THE JEWISH NEWS
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Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with the issue of July 20, 1951
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Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the 10th day of Nisan, 5742, the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Leviticus 6:1-8:36.
Prophetical portion, Malachi 3:4-24.
Wednesday, Fast of the Firstborn
Passover Scriptural Selections
Thursday, Pentateuchal portion, Exodus 12:21-51, Numbers 28:16-25. Prophetical portion, Joshua 5:2-6:1, 27.
April 9, Pentateuchal portion, Leviticus 22:26-23:44, Numbers 28:16-25. Prophetical portion, II Kings 23:1-9, 21-25.
Candlelighting, Friday, April 2, 6:41 p.m.
VOL. LXXXI, No. 5
Friday, April 2, 1982
'PROCLAIM LIBERTY . .
In "Dreamers of the Ghetto," Israel Zangwill
quoted Heinrich Heine: "Since the Exodus,
freedom has always spoken with a Hebrew ac-
cent." This is a theme that has been affirmed by
interpreters of the lessons inherent in Passover
in the terminology of spokespeople for all faiths.
In the Mishna, emphasizing the traditional
codes relating to the ideal of freedom, there is a
lesson for all generations: "Even the poorest
Jew, a recipient of charity, must, on the eve of
Passover, eat only in a reclining position, as a
mark of freedom, and drink no less than four
cups of wine . . . On Passover eve the son asks
his father, and if the son is unintelligent, his
father instructs him to ask: 'Why is this night
different from all other nights?' "
Challenges to mankind's freedoms, which are
presently being experienced in agony in many
parts of the world, add to the duty to make the
liberties craved for so vital in human existence.
It is a principle never to be abandoned.
Indeed, there are challenges to the free spirit
of man throughout the world today. Thus the
Passover ideal becomes more impressively vital
for the celebrants and for all who appreciate the
lesson of the great festival.
The Seder this year, perhaps more than in
most recent years, becomes occasion for re-
dedication, for resolution to make the family the
symbol of strength.
The Jewish people will always gather
strength for the devotion that comes with the •
unity inspired by the ingathering of those who
make the home the indestructible instrument
for Jewish continuity, as a people, as a spiritual
force. In this sense the Seder once again invites
Jewly for unification of the people dedicated to
the highest goals for humanity, making Pas-
sover the symbol for civilized commitment for
Freedom has a common ring for all peoples, in
How could the human spirit evolve, had it not
been for the craving for freedom, especially
where it doesn't exist, or has to be fought for?
Yet it is among the oldest of the great aspira-
tions, and it has its roots in the Holy Scriptures:
"Proclaim liberty throughout the land, to all
the inhabitants thereof' (Lev. 25:10).
Whatever the salutation to Passover, it turns
to this theme because it is universal, because it
is all-embracing, because it includes mankind.
It is among the major festivals on the calen-
dar for humanity because, supplementary to the
faith it inspires, it is more significantly the
holiday of the home, of the family, as a unifying
force in human relations.
It is in this spirit that the Passover is being
welcomed. This is the time when the home be-
comes a sanctuary for celebrants who make the
Seder the reunification and strengthening of
family relations. In the process, this dedication
leads to the strengthening of the larger family,
`The Black Book' Exposes
Nazi Horrors, Babi Yar Evils
Ilya Ehrenburg had the role of Soviet historian. He occupied the
highest position in USSR journalism, had the ear of Stalin for many
years, was both respected and humiliated on occasions. His numerous
works occupy an extended bookshelf in the Russian language and
some gained best-selling status in translations.
Together with another Russian historian, Vasily Grossman, he
co-authored an important documentary which was destroyed, redis-
covered fortunately for the conscience of a mankind and now made
available under the title "The Black Book" (Schocken).
The viciousness which marked recent attempts by neo-Nazis and
their cohorts to attempt to brand the Holocaust as a fabrication makes
this volume one of the most effective, not only in the Schocken
Holocaust Library but-in the entire literature of the past half-century,
in providing the indisputable evidence about the worst of the in-
humanities in mankind's history.
