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March 05, 1982 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-03-05

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

2 Friday, March ` 5,





Purely Commentary

Rickover on the Presidency
and Human Rights: When the Need
to Condemn Bias Is Obligatory

Admiral Hyman Rickover emerges as much more than
an expert on the U.S. Navy's nuclear needs. He has high
ideals in viewing the American political and social
standards. He evidenced it in an important essay on the
Presidency. In "Thoughts on the Presidency" in a NYTimes
Op-Ed Page essay he emphasized human rights in the
American devotional as a basic principle for high standards
in government.
In that essay, he made a reference to an American
experience involving the persecution of Jews in Russia. In
that essay he made a comment notably relevant to many of
the issues involving prejudice which demand official inter-
est in all democratic ranks. To quote him:
The United States, from its inception, has been
looked upon by people all over the world as the
leading exponent of human freedom. This is still a
worthy cause, regardless of what other interna-
tional objectives we may have. Our country is the
shining light for all oppressed people. No other
country is held in such high regard universally in
this respect. 0 •
For example, in 1911, President William How-
ard Taft rebuked the Russian government when it
charged and imprisoned a Jewish citizen for the
alleged ritual murder of a child. This was ,the
Mendel Beilis affair. Beilis was eventually freed.
It is noteworthy that Ric- -
kover should have chosen
an American comment on
the ritual murder libel asi
examplary of the pr6tests
against persecutions.
The Mendel Beilis case
was not an exception. There
were protests by Presidents
against other numerous in-
cidents of anti-Semitism.
President Theodore
Roosevelt joined in con-
demning the Kishinev pog-
rom of 1904. As Secretary of
State, John Hay protested
the Romanian persecutions.
That Rickover should
have selected the Mendel Beilis incident as an example of
U.S. concerns with human rights is most interesting.. It
might have been expected for him to mention that
President Taft broke commercial relations with Russia be-
cause natualized American citizens visiting Russia were
discriminated against: It also was in 1911, and it oc-
casioned demands for U.S. action by Jewish leaders like
Jacob Schiff and his associates in the American Jewish
Committee during the Czarist era.
There were protests during the Nazi era, and President
Franklin D. Roosevelt condemned the outrages. There
wasn't enough action to prevent the extent of the
Holocaust. The American doors were closed to escapees
from Nazism. History indicts the FDR clique for inactiop.
The FDR voice was not totally silenced, but the appeals for
a humane rescue policy were ignored.
Therefore, the human rights principles predominate as
an American ideal, but are not always promptly applied.'
They are often confused, as evidenced in the current situa-
tions in many parts of the world. The ideal is undeniable.
The applicability demands firmness even under duress.

Recording History as a Duty:
Ann Arbor Temple Did It,
Shaarey Zedek Is Doing It •

Recalling President Taft's Protestations in Mendel Beilis
Ritual Murder Case and the Russian Discriminations During
Czarist Days ... Recording Historical Facts a Communal Duty

first" appellation in the title to the historically-important
volume about Ann Arbor's Reform congregation. It em-
phasizes continuity. The first years are only the beginning.
The community must grow Jewishly and Beth Emeth is the
This is more than implication. It is endorsement of and
encouragement to the task of making recorded history
an obligation for every community.
There was a Reform Jewish congregation in Ann Arbor
more than a century ago. The elders among the University
of Michigan graduates could have been interviewed to re-
late their experiences in the early 1920s, when the late Dr.
Leo M. Franklin of Detroit's Temple Beth El made it a duty
and a religious devotion to direct the Reform services for
Jewish students at U-M. When he could not make the trip
to Ann Arbor. to conduct the services, which were held at
the YMCA on State Street, he arranged for a guest rabbi.
There were a mere handful of Jewish residents in Ann
Arbor at that time. The student body numbered about 2,000
and many who were asked about their religious affiliations
replied, "None of your damned business; that's my private
concern." But the majority affirmed their affiliations.
There were not many Jews on the faculty. Some depart-
ments discriminated.
Now there are hundreds of U-M Jewish faculty mem-
bers, and they add to the multiplied Ann Arbor Jewish
population which is now credited in the American Jewish
Year Book as numbering 3,000. This is a figure given for
Washtenaw County. Most of them are undoubtedly in Ann
Arbor — members of university faculties, their wives, chil-
dren, and the many who have fallen in love with Ann Arbor
and choose to make it their home.
They are not all Reform. Hillel Foundation could not,
dare not, be predominantly favorable to a single segment in
the Jewish population. The Conservative factor, followed
impressively by the Orthodox, still outnumber the Reform.
The Reform Temple Beth Emeth meanwhile shows the way
by pursuing the need for recorded history. Its "first 15_
years" volume gives the idea the importance and the em-
phasis needed in all ranks.
Beth Emeth's just-published volume gives earned credit
for background to the late Irving I. Katz of Detroit's Temple
Beth El. He would have been able to write an excellent
history of the era of Leo M. Franklin and the beginnings of
• Reform in the Ann Arbor Jewish community.
The interesting h' tory was prepared by two able
women researchers, Linda Vanek 'and Rose Vainstein.
They edited the book well and they emerge as historians for
their community. The first devoted two years to make the
contacts with the temple founders; the job thereupon was
completed by both.
The first Ann Arbor Reform rabbi was Bruce Warshal.
The present-functioning spiritual leader, Ralph Meeirtlen-
burger, contributes impressively to the recorded history
with an introduction in which he evaluates the efforts to
build the congregation, paying honor to the creative lead-
ers, and he asserts:
We are helping one another to be Jewish. That
summarizes Temple Beth Emeth's past, and also
our hopes for the future. That is a modest enough
claim, and a worthy enough goal. With God's help,
we shall achieve that goal more fully with each
passing year.
The many who assisted in the making of the Temple
Beth Emeth recorded history, the presidents. who served
the congregation, the relevant facts about the temple, are
fully recorded here.
Year-by-year, chronologically recorded, starting with
the first meeting, Feb. 13, 1966, the story of the temple is
told, in facts gathered by Mrs. Vanek, continued in the
efforts of Rose Vainstein, who is Margaret Mann Professor
of Library Sciences at the University of Michigan.
That's how recorded history becomes a science. Michi-
gan Jewry is blessed that it should have been applied to the
university city of Ann Arbor.

