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November 25, 1983 - Image 75

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-11-25

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

Friday, November 25, 1983 11

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

1

Readers Forum

Quality PLUMBING

"A Flush Beats A Full House"

Dial

Materials submitted to the Readers Forum must be brief. The writer's name will be withheld from publication upon
request. No unsigned letters will be published. Materials will not be returned unless a stamped, self-addressed envelope is
enclosed.

Student Reports
from Israel

(Editor's Note: The fol-
lowing letter is sent from
the recipient of the Philip
Slomovitz Scholarship
administered by the
Metro Detroit District -
Zionist Organization of
America.)

Editor, The Jewish News:
I've recently arrived in Is-
rael as a social work volun-
teer for Sherut La'am (Ser-
vice to the People).
I've been in Israel for a
full three weeks; I've spent
most of my time so far inter-
viewing all over the country
for various social work posi-
tions. The Sherut La'am of-
fice here in Jerusalem has
helped me get leads for jobs
in various development
towns throughout Israel.
In general, development
towns are places where new
immigrants are absorbed
into Israeli society. They
are usually small in size and
varied in population com-
position. I've found most
people to be very warm and
friendly. Since many Is-
raelis prefer to live in the
larger cities, most develop-
ment towns lack sufficient
manpower for basic human
services such as social, edu-
cational and medical.

tive trimmings: A hand-
some articulate speaker, a
large, receptive audience,
and a flattering message
with cliches that we are
hated because of our
Jewishness and high moral
standards.
The author categorically
denies that anti-Semitism
is due to economic, social,
racial or psychologic factors
or the need for a scapegoat.
With such bold assertions
one anticipates new in-
sights or revelations, but
what emerges is a theory
that sounds more like
"wishful thinking" than re-
ality.

Some specific in-
stances will permit the
reader to judge for one-
self. The speaker dismis-
sed the idea of a
scapegoat as a valid
reason for anti-Semitism,
and cited Hitler as an il-
lustration. This is very
surprising, as Hitler's
rise to power was
punctuated by his re-
peatedly blaming the
Jews for Germany's de-
feat in World War I.

To accept the author's as-
sumption of a unitary cause
for anti-Semitism is at best
very simplistic. Every epoch
had multiple reasons for
anti-Jewish manifestations
In the past weeks I've that interact in varying de-
talked with several social grees. The Holocaust
workers, many of whom tragedy was different from
have more than 100 the pogroms of the Czars, or
families on their the Spanish inquisition, or
caseload. Thus, since the Crusades, and the
everywhere I go social Chmielnicki massacres.
The Nazi period saw the
workers are desperately
needed, I have not found unleashing of all the power-
it difficult to find work. In ful forces of hatred, includ-
fact, in every city that I ing the racial, economic and
interviewed, I've been of- psychological, that culmi-
fered a job. Having so nated in the bestiality of
many choices, made it genocide.
The author's denial of the
very hard for me to de-
emotional basis for anti-
cide where to go.
Finally I chose the city of Semitism is surprising. His
Ashdod for a few reasons: reason that not all anti-
one, because the job seemed Semites are emotionally
shows that he is una-
very interesting to me; it's
community-center work, ware of basic psychologic
and my emphasis will be truism that envy, jealousy
working with families, and rivalry are common
which is my area of interest. phenomena. Even Hitler
The second reason I went had to de-humanize the
to Ashdod was because it is Jews before they could be-
so centrally located. Lastly, come suitable victims by
my choice of Ashdod was calling them "vermin" and
motivated by my talks with "a cancer," etc., to be eradi-
the people who gave me the cated.
impression they like living
Prager disavows the
here. I did not get that im- "chosen people" concept
pression at the other places as a cause for anti-
I visited.
Semitism, and cites the
I am sure that living here case of the Chinese who
will be very interesting; I have a superiority idea of
am looking forward to hav- themselves and are not
ing some very exciting ex- discriminated against.
periences.
Assuming that the above

Gwen Daneman

Ashdod, Israel
* * *

Prager Thesis
Forgets Facts

is true, how can one com-
pare a people of several
hundred million living on
their own land with a
small minority spread all
over the globe? His
reasoning is faulty re-
gardless of the facts.

Editor, The Jewish News:
The main theme of De-
The author seems to ig-
nnis Prager's book on anti-
Semitism, "Why the Jews?", nore the uniqueness of the
as presented at the Book Jewish people irrespective
Fair, should not go unchal- of the high morality of
Judaism. The. Jews are the
lenged.
• The lecture. had itpi, .80A4 t,only Iztetaialt Ahree-

quarters of their number in
Diaspora and not on their
own land. Hebrew and Yid-
dish are spoken only by
Jews. No other people prac-
tice Judaism. A glance at
the UN voting blocs shows
how isolated Israel is, polit-
ically and otherwise.
The speaker's thesis is
akin to the idea of Maurice
Samuels who stated in 1949
that Jews are hated not be-
cause they "crucified"
Christ but because they
gave birth to him. There is
no doubt that Judean-
Christian morality was
anathema to the Nazi pagan
philosophy, but this cannot
be assigned as the root of
Hitler's anti-Semitism. The
ovens in the concentration
camps were not limited to
religious Jews. Also, the
Vatican as the "guardian of
high morality" was as
guilty as any Hitler underl-
ing because of sabotage and
official silence.
Because of his basic mis-
conception and lack of ap-
preciation of the emotional
aspects of anti-Semitism.
Prager's conclusions should
not be taken seriously.

967-DRIP

insured • license 81-0792

receive the card himself, his
sadistic KGB captors will
know that the world is not
forgetting about him.)
And second, after lighting
your Hanuka candles each
night, say a prayer on be-
half of Anatoly and all the
other Jewish Prisoners of
Conscience. May God, who
brought us the miracle of
Hanuka, soon bring us a
miraculous redemption of
Anatoly so that he may live
in peace with his wife Avital
in Jerusalem.

UNDERCOVERS BOUTIQUE

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HARVARD ROW MALL Mon.-Sat. 10:00-5:30
12:00-4:00
11 Mile & Lahser
thru December

Morey Schapira

Union of Councils
for Soviet Jews

Dr. Milton Steinhardt

* * *

Modern-Day
Maccabee-
Shcharansky

Editor, The Jewish News:
A modern-day Judah
Maccabee languishes today
in a Soviet prison cell. His
name is Anatoly
Shcharansky. As Judah
Maccabee did many cen-
turies ago, Shcharansky
was fighting to preserve his
Jewish values, culture and
ideals. Like Judah Mac-
cabee, he is struggling
against a powerful, anti-
Semitic tyranny.
A year ago, Anatoly
Shcharansky was on a des-
perate hunger strike to call
attention to his plight. To-
day, his name is hardly
mentioned any more in the
public press. We, however,
cannot afford to let up in our
efforts for a man who has
sacrificed so much for his
people.
Hanuka, a holiday of
freedom, is nearly upon us.
Each of your readers can
help Anatoly this Hanuka.
First, by sending him a
Hanuka greeting card. A
simple card with a 400
stamp may help shine some
light into a dark, cold prison
cell. His address is:

Anatoly Shcharansky
UCHr. UE 148/C.T.4
Gorod Chistopol 422950
Tatarskaya ASSR
RSFSR, USSR

(Even if Anatoly does not

Reform Group
Slates Parley

LOS ANGELES - The
National Association of
Temple Educators will hold
its 29th national conven-
tion Dec. 25-30 in Costa
„: :p
Mesa, Calif.

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