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March 16, 1979 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-03-16

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

8 Friday, March 16, 1919

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Yeshiva Attracts Young Jews Who Reaffirm Faith


The Jewish News Special
Israel Correspondent

TEL AVIV — Shalom
Levin and Moshe Jaess, two
young singers from the
U.S., look as if they have
come from another planet.
Both have beards and
sideburns, wear Hasidic
_ hats, long caftans and
sashes, as if they were
yeshiva scholars who just
came from their rabbi. But
they are jazz singers.
They stand on the stage,
one with a guitar, the sec
ond with a viola. They sing
songs of praise to God in the
rock 'n roll style and with
their .own words and
Levin and Jaess became
religious Jews when they
came to Israel from the U.S.
They joined the yeshiva
Dvar Jerusalem. Between
their lectures they used to

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sing songs. Levin studied
for six years in the music
academy named after the
famous cellist, Pablo Cas-
als, in Puerto Rico. He was a
violinist in the Philhar-
monic Orchestra of Puerto
Rico. He prayed often as a
cantor'. Jaess was born in
Canada. He traveled all
over the U.S. with his musi-
cal program. Both come
from religious homes. They
decided to attend a yeshiva
in Jerusalem.
In Jerusalem they saw
their new aim as linking
their music to Torah and
Judaism. They consulted
the chairman of the
yeshiva. He said he
thought that music does
not interfere with Torah
studies. On the contrary:
One can sing and praise
God and the belief in him.
Levin and Jaess lead a
religious life. Rabbi Josef
Krupnik, spiritual leader,
gives them advice how to
sing and to act. They write
their songs by themselves.
Every word in the songs is
full of love for Jews and
The two singers got pro-
posals to appear in Europe.
They wanted to go, but
Rabbi Krupnik found, that
the concerts in Europe
would cause a desecration of
the Sabbath, and they can-
celed the tour. Levin wrote a
song, in which he asks God
to send him a bride. Rabbi
Krupnik canceled the song,
mentioning, that everybody
knows that marriages are
"made in heaven" and
therefore, an appeal to God
is unnecessary. The singers
had to change the song in
order to receive the blessing
of the rabbi and their
There is an interesting
story about the son of one of
the former most popular
army generals Rehaveam
Zeevi, whose nickname is
"Gandhi." The son, Beni
Zeevi, who should have fol-
lowed the footsteps of his
father in the army, joined
the Yeshiva Or Sameakh
in Jerusalem. He was ar-
rested once for protesting
against the breaking of the
S abbath.
The Jerusalem munic-
ipality built a road to a
new quarter, which
passes through an Or-
thodox quarter. The
members of the quarter
hold violent demonstra-
tions against traffic on
the Sabbath to the new
quarter. • There were
many clashes between
drivers of cars, police


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units and Orthodox in-
habitants of the old quar-
ter. The inhabitants
threw stones on passing
cars shouting "Shabbes"
and there were many in-
Mayor Teddy Kollek
formed a special commis-
sion in order to examine the
situation and possibilities of
an alternative road which
would not pass through the
Orthodox quarter( Among
the demonstrators was the
son of the Gen. Zeevi. He
was arrested, charged with
violence and put into prison.
Later he was • released on
bail. •
The younger Zeevi was a
pilot in the Israeli Air
Force. First he decided to
uphold the Jewish religious
laws. Afterwards he joined
the yeshiva. He is very
popular there. He helps
everybody, takes everybody
home on his bicycle from the
Young Zeevi now has a
heard and sideburns; he is a
yeshiva scholar like all
others. _
The Yeshiva Or Sameakh


The Sensational

was founded seven years
ago. The aim of the yeshiva
is to bring back
wide circles of youngsters to
the Jewish religion. It had
great success. Artists, pain-
ters, young writers etc. have
joined the yeshiva headed
by Rabbi Moshe Rochelson.



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.KIBUTZ GAT, Israel —
Black Israeli-American
Larry Lewis began his jour-
ney to Israel 14 years ago
when he converted to
"I was a college student
from the Souk; working in
a Boston animal hospital,
when I decided to convert,"
says Larry. Today, at 33, he
is a member of an Israeli
kibutz and a reserve soldier
in the Israeli army.
Talking about his deci-
sion to begin formal conver-
sion studies, Larry ex-
plained it this way: "There
is a concept in all Asian
religions, 'Many mountains
up to God, with many roads
up each mountain.' I be-
came a Jew because in
Judaism I found the
theological perspective that
best suited me."
- After six years in Israel,
Larry Lewis doesn't regret
for a moment his decision to
become a Jew. "I didn't an-
ticipate any racial problems
in Israel because of . the
color of my skin — and I
didift find any. There are
Jews all over the world and
the variation of their skin
coloring ranges from black
to white."

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Rabbi to Speak
at Church Parley

NEW YORK — Rabbi A.
James Rudin, assistant na-
tional director of interreli-
gious affairs of the Ameri-
can-Jewish Committee, will
conduct three major study
sessions at the 16th Na-
tional Workshop of. Chris-
tian Unity in Bir-
mingham, Ala., April
23-26. The three-day meet-
ing will bring together
representatives of most
major U.S. Christian de-
nominations to analyze re-
cent world developments
from an ecumenical

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