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September 10, 1976 - Image 28

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-09-10

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Friday, September 10, 1976

Young Druze Zionists Seek to Help Their Community



rocul—Guitar—Violin—Auto Drum

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(Editor's note: Some
weeks ago, M. Bernard
Resnikoff, director of the
American Jewish Commit-
tee office in Israel, learned
of the formation of "the
Druze Zionist Organiza-
tion." Intrigued by the
name, he looked into its ob-


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jectives, purposes and

business or the service
The Druze community,
numbering some 45,000
I met with seven mem- souls, is considered dif-
bers of the executive ferent from most other
committee, who came minorities. While others
from four different Druze have an ancestral home-
villages to meet with me land, to which, theoreti-
in Dalia El Carmel. All of cally,- they may return,
them are in their thirties, the Druze have no home-
above average in educa- land. Thus, they develop
tion and income, who fierce attachments to the
have achieved some country in which they re-
prominence either in side, and they consider
themselves full-fledged
Michigan Youths
Sharing with Jews a
in Israel Program
history of persecution,
NEW YORK — A total they see themselves be-
of four young people from nefiting from every. ad-
Michigan, Judith Boig- vance in Israeli society. If
non of Oak Park, Loran E. the Law of Return helps
Cutsinger, Audrey Gef- populate the country,
fen, and Peter A. Levine then the Druze commu-
of Ann Arbor are among nity benefits. In the same
the 62 young college way, they benefit from
graduates currently pre- economic improvement,
paring to begin nine from greater security and
months of professional from growing strength in
service in Israel. They are every sector.
in Israel as part of Sherut
In this sense, they are
La'am, a program that Zionists. After all, they
has been run by the said in answer to my
American Zionist Youth question, aren't there
Foundation since 1965.
other non-Jewish
The volunteers are cur- Zionists?
rently participating in a
They don't want favors.
three-month ulpan prior They don't want
to receiving their work privileges. They simply
assignments, which will want to be full citizens of
begin in the middle of Oc- the country, enjoying what
tober. Comprising three is available to the other
married couples plus 38 citizens.
single women and 18
Because they share
single men, the group has certain cultural traits
been in Israel since July with the Arabs of Israel,
they are identified by the
The majority of the Jews of the country as
.volunteers will be work- Arabs. Actually, how-
ing in social service jobs, ever, Arabs never treated
such as teaching English, the Druze decently and so
social work, and commun- they infinitely prefer to
ity center positions.
identify with the Jews.
In addition to the social One suggested way to
services, other fields in break this impasse is for
which qualified volun- the government to stop
teers expect to be placed serving the Druze com-
include medicine and city_ munity through its Arab

Restricted Money
Used by Brandeis

(JTA) — A substantial
gift rejected by Brandeis
University 20 years ago
because it specified use
only for Jewish students
has now been accepted
after an Illinois court dec-
ision which removed the
religious restrictions.
The gift, now valued at
nearly $200,000, will be
used as a scholarship
fund honoring the mem-
ory of Martha and Alex
Braun of Chicago.
When Mrs. Braun died
in 1955, her will provided
for the gift to Brandeis on
the death of three other
beneficiaries, with the
proviso that the money go
eventually to Jewish stu-
The university sought
to remove the religious
restriction through a spe-
cial petition which main-
tained that lifting re-
strictions "in the public
interest" did not alter the
spirit in which the gift
was made. A Cook County
court recently ruled in
the university's favor.
Funds from the Braun es-
tate, all directed to the
scholarship program, are
now being received by the

Some of the problems
affecting the Druze in-
clude land appropriation,
about which the Druze
feel strongly, and they
cannot understand why
land is taken from them
to be transferred to, for
example, a Russian im-
migrant. In the same
way, they cannot under-
stand why a young Druze,
who filled his three-year
committment to the
army, does not benefit
from the proferred help
given to young couples for
the acquisition of apart-
They point out, rather
proudly, that there is no
yerida (emigration)
among the Druze, that
they are attached to the
land as fiercely as are the
Jews, and they also have
nowhere to go.
priorities are:
• Improvement of edu-
cational services, espe-
cially on the elementary
school level.
• Development of rec-
reational and leisure-
time services for the
• Promotion of Druze
• Development of busi-
ness and commerce (so
that a young Druze c an
work in or near his vil-
• Housing — they can't
get loans without a per-
mit, and they can't get a
• Agriculture — there is
not enough water_and not
enough equipment.
The Druze Zionists

want to live in a Jewish
state, and they want to
strengthen Jewish life in
In answer to my ques-
tions, they said the Druze
Zionist organization is
now some five months old
and has set up an advisory
council of 21, of which five
elected members sit on the
executive committee.
The Druze elders have
expressed no objection to
the creation of the or-
ganization and would
even be willing to help, if
they were asked.
They agreed with my
comment that, in a sense,
the Druze problem is a
Jewish problem and they
allowed that they are
creating a cooperative
Jewish advisory body, to
which nine prominent
Jews have already been
They have not yet re-
ceived much help from
those Druze who are in
the government (includ-
ing the advisor on minor-
ity affairs to the presi-
dent) and they could use
such help, but are reluc-
tant to accept it, because
they want to stay apoliti-
cal and do not want to be
beholden to anyone.
These young Druze are
bright, rational, intelli-
gent and moderate. If the
government is wise, it will
start addressing itself a
little bit more to the
legitimate complaints of
the Druze community,
before, out of frustration,
it begins to emulate some
of the more violent
methods recently em-
ployed by the Moslem
citizens of Israel.

Two Talmuds Are Described


(Copyright 1976, JTA, Inc.)

There are two Talmuds,
a. Babylonian Talmud and
a Palestinian Talmud.
During the period of the
development of the Tal-
mud from about the Sec-
ond to the Fifth Century
CE, there were two major
intellectual centers of
Jewish learning. One was
in Palestine and the other
was in Babylonia.
•' The Talmud, being a
discussion and develop-
ment of the code of the
Mishnaic law, thus was
developed independently
in these two Torah cen-
The Babylonian Talmud
has discussions on all six
"orders" (volumes) of the
Mishna, while the
Jerusalem Talmud has lit-
erature on only four of
them. •
There seems to be more
profound discussions in
the Babylonian Talmud
because there was less
pressure from persecu-
tions in Babylonia than in
Jerusalem. Since the
Babylonian Talmud was
compiled and completed
at a later date (the
scholars were not as hur-
ried and had more time to
work on it) the final
Halakhic law usually is
the one promulgated by
the Babylonian Talmud
in preference to that of
the Palestinian Talmud.

It also should be noted
that there were many
scholars who traveled be-
tween these two centers
of learning, and thus
there are many •
similiarities because of
the exchange of views
and opinions between the
scholars of both centers.
It also should be noted
that the Jerusalem Talmud
has more extensive- dis-
cussion on the section of
the Mishna which deals
with agricultural religious
obligations (Z'raim). This
was because the people in
Israel were more involved
with agricultural religious
the people of the Jewish
faith in Babylonia. Also,
there were certain laws
pertaining to agriculture
outside of Israel.
- In recent years more
attention has been given
to the scholarship of the
Palestinian Talmud
which is providing in-
teresting knowledge
about the development of
Jewish Law and thinking
in that part of the Jewish
world at that time.

Invest In Books

Spend your money on
good books and you'll find
its equivalent in gold of
A fish, a serpent, and a
swine gain in strength as
they grow older.
—The Talmud

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