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August 29, 1980 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-08-29

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2 Friday, August 29, 1980


Purely Commentary

Labor Day: The High Goals
Glorifying Creativity as a
Human Obligation in Jewish Life

Labor Day has great significance in American life. In
Jewish tradition it is like a sacred code.
Even the scholar is expected to produce and to glorify
life by working productively.
Two notable quotations from Jewish lore aid in defin-
ing this ideal:
Splendid is the study of Torah when combined with
some worldly occupation, for toil in them both puts sin
out of mind.
But study (of Torah) that is not combined with work
falls into neglect in the end, and becomes the cause of
—Rabban Gamaliel in Ethics of the Fathers.

If a person learns two paragraphs of the Torah in the
morning and two in the evening, and is occupied with
his work the rest of the day, it is as though he had
fulfilled the entire Torah.
—Tanhuma, on Exodus, portion "Beshallakh."

It is in the spirit of this idealism that Labor Day will be
observed and a great tradition honored.

Shortcomings of the Jew Who
Fails to Identify With Zionism

It took a non-Jew to define Zionism for the Jew.
Richard Crossman, the eminent British parliamentarian,
gave this definition in 1947:
In our age, the choice for the Jew is between
Zionism or ceasing to be a Jew.
This is a lesson for mankind and especially for the Jew
who fails to identify with Zionism.
Since the hekhsher of a non-Jew is always utilized by
those who would not completely identify with the Jewish
traditionalists and idealists, it will be useful to call for
testimony other non-Jews.
As far back as i-ipril 1902, only six years after Theodor
Herzl and Max Nordau and their pioneering associates had
convened the First World Zionist Congress, Maxim Gorky,
the famous Russian author-libertarian-Socialist, said:
I am told Zionism is a Utopia. I do not know;
perhaps. But inasmuch as I see in this Utopia an
unconquerable thirst for freedom, one for which
the people will suffer, it is for me a reality. With all
my heart I pray that the Jewish people, like the
rest of humanity, may be given spiritual strength
to labor for its dream and to establish it in flesh
and blood.
These are the admonitions for men in positions of lead-
ership like Paul Zuckerman. They are lessons in historical

For a Totality of Jewish Identification, the Zionist
Affirmation Is Imperative ... Professor's Observations
About Menahem Begin's Leadership, Gush Messianism

experience. They say to the Jew who claims he is not a
Zionist, only a Jew, that he is an incomplete Jew.
Theodor Herzl proclaimed: "Zionism was the Sabbath
of my life."
This is how to approach it in an age when the anti-
Semite, to save himself from what Pope Pius XI called the
"sin of anti-Semitism," branded Jews they chose for hatred
as Zionists. Should they be given munitions for hatred by
incompleteness in Jewish identity?
To Paul Zuckerman and those like him — there are too
many like it in Jewish leadership who are subdued by fear
— goes forth the advice to re-identify. To identify! There is
only one way of being strong in leadership, and that is by
being a complete Jew. One who says he is not a Zionist,
only a Jew, is incomplete in his identification. Therefore,
Paul, come forth! Identify completely. In the mai good
tasks you have achieved and continue to do, you have acted
as a Zionist. Proclaim it! Identify! Join!

Mystified Messianism:
Menahem Begin Judged, Gush
Emunim Exposed by Prof. Scholem

In an interview in the New York Review of Books,
entitled "The Threat of Messianism," the eminent Hebrew
University Professor of Mysticism Gershom Scholem em-
erged as the realist, analyzing the roots of pioneering in the
establishment of Igrael, the faults which may be ascribed to
current leadership, the truisms which dominate the ex-
perience _ of statebuilders and stateprotectors.
As the most noted of this

century's authorities on
Jewish mysticism, Prof.
Scholem is the ablest in-
terpreter of messianism.
Few are as well qualified
to judge the Israeli prime
minister and to analyze the
Gush Emunim's problema-
tic status as the eminent
scholar and Zionist pioneer,
Prof. Gershom Scholem. He
was confronted with the
Begin_ political enigma and
the influence of the Gush
Emunim, and here the seri-
ous problem of extremism
was presented to him.
In the questions ad-
dressed to him on the subject by the New York Review of
Books interviewer (David Biale) are posed these problems,
and the answers are provided:
DB: You have spent a large portion of your career
studying the history of Jewish messianism and you
have warned of the dangers that messianic expecta-

By Philip

tions post to the Zionist movement. Is the Zionist ex-
periment threatened today by messianism?

GS: The Jews have always had a fatal attraction
to messianism. The Jewish involvement in Com-
munism, for instance, was definitely a conse-
quence of Jewish messianism. Zionism is no ex-
ception. Today we have the Gush Emunim which
is definitely a'messianic group. They use biblical
verses for political purposes. Whenever mes-
sianism is introduced into politics, it becomes I
very dangerous business. It can only lead to disas-
It is, of course, possible that had these religious
people moved into the West Bank with, say, 5,000
people directly after the Six-Day War, they might
have succeeded. As I said, that was a plastic mo-
ment in history and the Arabs were afraid we
would drive them out. But now what they are
doing is utter nonsense. It shows a total lack of
political realism.
DB: Perhaps your best-known study of Jewish mes-
sianism is your book on Sabbatai Sevi, the leader of the
abortive mass messianic movement of the 17th Cen-
tury. Is the Gush Emunim a modern-day version of the
Sabbatian movement?
GS: Yes, they are like the Sabbatians. Like the
Sabbatians, their messianic program can only
lead to disaster. In the 17th Century, of course, the
failure of Sabbatianism had only spiritual conse-
quences; it led to a breakdown of Jewish belief.
Today, the consequences of such messianism are
also political and that is the great danger.
DB: Is Menahem Begin also a messianist?
GS: He was a messianist. But he is not a fool. He
recognized the need for a pragmatic policy and so
he came to support the idea of the peace treaty.
What he is doing on the West Bank is a regression
to his previous beliefs.
Prof. Scholem's approach to the basic issues is with
realism, with a sense of deep respect for his prime minister.
It calls for common sense in approaching Israel's cur-
rent problems. They are immense issues and Jews
everywhere are deeply interested in their solutions.
What is suggested here is that extremism should be
avoided, that there should be a realistic tackling of issues.
It is easier to resort to pilpul than it is to deal with
issues nobly. In an atmosphere of hatred, when the world
powers have combined their enmities against Israel, it be-
comes more difficult to overcome the messianic mysticism.
Perhaps time will heal. Perhaps in the course of time
there will be a lessening of world barbarism contra Israel.
Then the internal strifes might subside. Would that it were
very soon!