Major movements, nationally and locally, are recog-
nizing the need to perpetuate historic facts, to retain
memories, to gather reminiscences.
Tackling Another '20/20' Distortion:
Recording history became an obligation in recent
years. The United Jewish Appeal did it for a time on a In Relation to the Cultural
national scale. Detroit's Jewish Community Council pur- Aspects of Israel's Policies
sued it recently, and Bette Roth for a time interviewed
ABC's "20/20" program with the -massive distortions
localites for that purpose.
about Israel's treatment of the Arabs in the Judea-Samaria
Cong. Shaarey Zedek is adhering to that idea on the region has been tackled in nearly all the instances of in-
occasion of the approaching celebration of the synagogue's citement to venom in that program. In some 18 minutes it
120th anniversary, in a history prepared by Bette Roth, packed in so many untruths that the American Jewish
being edited for publication by Carole Altman Bromberg.
community was justified in joining Israel in the protests
Many communityites will have a role soon in the 70th over single-sidedness in treating the serious issues involv-
anniversary of Cong. Bnai Moshe, and encouragement ing Arab-Jewish relations.
should be given it in recording its history. Reconstructing
One other matter, not touched upon in the expose in
the years of the services of Rabbi Moses Fischer and the this column two weeks ago, was the cultuaral aspect.
Bnai Moshe membership which continues to share de- Claims made by Israel's antagonists on the ABC program of
votedly in this community's affairs will serve to enrich
failure of the Jewish state to provide equal learning oppor-
historical records.
tunities for Arab students_ are hardly justified.
Ann Arbor's Reform congregation has already made
Adding to this the frequent demonstrations against
such a publication an accomplished fact.
Israel by Arab students, especially at Bir Zeit University,
More than passing or local interest attaches, therefore, demand special attention.
to the 100-page "Temple Beth Emeth: The First Fifteen
All of Israel's universities welcome Arab students.
Years, 1966-1981." There is the implied emphasis in "the
That hasn't restrained many of them from aligning them-
: • j ; ' 5

By Philip

selves with the PLO, for demonstrating against Israel, for
advocating Israel's destruction.
Especially at the Hebrew University, there were inci-
dents impermissible in a civilized society. The Arab stu-
dents there have not hesitated to call for PLO dominance,
unabashedly calling for another Genocide.
Full scope of operation under Jordanian law to which
the area of Judea-Samf. ria has been accustomed is being
fully enforced. The basi fact to remember is that prior to
June 1967 there wasn't single university in that district.
Four universities were e ,tablished there since Israel began
administering the area. They are:
Bir Zeit University in Ramallah, Al-Naja Nati
University in Nablus, Fr :res University in Bethlehem and
the Islamic Center at H. 'bron.
Institutions for adva aced vocational studies now func-
tion: Al-Arub Agricultu -al School in Hebron, the Kadouri
Agricultural School at Tulkarm, and the Hebron
Only in matters of security are there restrictions. Stu-
dents and teachers are asked to refrain from political ac-
tivities. Thus: The American Guide to the Laws of War on
Land declares:"Schools may be closed if teachers engage in
politics or refuse to submit to inspection." The American
Guide further states: "Teachers must not indulge in politi-
cal talk and activities detrimental to the occupants under
the guise of education."
Israel's declarations that even these regulations were
not enforced and that action against the demonstrators was
enforced only when stueents took to the streets and
obstructed traffic must be _Laken seriously.
The following figures also demand serious viewing:
Israeli staff members in that area remain steady at 14, and
the local Arab staff has grown from 913 in 1967-1968 to
8,364 in 1978-1980.
This chart also is of vital importance to the issue under
(55,162 girls)
(112,228 girls)
Facts are of the essence.
Now, the question that puzzles American Jewry as
well as the Israelis: What will ABC do to correct the harm

Intoxication, Sobriety, Purim


of the point of utter confu-
But there are others who
— "Van-
Purim note that it is enough just to
the Festival of
ahafokh Hu," where every- drink an amount that will
befuddle the brain a bit, so
thing is reversed. Suddenly that the person will not be
sobriety Not
falls only
by is
out the
told to tions
to equate
to drink, but the amount numerical value of each
one should drink is even Hebrew letter.
specified in the Talmud:
"One should drink until he
"Ad delo yada" ("until he
will not be able to differ- will not be able to tell . .")
entiate between 'Cursed be is certainly one of the most
Haman' and 'Blessed be unusual of Jewish rituals.
Mordecai'!" When there are Purim
There are those who parades in some Israeli
interpret the words liter- cities, they are called
ally. Others do not go quite "Adeloyadas."
so far. Using sound rabbinic
Finally, whatever cus-
interpretation, they reason toms you adopt, may you
as follows: it states "Until drink a heady toast to Mor-
he will not be able to tell," decai and Esther and may
etc. This means that one you enjoy a happy Purim in
drinks "until" that point, the full spirit (and with
but n•ot including it. In other right spirits!) -of this jo:
words, one must stop short occasion.

World Zoinist Press Service

Shown is the megilla reading in the synagogue of
Yavneh, Israel, a religious kibutz between Gedara
and Ashdod.

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