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February 29, 1980 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-02-29

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

Purim's Lesson
For the Ages:
Mah Yofis
Submissions
an Abhorrence
to Self-Respect

THE JEWISH NEWS

Commentary, Page 2

A Weekly Review

of Jewish Events

VOL. LXXVI, No. 26 17515 W. Nine Mile, Suite 865, Southfield, Mich. 48075

424-8833

$15 Per Year: This Issue 35c

ElnID

PURIM
Greetings
to Jewish
Communities
Everywhere

February 29, 1980

PLO Highlighting, Munitions
to Arabs Escalate as Issues

Strained Budgets for Local
Agencies and Israel Forces
a $428;000 Request to UJC

Strained budgets, which have created serious problems for local agencies,
have compelled the Jewish Welfare Federation to ask the United Jewish Charities
for a special grant of $428,000 to meet the urgent needs in the community, it was
announced this week by George M. Zeltzer, president of JWF.
Despite last year's record-breaking Allied Jewish Campaign-Israel Emer-
gency Fund, which raised more than $17.3 million (excluding contributions desig-
nated for Project Renewal), a deficit was caused primarily by the costs of resettling
500 Soviet immigrants in Detroit, Zeltzer said.
He added that this year's budget will also be strained by inflation and the
absorption here of an additional 650 Soviet refugees.

"UJC cannot be a source for covering operational deficits," he said.
"Its funds should be used only in extreme circumstances and emergencies."

Because of last year's deficit, Zeltzer said, an additional $1 million must be
raised in the 1980 Allied Jewish Campaign to maintain the level of service pro-
vided by the Campaign's beneficiaries.
Division fund-raising meetings and telephone solicitation drives will continue
until the formal opening of the Campaign March 26.
The opening will be marked by a reception and dinner at Adat Shalom
Synagogue. For information or reservations, call the Jewish Welfare Federation,
965-3939.

U.S. President Jimmy Carter re-assured the Young Leadership Confer-
ence of the United Jewish Appeal this week that the U.S. will stand behind
Israel and remains opposed to a Palestinian state. His statement came shortly
before his Administration revealed a $2 billion arms package for Egypt which
included 40 F-16 jet fighter aircraft, 250 M-60 tanks and 550 armored person-
nel carriers. Carter's Middle East policies were attacked by Democratic
Presidential hopeful Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who criticized what he termed
Carter's "on-again, off-again flirtation" with the Palestine Liberation Organ-
ization.
• • •

By JOSEPH POLAKOFF

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Carter assured the national Young Leadership Con-
ference of the United Jewish Appeal that he is "opposed to an independent Palestinian state"
and that the U.S. will always stand by Israel "in time of crisis."
Carter declared, "I am opposed to an independent Palestinian state because in my judg-
ment and in the judgment of many leaders in the Middle East, including many Arab leaders,
this would be a destabilizing factor in the Middle East and certainly will not serve U.S.
interests."
The 1,500 delegates gave Carter a three-minute standing ovation when he made his
appearance. The applause was thunderous when he declared, "I won't negotiate with nor
recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization until it recognizes Israel's right to exist and
accepts United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338." The.President declared
further, "it is past time_to put a total end to terrorism against Israel and the people who live
there."

Noting that the U.S. has provided $10 billion in military and economic assistance to
Israel since he took office in 1977, Carter said, "we will continue to supply sufficient
aid to Israel to enable it to defend itself against any possible adversary — you can

(Continued on Page 5) .

(Details about Allied Jewish Campaign activities are on Page 13.)

Coincidence: Mark
of Purim and Israel

I



-



By DR. SHMUEL HIMELSTEIN

By DVORA WAYSMAN

World Zionist Organization

So who needs miracles anyway? All you need is a little
bit of luck and before you know it, everything will turn
out just fine. Take this Purim story, for example. Funny
book, that Book of Esther — it doesn't even mention God.
All it is is a bunch 6f lucky coincidences, the turning of
the tables a few times, and before you know it, we have
the whole story ending with them all "living happily
ever after."
Let's see. Ahasuerus asks Vashti to appear before
him. Vashti refuses. Result: Vashti is out and Esther is
in. Pure luck, but just at that crucial juncture in history
a Jewish girl makes "the big time."
Bigtan and Teresh plot against the king. Mordecai,
just happening to overhear their plot, gets word to
Esther. Bigtan and Teresh go the way of all traitors.
Bigtan and Teresh out; Mordecai's name is in.

The villain— Haman — enters, and the plot thic-
kens. Before he has time to worry about running
the 127 provinces of the king, Haman first has to
take care of this nation which is "scattered and
dispersed throughout - the kingdom," by having
lation of the
Ahasuerus declare a date for the annihi
Jews, the 13th day of the month of Adar.

Haman decides to kill Mordecai early. He hurries off
to King Ahasuerus late at night. Unfortunately, that
just happens to have been one of the king's "off-nights."
The king has been suffering from a classic case of insom-
nia, and instead of counting sheep, has been listening to
his chief archivist read him the history books. There the
king has been told how Mordecai once saved his life.
"And what was his reward?" says the king. "Reward?
Sorry your majesty, there is no mention of any reward to
Mordecai."
At that auspicious moment Haman enters, all aglow
with his great new plan to save the world from Mordecai.
But the king has other plans, and before you can say
"Jack rabbit," Haman is leading Mordecai, arrayed in

(Continued on Page 14)

Outliving Haman:
Purim's Many Faces

World Zionist Organization

I

Purim, like so many Jewish festivals, celebrates both
a miracle and the deliverance of the Jews from an op-
pressor. It falls on the 14th of Adar and is a time of
merriment, masquerade and of drinking until one is
unable to distinguish between "blessed be Mordecai"
and "cursed be Haman." It is also a time of sending gifts
of food to friends ( mishloakh manot), giving gifts of
money to the poor and of a happy family dinner called a
"Purim Seudah."
The story is well-known — of the beautiful Queen
Esther, her righteous uncle Mordecai and the Jews' sal-
vation from the hands of the virulent anti-Semite Ha-
man, during the reign of Ahasuerus, King of Persia.
But some mysteries surround Purim. Nobody
knows just when in Jewish history the episode oc-
curred. The Book of Esther mentions no dates and
nowhere else is the story re-told. Scholars believe
the event took place soon after the completion of
the Second Temple. The first references to Purim
occur only after the year 100 BCE, and few scholars
have concerned themselves with the date and ac-
curacy of the story.
Over the centuries, numerous Purim legends were
created, found today in a special "Midrash" (Targ -um
Ahenii. One tale says that Haman had once been Mor-
decai's slave and barber, which explains his actions
when the erstwhile slave rose to Cie position of power.
Another legend describes how the trees refused to give
their wood for the gallows Haman planned for Mordecai.
Only a thorn-bush came to his aid declaring: "As I am
the thorn, so likewise is Haman a thorn that would
scratch and tear Thy harmless people."
Many gifted poets — Eliezer Kalir, Abraham ibn
Ezra, Solomon ibn Gabirol and Judah Halevi — com-
posed special Purim songs and poems; and Purim stories
inspired the pens of Sholem Aleichem and Peretz. Sev-

(Continued on Page 14)

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