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January 26, 1979 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-01-26

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, January 26, 1919 39 •

Religious Jews Are Also Divided on Judea, Samaria

' By YITZHAK SHARGIL
One Orthodox scholar,
TEL AVIV (JTA) — Reli- Rabbi Emanuel
gious Jews in Israel and Rackman, president of
overseas are no less divided Bar-Ilan University, has
than secular Jews over the addressed himself to the
issue . of compromises for problem of when the
peace, specifically how commandment of pikua
much territory Israel nefesh takes precedence
should be prepared to give over the commandment
up in exchange for a full and of kidush hashem. Put
binding peace with its Arab another way, is the sav-
neighbors. For secular ing of lives more impor-
Jews, the primary consider- tant than Israel's rule
ation is effects territorial over what the Orthodox
wiIhdrawals will have on regard as the entire "land
AWl's security. There is of Israel."
another dimension, how-
Many other rabbinical
for religious Jews.
and Orthodox lay leaders
ey regard areas such as have debated this- matter.
- 1111.11dea and. Samaria to be One prominent scholar,
part of Eretz Yisrael — Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik
"Eretz Hakodesh" or the of Boston, has expressed the
Holy Land. For the religious view that savinglives is
Jew this means that the superior to all other consid-
land must be defended and erations, even from a reli-
_going to war to defend that gious point of view. How-
land is an aspect of "kidush ever, the question is not
-hashem" (ready 'to give clear cut. Who, for example,
one's life for God's sake). It is to decide when or where
is seen as a "war of mitzva." - pikua nefesh takes prece-
But this runs smack into dence over a 'war of
another issue, that of the mitzva?"
" possibility of loss of life in a
Rackman, formerly the
war and its impingement on senior rabbi at the Fifth
the commandment of Avenue Synagogue in Ne$
_ "pikua nefesh" (saving life). York and a former professor
The question arising from of Judaic studies- at City
o this situation is how to University in New York,
reconcile or relate kidush takes the view of the late
hashem with pikua nefesh president of Yeshiva Uni-
in terms of defending Eretz versity, Dr. Samuel Belkin.
Yisrael. Belkin maintained that

r

r

against the Mandatory
authorities. He feels Ameri-
can Jews try not to an-
tagonize or embarrass the
Administration in Wash-
ington when they differ
with its Middle East
policies.
Rackman said the
Bar-Ilan University,
though under Orthodox
sponsorship, is not
necessarily religious if
the composition of its
student body is taken
into account.
He noted that there are -
many kibutzniks attending,
The ideal situation, he as well as Arabs and Druze
said, would be a mature students of both sexes.
society in which dual sover-
According to Rackman,
eignty is ponsible, meaning Arab parents of girls prefer
two languages and two flags Bar-Ilan for their daughters
on the West Bank, with the because of the strict separa-
residents there able to tion of the sexes. He also
choose between Israeli or said that on the campus
Jordanian citizenship. As there are both supporters
for Jerusalem, however, and opponents of the Gush
Rackman believes there can Emunim.
be only Jewish sovereignty
He' described the univer-
although Arab residents sity, with a student body of
could have the right to vote 8,000, as religiously
for the Jordanian parlia- oriented but open to every
ment.
idea and school of thought.

He holds that Jews
have a God-given right to
settle those territories
and believes they can
co-exist there with the
Arabs just as Arabs live
in Israel. He doesn't think
that Jews will ever be a
majority on the West
Bank and therefore is
suspicious of Arab insis-
tence that Jewish settle-
ment be stopped. Accord-
ing to Rackman, that atti-
tude puts into question
Arab sincerity to make
peace with Israel.

RABBI RACKMAN
knowledgeable laymen
should be consulted before
halakhic decisions are
made. A rabbi will sanction
eating on Yom ,Kippur if a
qualified physician orders it
to save a life.

Rackman believes this
should apply to political
matters as well. Although
he does not consider himself
a dove, he supports Sol-
oveitchik's opinion that
pikua nefesh should always
be the dominant considera-
tion and that war, therefore,
should be averted by all
means. Nevertheless,
Rackman insists that what-
ever concessions are made
to avoid war, Israel can
never give up Judea and
Samaria.

