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Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the second day of Tenet, 5790, is the eighth day of Hanuka
and the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Genesis 41:1-44:17, Numbers 7:54-8:4. Prophetical portion I Kings 7:40-50.
Sabbath candle lighting, Friday, Dec. 21, 4:45 p.m.
VOL. LXXVI, No. 16
Friday, December 21, 1979
UJA AND PEOPLEHOOD
A new era of identification and solidarity
seems apparent for American Jewry. It is evi-
denced in the aftermath of notable assemblies
at which responsible spokesmen for Jewish
communities throughout the land spoke freely
and acted firmly on issues which in earlier de-
cades were imbedded in controversies and were
affected by fear lest anything declaratory on
Jewish needs be interpreted with suspicions.
The evidence of a new approach to Jewish
responsibilities became exemplary at the Pan-
American Zionist Conference in Miami and the
General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Fed-
erations in Montreal. Then came the added em-
phasis on frankness and realism at the annual
conference of the United Jewish Appeal and the
yearly meeting of the United Israel Appeal in
New York early this month. In their combined
approaches to the duties incumbent upon
American Jewry were expressed the deter-
mined will of a people acting together and
determined that the human factors which
united them for a common purpose shall not be
sacrificed to fears and doubts.
It is in the culmination of these attitudes, at
the UJA sessions, that the will of the people
concerned was expressed.
The fact that a spokesman for the Jewish
Agency could challenge American Jewry to be
loyal to the partnership for Israel's progress and
security was in itself a mark of realism and
firmness. The brotherhood and partnership
exists, the fulfillment of duties must be adhered
The trend of events at the UJA sessions was
especially notable in two challenging develop-
ments. The demand that Jews leaving Russia on
visas designated for Israel should adhere to that
.destination was emphatic. The concession is for
the humanism of uniting families, of making it
possible for emigres from the USSR to join their
relatives in this country. Otherwise there is a
pledge to be adhered to and Israel expects those
with visas for that land to go there.
Then there was the matter of the Falashas.
There may well have been an uncalled for delay
in action to assist these unfortunates in
Ethiopia in escaping from tyranny. The demand
is clear, the response is spontaneous. The many
hundreds representing hundreds of com-
munities know to what causes they are linked
and are obligated to be active partners.
That is why all that was aimed for culminated
in an oath of solidarity. It assumed a spiritual
note in the form of a responsive prayer. With
actor Lou Jacobi as narrator and the more than
1,000 responding, the pledge drew upon Psalms
and Isaiah, and proclaimed:
Oath of Solidarity
"He who performed miracles for our fathers and for us, and redeemed us
from slavery to freedom, may He speedily send us a complete redemption
and gather our exiles from the four corners of the earth, and let us sing
a new song before Him. Hallelujah." (Prayer)
Let us reaffirm our solidarity — one to another, one Jewish community to
another, and our eternal commitment as people to all mankind.
Let us proclaim to ourselves and to the entire world:
"If I forget you, 0 Jerusalem, let my right hand wither,
Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you
If I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joys." (Psalm 137:5-6)
Let us believe in the Jewish people
United like the fingers of one hand,
A hand that can clench in strength,
Yet a hand that reaches out for peace. (Haim Hefer)
Let us proclaim that we are our brother's keepers.
"In the end of days it shall come to pass
That the mountain of the Lord's house
Shall be established as the top of the mountains ...
"And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into
"Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war any more ..." (Visions of Peace, Isaiah 2:4)
But they shall sit, every man, under His vine and fig tree; and none shall
make them afraid: (Micah 4:1;4)
I do believe!
In this proclamation of solidarity is incorpo-
rated a duty to be fulfilled in many actions, and
primary among them is the UJA, whose work
cannot be performed, whose obligations cannot
be attained, without the means necessary for
the purposes aimed at. This is where philan-
thropy steps in. This is where the financial as-
sistance is important, nationally to UJA, in this
community to the Allied Jewish Campaign, in
which the UJA is the major beneficiary.
Such is the duty of the hour, in a program of
solidarity for all time.
Pates `The Messiah Texts'
The vast literature devoted to the subject of messianic hopes and
the Messiah fills many bookshelves.
A thorough study of the subject, made by the eminent authority,
Dr. Raphael Patai, is included in his "The Messiah Texts" iAvon
The reference in the title to many texts accounts for the many
areas, many languages, all faiths concerned with the important sac-
red and legendary works on the subject.
Dr. Patai does his own translating of manuscripts from Hebrew,
Aramaic, Arabic, German, Hungarian and Latin.
The messianic ideology is fully defined in these works. The
Jewish historical aspects are given fullest consideration. Messianic
events are recorded, many of them affecting notable eras in Jewish
There are many delightful folktales, fantasies, parables as well
as historical notes, linked with the legacies in recorded Jewish history
The views of noted authorities are drawn upon. The interpreta-
tion of Maimonides forms an important chapter in the Patai book.
The Epilogue to "The Messiah Texts," which has been issued as a
paperback, contains this important addendum to the collected histor-
"And for 2,000 years the Messiah sustained the Children of Is-
rael, and they kept the Messiah alive by their fervent faith and their
unceasing hope that he would come any day. Throughout that long
period, the gentiles accused Israel of having killed the Messiah. They
hounded and persecuted them, forced them to flee and to wander from
country to country, tortured and slaughtered them.
"Finally a new era dawned. In some countries light spread, and
Israel was allowed to sit down at the table with the gentiles. The food
they offered them was sweet on their tongue, and as they gorged
themselves they began to sing gentile songs, and forgot Jerusalem.
And they no longer yearned for the Messiah. Consequently, the light
of the Messiah grew dimmer and dimmer and dimmer. Not long
thereafter, the gentiles assembled in a great conclave and decided
that, after all, Israel was not guilty of killing the Messiah.
And the Holy One, blessed be He, observing sadly the doings of
His world, said:
"'My children, you surely did not kill My Messiah, even though
you did lose faith in him. If his life depended only on you, he would be
no more. But I shall reveal to you a secret: I have never ceased longing
for My Shekhina, and I, too, am waiting for the Messiah to reunite Me
with her. My longing alone is enough to sustain him. Your ancient
sages taught that the Messiah will come only in a generation which is
either all pious or all wicked. No such generation can ever arise. But
he will come, not for your sake but for Mine.' "
Guide to Israel Programs
ization has issued a
tu1dts desiring to
It also serves the purpose of directing attention not only to the
universities and related educational media but to the archeological
and historical factors that encourage tourism, participation in ltibutz
and nodthheerrres leatttel edmaecn
tits and for Diaspora
aspoora. Jews accommodating to
Appearing under the title "Guide to Israel Program," the 100-
page brochure deals with job opportunities, seminars for educators
and community workers, Hebrew language study, high school and
college programs, yeshiva studies and educational tours.