THE JEWISH NEWS
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This Sabbath. 10th day of Tishri, 5741 is Yom Kippur, and the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:
Morning: Pentateuchal portion, Leviticus 16:1-34, Numbers 29:7-11. Prophetical portion, Isaiah 57:14-58:14.
Afternoon: Pentateuchal portion, Leviticus 18:1-30. Prophetical portion, Jonah 1:1-4:11, Micah 7:18-20.
Sukkot Scriptural Selections
Thursday: Pentateuchal portion, Leviticus 22:26-23:44, Numbers 29:12-16. Prophetical portion, Zechariah 14:1-21.
Sept. 26: Pentateuchal portion, Leviticus, 22:26-23:44, Numbers 29:12-16. Prophetical portion, I Kings 8:2-21.
Candle lighting, Friday, Sept. 19, 7:17 p.m.
VOL. LXXVIII, No. 3
Friday, Sept. 19, 1980
POLITICS AND MORALITY
Negotiations for peace and the conflicts over
future relationships between Israel and the
Arabs — Israel and the United States — become
inseparable from the 1980 political struggles.
For a short period there was resentment that
the talks, between Arabs and Jews and Jewish
spokesmen • confronting Carter Administration
people, should have been viewed as having a
strong relationship with the Nov. 4 election.
Now it is accepted as an inevitability.
So be it, therefore, that President Jimmy Car-
ter should be anxious to shake as many Jewish
hands as possible, that the Ronald Reagan
ranks should grow with Jewish supporters, that
John Anderson should have a captivating lib-
eral label that appeals to Jews in the traditional
American newspapers often go off on a tan-
gent judging Israel and her supporters, there-
fore mainly the American Jews. The New York
Times is not an exception to the rule. Yet it can
boast of a practical approach to the issue when it
editorialized, under the heading "Camp David
In case you're wondering what is going on
among the Camp David Three, the answer is,
not much. Jimmy Carter has a need to remind
the voters — particularly Jewish voters who
doubt the constancy of his support for Israel —
about his role in making peace between Egypt
and Israel and in steering huge amounts of
American aid to both. Menahem Begin and
Anwar el-Sadat have an obvious desire to assist
a President who helped them to a place in his-
tory and who might, after all, be in office four
more years. All Mr. Carter really asked was
that they plan to visit him after the election, to
reminisce about diplomatic triumphs if he loses,
or, if he wins, to begin at last to discuss the
tough issues of the West Bank.
"Those issues have recently become even
more difficult as Israelis and Arabs foolishly
focused on the future of Jerusalem instead of
Palestinian autonomy. It is hard, as always in
this context, to distinguish provocation from
reaction; each side has taken steps that it knew
offended the other. To make another Camp
David summit sound plausible, the Israelis and
Egyptians have now promised to cool their re-
cent war of words and to let the matter of
Jerusalem rest awhile. Even these gestures,
however, could not be rendered as concessions to
the White House; they agreed to help the
President only if he disguised all influence over
"Is there more to this than domestic Ameri-
can politics? Only in one sense. The Carter Ad-
ministration knew long ago that campaign
pressures would diminish its diplomatic influ-
ence, particularly over Israel, through most of
1980. That is why it contrived to keep the West
Bank negotiations on ice. But the foes of
peacemaking, in Israel and among Palestinians
and their allies, have exploited this period of
American political paralysis to erect new obsta-
cles to future negotiations. Extremists in Israel
.pushed measures that in other years would
have evoked much more vigorous American op-
position. And Arab opponents of Camp David
have been painting America and Egypt as help-
less agents of Israeli expansionism. If Mr. Car-
ter's invitation leads Mr. Begin and Mr. Sadat
to resist a further deterioration, then at least
two more months of damaging mischief may be
"Meanwhile, as Ronald Reagan and John An-
derson pressed their attack on Mr. Carter's al-
leged faithlessness to Israel, the President could
bask in the new Camp David headlines and lace
campaign speeches with anecdotes about his
warm dealings with Israeli and Egyptian lead-
"The fact is that all three Presidential candi-
dates are committed to the Camp David accords,
and a search for ways to extend them into the
West Bank. All are pledged to include Palesti-
nians only when they agree to make peace with
Israel. All know that putting Jerusalem's status
at the top of the agenda could wreck the negotia-
tions. And all probably realize that nothing
much can happen even after the American elec-
tion until the Israelis have held theirs, next
There is much to debate over the issues. But
the sudden emergence of the "Jewish Vote" ap-
pellation and its acceptance makes the discus-
sion as analyzed in the above, practical.
