily econ-
omy, but likewise the pres-
ervation of muscle protein
and of cerebral function."
The study, said the re-
viewers, despite the fact
that it records a tragedy,
fills a needed place in the
literature on the subject and
on the Warsaw Ghetto. The
21 physicians who took part
in the study themselves died
in the holocaust.

Industrial Plant
Built in Israel

NEW YORK — REFAC
Technology Development
Corporation, an interna-
tional technology transfer
company, has announced
the completion of its first
manufacturing plant to b.
built in Israel. The plant, I
cated near Haifa, has bee
initially set up to product:
"Heli-Coil" screw thread
fasteners, which are widely
employed as original design
components of aircraft,
electronic instrumentation,
and industrial equipment in
general.
After immediate "Heli-
Coil" objectives are accom-
plished, the company in-
tends to manufacture other
specialty mechanical and
electro-mechanical compo-
nents for Israeli industries
as well as for export mar-.
kets.

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