"The Black Book" is the appropriate title for the heartrending
The Ehrenburg-Grossman volume contains the factual record of
the destruction of a million-and-a-half Soviet Jews by the Nazis. The
two authors prepared this volume for publication towards the end of
World War II and in 1948 it was suppressed by Stalin. All available
copies were destroyed and the manuscript disappeared.
Miraculously, a copy of the manuscript was found in Israel in
1965. The text was reconstructed in 1980 and published by Yad
Vashem, the authority for Holocaust martyrdom and heroism in
In his memoirs "People, Years, Life," Ehrenburg wrote: "At the
residents therein, especially the youth, will end of 1943'1 started working together with Vasily Grossman on a
constantly resort to violence, even if they collection of documents which we tentatively named "The Black
realize that violence begets violence?
"We decided to collect diaries, private letters, accounts of sur-
Will Israel's enemy neighbors come to terms vivors and eyewitnesses of that total annihilation of Jews on occupied
with the inheritor of the prophecy that "Zion Soviet territory. We enlisted the cooperation of writers such as V.
shall be redeemed with justice," knowing full , Ivanov, Antokolsky, Kaverin, Seyfullina, Peretz Markish, Aliger and
I devoted considerable time, effort and heart to 'The Black
well that it will benefit the Arab adversary as others.
Book.' Sometimes, while reading a diary or taking notes of eyewitness
much as Israel the defendant? Can enmities be testimony, I felt as though I myself were in the ghetto, that an action
were taking place and I was being driven into the ravine or the ditch.
"I saved the letters, diaries and notes. I read through them again,
At the Seder table it can well be asked although
20 yeras have passed since I relived the horror, the death-
whether Diaspora and redeemed Israel will stay
anguish. I cannot understand how we endured it all and fount
united in defense of justice for Israel and for the
strength to go on living. I am not speaking about death — not eve— of
protection of the state that is battling for its
the mass slaughters — but about the awareness that these crimes
were perpetuated by human beings in the middle of the 20th Century,
by citizens of a civilized country."
Since the basic contents of the Haggada can-
Providing the fullest account of the Babi Yar horrors, the mass
not be ignored, there is one item that remains slaughter whose savagery is being treated as a secret by the Soviet
uppermost and poses a compelling question: Union, "The Black Book" is the revealing documentary to be treated
Can the youth of the People Israel, in the state as a notable contribution to truth about the bestialities of the Nazi
and the Diaspora, be properly trained in accord- era.
As Alexander N. Donat, publisher of the non-profit Holocaust
ance with the command of "v -yigadta le- Library
has stated, "This is more than a book. It is a relic. It belongs in
Binha" — "thou shalt teach it to your children" every temple, school, library and home. It is a monument more lasting
— so that the generations to come will not be than bronze, a monument that is being denied to those who perished,
ignorant of their legacies?
whose martyrdom as Jews is not recognized by their own govern-
The questions keep multiplying. The answers ments."
Holocaust Library merits acclaim for the great services rendered
will hopefully be available. There is a compel-
in exposing the bestialities of the Nazis. "The Black Book" lends it
ling need to be aware of occurrences that inspire added significance for the presentations of the accumulated documen-
so many challenging questions.
taries about the Russian sector in the era of crime and inhumanities.
Benefiting from the legacies of the Passover,
participants in the Seder ceremonies are wit-
nesses to the deliberations in which the Sages
judged the people and the events of the era of the
Exodus. Their discussions of the liberties that
were attained, the justice craved for, the faith
that inspired them, are applicable today. In one
respect, the Passover Haggada calls for serious
addenda. No longer is the Seder dissertation
limited in its genesis to Four Questions. There
is more to the concern at this time. The quest for
justice now is enwrapped in difficulties and obs-
tacles to the very peace which is sought through
justice and by way of the liberties acquired by
dedication to the enunciated principles.
Now it is asked: With Sinai again the major
topic for the discussants of the Passover theme,
what hope is there for an accord that will spell
amity for the contestants? With the peoples in
the area where the Exodus occurred and the
freedoms inherent in its history as recorded in
the Haggada, how can justice become operative
— for all the peoples involved, since Jews can-
not hope for peace for themselves alone in a
The questions are limitless. What, for exam-
ple, is in store for the embattled People Israel, if
they must resort to arms in their own ter-
ritories, in the sphere they administer, if the