World-Wide Events Mark 100th Birthday of Austrian Composer


VIENNA — Throughout
the musical world the 100th
birthday of Robert Stolz, the
internationally famous
Viennese composer and
conductor, was commemo-
rated on Monday.
Until his death in June
1975 — two months before
his 95th birthday — Robert
Stolz continued to compose
for the movies and the
stage; recordings of his
music were made with the
leading singers and orches-
tras of the day.
Shortly before his 83rd
birthday, he made a guest


appearance in Israel with
his concert program "A
Night in Vienna." Much re-
spected and revered in Is-
rael for his friendship and
devotion, Stolz nevertheless
ran up against unexpected
difficulties; it is an unwrit-
ten law that no one should
sing in German.
Stolz insisted that the
Viennese songs be per-
formed in the original
German and that could
have led to protests from
the audience. But after
the first few bars of his
song "In Prater the trees
are blooming again," the
spell was broken. The
audience began to sing
along and many had
tears in their eyes.
The newspaper headlines
reported_ of "Robert Stolz
building a bridge of recon-
ciliation between Germany
and Israel. He is the aptest
During 1980 there were
and will be numerous spe-
cial anniversary events in
many countries. Beside con-
certs in leading music cen-
ters there will be com-
memorative Robert Stolz
stamps issued by Austria,
the Federal Republic of
Germany and San Marino.

In London; a trophy for
music philately will be
awarded; a park in Berlin
will be named after him;
anniversary coins in
platinum, gold and silver
are being made available.
Robert Stolz streets
were named in Munich,
Hamburg, Cologne, Linz,
Graz and also in Miami,
The Viennese square
where he lived and wrote

his most famous music is
now called Robert Stolz-
Platz and his flat, changed
into a museum due to hun-
dreds of precious scores, pic-
tures and mementos from
all over the world,-will be
presented by his widow
Mme. Einzi Stolz as a gift to
the city of Vienna.
Einzi (the word means
"unique" in German) is an
extremely charming and in-
telligent lady and was the

most beneficial co-worker of
the Maestro.
There is a Robert Stolz
Train between Vienna and
Graz (Austria's second
largest city). In Vienna's
most beautiful park, his
monument will be standing
next to the one of Johann
Strauss. Another monu-
ment will be unveiled in the
19th district of Vienna.

One extraordinary honor

awarded to Stolz when on
April 16 Senator Robert
Weicker spoke in the U.S.
Senate about the Austrian
composer. Stolz could have
stayed on in Vienna during
the Hitler period, because
he was an "Aryan," but he
chose to leave with his
Jewish friends. Thus he
showed his protest and also
his sympathy and devotion
for Jews!

D.C. Council Sees Surge of Anti-Semitism in Brazil

A series of anti-Semitic ac-
tions have taken place re-
cently in Brazil, it was re-
ported by the Washington-
based Council on Hemis-
pheric Affairs which noted
that "there are troubling
signs that rightwing fac-
tions within the nation's
military and their civilian
supporters have begun to
oppose the government's
commitment to gradually
liberalizing Brazil's institu-
The council reported that
there was an attempt to kill
a prominent Jewish leader,
Sao Paulo State Deputy
Flavio Bierrenbach, last

month in Sao Paulo. Bier-
renbach, described by the
council as "a staunch
human rights leader" and a
member of the opposition
Brazilian Democratic
Mobilization Party, was out
of his office when it was par-
tially destroyed by intrud-
ers' gunfire.
The council also reported
that the security and infor-
mation branch of the Minis-
try of Mines and Energy
earlier this year accused
"Zionists," scientists and
opposition political leaders
of staging a campaign with
"origins in the U.S. and the
USSR" to sabotage Brazil's
nuclear accord with West

Germany. The charges, the
council noted, echoed those
made in a series of threats
last year against several
Sao Paulo scientists and in-
tellectuals, including
Jewish scientist Jose Gol-
demberg, president of the
Brazilian Society for the
Progress of Science.
Other anti-Semitic in-
cidents included
threatening letters and
phone calls and the beat-
ing of a Sao Paulo artist,
Lourdes Cedran, the wife
of physicist Mario
Schemberg, a leading
opponent of the nuclear
accord, the council re-
ported. It also pointed

out that a Brazilian neo-
Nazi group, the Moviento
de Reorganizacao, has
been identified as being
responsible for acts of in-
timidation against oppo-
nents of the nuclear ac-
cord and against promi-
nent scientists, theolo-
gians, liberal political
leaders, lawyers who de-
fend political scientists
and Jewish personalities,
artists and journalists.
The council concluded
that these incidents are
"symptomatic of this new
upsurge of anti-Semitism in
the nation" which has a
Jewish community of

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