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December 23, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1977-12-23

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Sabbath Scriptural Selections

This Sabbath, the 14th day of Tevet, 5738, the following scriptural selections will be read
in our synagogues: Pentateuchal portion, Genesis 47:28 - 50:26. Prophetical portion, I Kings 2:1 - 12.

Candle lighting, Friday. Dec. 23. 4:47 p.m.

VOL. LXXII, No. 16

Page Four

Friday, December 23, 1977

A Campaign in a Global Role

While all eyes are on Cairo, with intermittent
interest poised on Jerusalem and Washington,
there are other areas of importance in the great
drama now being enacted in the hoped-for
peace the Middle East. It is the vital factor
involving the kinsmen of the Israelis, with spe-
cial emphasis on American Jewry.
Israel could not possibly operate for - any
peace effort unless it emanated from strength.
While security spells military power, there is
another form of strength, with the economic and
social involvements. The comfort Israel ac-
quired from supporting Jewries, the encour-
agement and assistance that came from the
largest Jewish community in the world, U.S.
Jewry, surely gave to Israel the confidence that
is such a vital necessity in efforts like the
present and those that preceded them in the
tasks for survival and normal existence.
Greater Detroit Jewry last week provided an
example of the sort of comfort that must come
from the Jewries of the world
_ in the process
urgency that Israel retain the vitality that is of
such great importance in the negotiating proc-
esses for an accord with a former enemy. A
weakened Israel would be menaced under any
conditions, and a proud Israel that is able to
meet a former foe with dignity must have the
socio-economic confidence that gives self-
respect to the nation in quest for security.
The encouragement that went forth from this
community to the people of Israel was so effec-
tive that it must have served as a clarion call to
all communities to be partners in the message
or cheer to the Israelis in an hour of great
enthusiasm over the endorsements that are
being gained for amity where there previously
was anger and suspicion.
Under the general chairmanship of Phillip
Stollman and Philip Warren, an army of work-
ers has set forth to make the message of cheer
to Israel one of great realism. The record-
breaking sum subscribed at the Campaign-open-
ing function augurs a notable success for the
drive now in progress. What the introductory
achievement here philanthropically means is
that the people of Israel are assured that their
hands will be upheld in the tasks ahead. It
means that Israel's social services will be pro-
vided with the assistance needed to reduce want
among the newcomers who are settling in
Israel. It means that Israel's universities may
secure the help needed to assure the highest
standards in scholastic programming. It means
that the economic want that exists in Israel
may, as it should, be alleviated.
Coinciding with the initial Allied Jewish Cam-
paign efforts undertaken here, the United Jew-
ish Appeal held its annual conference in New
York to plan the nationwide drives. An appeal
addressed to that conference by Israel's Prime
Minister Menahem Begin frankly discussed the
depressing social and economic handicaps suf-
fered in Israel. Mr. Begin stated, addressing his
appeal to American Jewry:

The Thirtieth Anniversary (of Israel) is a
time to assess and define what major tasks lie
ahead and to initiate the action necessary to
carry them out. Our attention is immediately
directed towards the yet unsolved problem of
the social gap and the poverty manifested
thereby, mainly in the field of housing. More
than a quarter-of-a-million of our fellow Jews,
some 45,000 families, nearly 10 percent of the
entire Jewish population, live in distressing
housing conditions. Eight or nine persons live in
a tiny apartment of two or three rooms, and a
row of mattresses must be spread out on the
bare floor every night to provide sleeping space
for the children, and be removed in the morning
for daily activities. Seventeen percent of all
those living in poor housing conditions are
elderly persons.
The obvious social and cultural consequences
of this situation are tension and anxieties,
severe handicaps, an utter denial of chances to
develop skills and equal opportunities. These,
we must eliminate.
The frank presentation of an existing problem
was pursued by Prime Minister Begin with an
appeal in which he gave emphasis to the
urgency of existing handicaps. He appealed to
American Jewry:
A sum of $1 billion U.S. dollars will be needed
in the next few years in order to resolve this
great human problem. I call upon you, there-
fore, and through you to all leaders, co-workers
and contributors of Keren Hayesod - United
Israel Appeal throughout the world, to launch
immediately a special Thirtieth Anniversary
campaign in this spirit.
This must be a commitment over and above
the regular campaign. Regular campaign
income of increased magnitude is vital for
financing of the ongoing immigration and
absorption of immigrants, for higher education,
agricultural settlements, social services and
more. These are some of the regular responsi-
bilities of the Jewish Agency which it carries
out with campaign income at its disposal.
Dear friends, I am hopeful that you, your con-
tributors and leaders throughout the world will
respond to this call.

Allied Jewish Campaign leaders and contrib-
utors understood the message. They recognized
the problem. American Jewry undoubtedly will
meet the challenge.
The concerns emanating from current philan-
thropic duties are inseparable from the events
occurring at Mena House in Cairo. They are
intertwined. A secure and socially wholesome
Israel will give greater strength to those speak-
ing for the embattled nation in Egypt. What is
done here through the Allied Jewish Campaign
provides such power. It must not diminish. The
good beginning must produce a complete
triumph for the philanthropy which, in corn-
pletest terms, must spell dignity, self-respect
and confidence for Israel and the Jewish people.

Effects of War Described

Three Yehoshua Stories
on the Human Condition

The black-gray, swirling bleakness of life in war-time and the bur-
den of war on the human spirit are the subjects of three short stories c_
by young Israeli author Avraham B. Yehoshua in "Early in the Sum-
mer of 1970" (Doubleday).
The three stories share the common style of focusing on an individ-
ual and exploring his character through the effects of the military on
himself or his family.

With war and the military as the background, Yehoshua does not
hide any of the demeaning qualities of military life, but on a larger
scale these three stories are more a commentary on the human condi-
tion in Israel, a look at conflicting generations, than another view of
the nature of war.

"Early in the Summer of 1970" is also the title of the first story in
thie brief volume (165 pages). In it, Yehoshua describes what it is to
be a father and what it is to be a son.
When the old Bible teacher
enters the morgue to identify his
son, the attendants turn up the
lights, "as though it was a ques-
tion of light." They pull back the
blanket from the body lying on
the stretcher. It is all routine:

i "Enter, look, weep. part; sign a
paper too perhaps..." but the old
man says, "It isn't him."

The old Bible teacher is lifted
, into a jeep. wedged between two
machine guns. A steel helmet, a
modern caricature of a yar-
mulke, is jammed on his head.
He is being taken to the front, to his son's outfit, to find out whether it
is really possible for death to be a mistake. His coat flaps in the wind,
for, using a small penknife, the chaplain has rent his garment accord-
ing to tradition.

Beside a half-track, several soldiers who have just come in —0'th' ,[
patrol are relieving themselves. One of them is the Bible teacher's
son. He listens to the story calmly. He is more at home with bureau-
cratic errors than with classical tragedy. The whole war, in his view,
is a mistake, of which this is only an example. His father, too, par-
takes of the general absurdity. He is the only person present who
believes in death. Now the son's wife appears, singing her
incomprehensible reassurances. Secure in her Americanism, she
never accepted the idea of her husband's mortality.

This is the title story, the best and longest of the three, in "Early in
the Summer of 1970." In "Missile Base - 612," the second story,
Yehoshua writes about another kind of death: the death of meaning.
The protagonist of this story is also a teacher, and he too comes into
equivocal contact with the war as he shuttles between an empty pri
vate life with a wife to whom he no longer speaks, and his life as a
teacher in the reserves, which is also empty.
The final story of the three is "The Last Commander," a chilling
parable of the futility of war.

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