Rackman is highly criti-
cal of some American
Jewish leaders. He claims
they do not have the "guts"
of British Jewry in the
1940s when Jews in Pales-
tine were struggling

Underground to PalestineandReflections

By ALLEN A. WARSEN
I.F. Stone, author of a
dozen books and publisher
of the discontinued, con-
troversial newsletter, "I.F.
Stone's Weekly," has writ-
ten the stirring volume
"Underground to Palestine
and Reflections. Thirty
Years Later" (Pantheon
Books has issued this vol-
ume in both hard cover and
paperback).
Originally, published in
installments in the New
York daily "P.M." (no
longer in existence), the
book describes the author's
experiences as a correspon-
dent, who in the spring of
1946, accompanied
Holocaust survivors on
their dangerous, clandes-
tine journey from the Euro-
pean DP camps to Eretz
Yisrael.
The odyssey began in a
small town in, Czechos-
lovakia, the author
nicknamed Anton, where he
met a group of refugees with
whom he shared the jour-
.y hardships and an-
xieties.
the train from Anton
atislava, the capital of
akia, a small compart-
, ment was assigned to Stone
and 10 refugee "halutzim,"
including an older man with
a mandolin.

The halutzim told him
of their experiences in
the concentration camps.
A young girl related that
at the Bergen-Belsen
camp she was "put to
work in a German muni-
tions, factory. I was at a
machine that smoothed
the cases for bullets. I
found it very hard to
= work. I would stand at

I.F. STONE
the machine and cry so
much that-I couldn't see
through my tears. I
thought these bullets are
killing the people I love.
And I would cry harder.
"One day a woman fore-
man, a German, came to me
and asked why I cried. I told
her, and she showed me
how, without attracting at-
tention, I could spoil the
bullets so they would- not
shoot. After that I stopped
crying:"
Vienna was their next
major stop. In that city the
Rothschild Memorial Hos-
pital was the center of
Jewish refugee life. It was
"friendly refugee territory."
Vienna then contained
4,000 middle-aged Jews.
The younger people emi-
grated and settled in other
countries. Before the war
there were there 200,000
Jews, many prominent in
every walk of life.
In Vienna, Stone met
American and Russian
Jewish officers. A Rus-
sian officer, 'who had
been demoted to "Un-
teroffizier," said "he had

been in charge of a con-
centration camp in
Czechoslovakia for cap-
tured SS men. There were
2,500 SS men in his camp,
and he and the 60 soldiers
under him killed every
one of the 2,500 in two
weeks."
At a Jewish concert,
. Stone saw a Russian-Jewish
patriotic officer cry when an
artist sang:
"Ikh benk nokh mayn rus-
sishe heym,
Nokh mayne russishe
brider, --
Nokh mayne hartslikhe rus
sishe lider." ("I long for my
Russian home,
for my Russian brothers,
for my heart-warming Rus-
sian songs.")
From Vienna they went
to Italy where Stone and
more than 1,000 refugees
began on their long, ardu-
ous, illegal journey across
the Mediterranean to the
land of Israel.
There were on the boat
people from almost every
European country, in-
cluding Turkey and
Egypt. They ranged in
age from 10 to 78, and
comprised a wide spec-
trum of political, reli-
gious and philosophical
views.
Aboard the vessel, Stone
formed intimate friendships
with the survivors and the
crew. The latter, with the
exception of the chief
engineer, were American
Jewish seamen.
Stone's
thumbnail
sketches of the members of
the crew are vivid and in-
sightful. Perceptive, too, is
his portrayal of the chief
engineer, a Scandinavian,

who witnessed in Paris the
fall of France, and in 1944
took Danish Jews in_small
fishing bo-ats to Sweden.
The stories the refugees
related are woven together
by the author in an abosrb-
ing and moving narrative.
Sim4larly, Stone's de-
scriptions of the tensions
and distressing conditions
on the boats (thrice they
changed boats) are impres-
sive and unforgettable.
They make the history of
the illegal immigration to
the Holy Land come alive.

Ten percent of Israel's
population have completed
university education. In Is-
raci's distressed neighbor-
hoods, less than one percent
of the population are college
graduates. Project Renewal
will provide educational op-
portunities for these people.

-

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