Loyal Amerians have a right to resent a label.
The American Jew did not always consent to the
linking of the "vote" to his Jewishness and has
always felt that the people and the issues he
voted for were always based on principles and
on American traditions. Now the candidates, as
competitors for the Jewish vote, have given
status to the Jew as a Presidential selector.
Credence to the "Jewish Vote" appellation is
attained by the seriousness of the Israel issue. It
is not enough for President Carter to shake
Jewish hands with assurances there will be no
changes: now the question emerges whether no
changes" means that more blunders may be
committed in a future under Carter. It is not
enough for Reagan and Anderson to favor
Jewish statehood: how much freedom does a
President have, when there is need to defy a
State Department oil-oriented official, in set-
ting policies based on justice that will never,
never! raise the question whether Isarel can
Therefore, the need to return to an old obliga-
tion from which Jews cannot renege: that Is-
rael's friends dare not abandon her, ever! Who-
ever permits introduction of a question of the
survival of Israel is immoral! And such immor-
ality will not be tolerated in Jewish ranks.
In all seriousness, the moral issues in politi-
cal campaigns have a great relationship to
pledges made before the election. Party plat-
forms have become valueless, yet there is a re-
vived motivation to induce commitments to
them and if the current contests can induce it
morality will gain ground even in politics. ..,
St. Martin's Press Volume
Notable Aggada Quotations
in The Talmud for Today'
Talmudic lore, parables and fables in the Aggada comprise the
compilations incorporated in a scholarly work entitled "The Talmud
for Today" by Rabbi Alexander Feinsilver (St. Martin's Press).
Passages selected for this volume deal with experiences in daily
life, and there is a faScination in the contents, the informative and the
As translator as well as compiler, Rabbi Feinsilver emphasizes
the impressive selections which best serve the contemporary Jew in
guiding him toward an appreciation as well as an understanding of
the Talmud and its qualities and contents.
While the topics dealt with include God and His Way, the Right-
eous Life, Love of Fellow Man, Livelihood and Sustenance and other
related topics, there also is a section on "The Two Israels," which deals
with the land and the people of Israel.
Just as each chapter contains an explanatory note on the contents
and the selections, so also does the section on the two Israels, about
which the author notes:
The term 'Israel' is used'by the rabbis to refer to the people of
Israel, descended from Jacob, who first bore that name (Gen. 32:29).
This designation, today as in the past, is intended to include the whole
Jewish people, identifying that people as an enduring entity in time.
However, the same term is also applied by the rabbis to.the land of
Israel, called Palestine by the Romans and often referred to as the
"While the people of Israel and the land of Israel are not identical,
they are not unrelated, and the close connection between them is
indicated by Scripture itself. The Bible links the people of Israel with
the land of Israel by repeatedly associating the Chosen People with
the Promised Land. Thus the rabbis of the Talmud regard both the
land of Israel and the people of Israel as unique instruments for the
achievement of God's purpose.
"The land of Israel is perceived as the land of the Patriarchs and
Prophets; Jerusalem, the city of David, as the place where the Temple
once stood; and the people of Israel as God's 'own treasure from among
all peoples' (Exod. 19:5), called upon to serve as a 'light unto the
nations' (Isa. 42:6).
"The rabbis are persuaded that the land of Israel, which has
played so prominent a part in their people's past, is destined to make
future contributions to the forging of the Jewish future and the
shaping of the fate of humanity. They encourage their people. -t-
tered among the nations, to hold fast to the vision of a return tc it
land, meanwhile living in accordance with God's commands and serv-
ing as His witnesses among the peoples of the earth, awaiting the day
of redemption when the people of Israel and the land of Israel will at
last be reunited."
Exemplary in many of the selections in this chapter are:
All Israelites are responsible for one another
"626. Scripture states: (Lev. 26:37) And they shall stumble one
over (or because of) another. We may infer from this verse that all
Israelites are responsible for one another. This applies when there is
an opportunity to protest against a misdeed and no protest is made
(i.e., he who fails to protest shares in the guilt). Sanhedrin, 27b."
The "agony and ecstasy" of being God's people
"630. R. Johanan b. Zakkai said, 'Fortunate are you, 0 Israel; for
as long as you perform the will of God, no nation or people can have
any power over you! But when you fail to perform the will of God, you
are delivered into the hands of a people which oppresses you; even to
, the very beasts of that nation!" Kethuboth, 66b."