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March 26, 1982 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-03-26

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

30 Friday, March 26, 1982

Pope Honors Nazi Victims

Jews, who were shot to
death at the site on March
24, 1944, in a Nazi reprisal
for partisan ambush of 33
German soldiers on a Rome
street.

ROME (JTA) — Pope
John Paul II paid homage to
the victims of the 1944 Ar-
deatine Caves massacre.
In the presence of Roman
Catholic and Jewish dig-
nitaries he knelt to pray and
laid a wreath of flowers on
the graves of the 335 citi-
zens of Rome, many of them

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'Historic' Legend of The Rock of Destruction'

"Encyclopedia of Eretz Is- the leaders of the garrison
rael" is a classic. His sent a message to every Jew
numerous volumes of the 'in all the surrounding
legends of Palestine and Is- towns and villages, asking
rael have been standards for each to bring a large stone
with which to strengthen
more than 60 years.
This year he has been the fortifications of the city
chosen to receive the co- and the Temple.
In those days there lived
veted Israel Prize for a
lifetime spent in recording in •-the village of Zorah a
and disseminating culture mighty man, descended
and lore designed to culti- from Samson. His spirit rose
up in him, and the strength
vate love of the country.
In an expansive mood he of his ancestor flowed in his
revealed to us a dark secret veins. He tore a massive
that he had been harboring boulder from the side of the
for almost six decades, and mountain, heaved it up on
we tell the story here.
his shoulders, and turned
In the,late 1920s, while toward the Holy City. He
taking a group of young was still on the mountain
people on a visit to his- pathway when he beheld
toric spots, during which thick pillars of smoke rising
he recounted many of the from the hills to the east. He
tales he had gathered realized that he was too
from historic sources, late; the city had been
they came upon a huge taken, and the Temple had
rock, nearly seven feet been destroyed.
He stumbled and fell in
high, on a hilltop near
Hartuv in the mountains tears. His strength ebbed
of Judea. Vilnay was in away, and the mighty stone
an historic mood, and on pressed him down and
the spur of the moment he crushed him to death under
gathered his young its weight. There he found
charges about him at the his grave.
Since then, and till the
rock and improvised the
present day, the massive
following "legend":
When the Romans pre- rock has been known as
pared to beseige Jerusalem, "The Rock of Destruc-
tion," in memory of the
destruction of Jerusalem
and the Temple.
We can picture the young
people standing about and
gazing in solemn awe at this
touching monument to an
historic event in their
people's past.
Vilnay was pleased with
his story, and included it in
the next edition of his
"Legends of Palestine," pre-
facing the account only

By CARL ALPERT

HAIFA — Zev Vilnay has
written dozens of books
about Israel, its holy places
and historic sites. Countless
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with: "Of this rock the fol-
lowing legend is told . . ."
Technically he was correct.
The legend was repeated
in subsequent editions,
plagiarized, adapted, repub-
lished and quickly became a
classic, "handed down
through the centuries."
There are two
epilogues to the story.
The first happened many
years later when Vilnay
escorted another grout --`
of visitors on a tour ix
Judean historic places,
and they insisted that he
take them to the famous
"Rock of Destruction."
He did so, but as they ap-
proached, a Yemenite
Jew who had been stand-
ing alongside the monu-
ment came up to Vilnay
'and courteously
suggested that the vete-
ran guide cover his head.
"This is a holy spot," the
Yemenite said, and kis-
sed the stone fervently.
"How could I tell him?"
Vilnay asked us, "that if he
venerated the story, it was
me he should kiss, rather
than the stone!"
The second occurrence
was when the Israel Minis-
try of Religion, anxious to
preserve the identity of holy
spots which might be lost
and forgotten, held a formal'
ceremony dedicating the
"Rock of Destruction" and
erecting a plaque marking
it as an official holy shrine.
Vilnay was not invited.
The curious, who may
wish to see it, will find it on
the grounds of the Eretz
Ha-Hayim Cemetery on a
peaceful ridge near Hartuv,
on the road to Bet Shemesh.

Council of Europe Head
to Reassess EEC M.E. Role

BRUSSELS (JTA) — The
president of the Council of
Europe, Leo Tindemans,
told the leadership of the
World Jewish Congress
European Branch that his
forthcoming visit to the
Middle East is intended to
reassess the role the Euro-
pean Economic Community
(EEC) can play in the prom-
oting peace in the Mideast
in light of changes in the in-
ternational arena since the
EEC formulated. its policy
in Venice in 1980 which in-
cluded a call for the Pales-
tine Liberation Organiza-
tion to be associated with
the peace process.
The changes he cited dur-
ing his private meeting
with the WJC leaders here
included the election of
Ronald Reagan as President
of the United States, the
re-election of Menahem
Begin as premier of Israel,
the election of Francois Mit-
terrand as president of
France, the assassination of
President Anwar Sadat of
Egypt, and Mitterrand's
trip to Israel.
Tindemans, who is.
foreign minister of Belgium
and who was elected
president of the EEC at the
beginning of the year, ex-
plained that his forthcom-
ing visit would be a fact-
finding mission to deter-

.

mine how the basis for
European political co-
operation on Middle East
policy could be structured.
It was his hope, he said,
that following his visit,
the EEC would be in a
position to propose what
he termed confidence-
building methods to the
leaders of the Mideast na-
tions.
In working toward that
objective, Tindemans said
the EEC might seek ways to
extend the peace between
Egypt and Israel to other
countries in the area on a
progressive basis.

Salvadoran Rebel
Meets Arafat

BEIRUT — A meeting be-
tween Yasir Arafat and an
El Salvador rebel leader
took place during the Sal-
vadoran's 10-day secret
visit to Lebanon, according
to the Lebanese newspaper
As Safir.
The newspaper carried an
interview with the Salvado-
ran commander, who was
identified only as Lieut. Col.
Martell. In the interview,
Martell claimed he had met
with Arafat and also ac-
cused Israel of maintaining
a considerable presence in
El Salvador.

ii

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