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December 02, 1983 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-12-02

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Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with the issue of July 20, 1951

Copyright © The Jewish News Publishing Co.

Member of American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers, National Editorial Association and
National Newspaper Association and its Capital Club.
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17515 W. Nine Mile, Suite 865, Southfield, Mich. 48075
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Sabbath Scriptural Selections

This Sabbath, the 27th day of Kislev, 5744, the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:

Pentateuchal portion, Genesis 41:1-44:17, Numbers 7:24-29.
Prophetical portion, Zechariah 2:14-4:7.

Hanuka Scriptural Selections

Sunday, Numbers 7:30-41. Monday, Numbers 7:36-47.
Tuesday (Rosh Hodesh Tevet), Numbers 28:1-15, 7:42-47.
Wednesday (Rosh Hodesh Tevet), Numbers 28:1-15, 7:48-53.
Thursday, Numbers 7:54-8:4.

Candlelighting, Friday, Dec. 2, 4:43 p.m.


Page Four

Friday, December 2, 1983


Where there is no vision,
the people perish.

Proverbs 29:18
There is nothing new under the sun — be-
fore it is eclipsed predictably by the Big Bomb.
Apocalyptically, the warnings which emerged
as predictions in "The Day After" are creating
the interest that is so necessary to be prepared
for the worst — if preparation can be judged as a
possible miracle of survivalism.
The knowledgeable insist that the day
after will be hopeless. The hopeful entertain a
vision: perhaps prevention will remain man-
kind's most powerful weapon.
On the day after, whatever is left of sight
is in the direction of the two great powers. Elie
Wiesel may have introduced a frequently
ignored realism when he pointed in the direc-
tion of a possibly greater menace to humanity
should a minor in the ranks of the nations attain
access to the destructive weapon. This is where
the danger is currently.
West is seeking access to the East, and in
the meantime the power in the East is providing
the deadly weapons for the battleground of the
Middle East. Could it be that the dangers there-
from are even harsher?
The world becomes concerned with the day
after, and in the process fails to act the day
before! There is so much to guard against now!
The powder keg is not sufficiently protected
from the lit match, and diplomacy is playing
This is the day prior to calamity, and its
agenda must be placed a seriousness that may
have been ignored. Using the Middle East as a

symbol of what's to be done, it is becoming
reasonable that the nations most seriously af-
fected by the new Armageddon are splitting
ranks to the detriment of all. It is apparent that
the diplomats who have the responsibility of
creating a unity that will lead Arab potentates
to an understanding of the urgency for amity
that must include Israel as an equal partner in
an immense political venture are falling short
of pragmatism and firmness in striving for,
perhaps demanding, an end to barbarities and
an approach to common horse sense.
This does not resolve the calamities of the
day after, and it merely suggests that the day
prior to it is now. And the Middle East, where
life has cheapened, is symbolic of the proverbial
admonition that where there is no vision, people
The vision is the quest for realism. It is the
call to abandonment of the selfish motivations
and the quest for power. It is the search for
cooperation that will make the responsible rul-
ers recognize the wisdom of people sitting to-
gether, working together, fraternizing with re-
spect for human values.
Is it a lesson also for Israel. Indeed, it is!
Israel can not work for that great hope for amity
in a vacuum. There must be the recognition of
the importance of the quest for togetherness.
In diplomatic ranks, there are shortcom-
ings that are based on selfish motivations. If
they are erasable, the day before is the timeli-
ness for action, and the Middle East could be the
test tube for a peace rooted in proper vision.
In "The Day After" there is a warning. In
the aspiration for action, The Day Before is a
remnant for hope and peace. Let there be an
invitation for Vision!


Philip Klutznick, who had the distinction of
serving in President Jimmy Carter's Cabinet
after heading the International Bnai Brith Or-
ganization and as Nahum Goldmann's succes-
sor to the presidency of the World Jewish Con-
gress, has another role. He is now one of the
spokespeople for the International Center for
Peace in the Middle East and he delivered a
strong message last week to members of the
Knesset and other Israelis of prominence. He
told them:
"If you listen to us when we speak good of
Israel, then you must listen to us when we speak
ill. Otherwise we will lose our credibility, and
the American government will not listen to us
at all."
A tradition followed here is rooted in the
Jewish — and that includes Israeli — efforts
and terms for peace, and also dignifies the par-
ticipants in such tasks.
It should be noted, therefore, that with

Klutznick in the revived mission to Israel are
such personalities as Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, a
vice president of the World Jewish Congress;
the political scientist Seymour Martin Lipset;
and Israelis as distinguished as Abba Eban and
Arie Eliay.
The mission and the missionaries give em-
phasis to an ideal that is indisputable, and even
if their major demand, that there be a with-
drawal from the Judea-Samaria West Bank
areas, needs more elaboration, the courage of
Americans coming to Israel to criticize heads of
that government can only be treated with great
The major troubling element remains:
Jews demand serious concessions from fellow
Jews and they fail miserably on a major score:
Arabs also count in the dispute but they have
never been able to reach a single spokesman
among them to emulate them, Therefore, it
might be best to strive in that direction.

`Best of Modern Humor':
Richter's Multiple Sources

Mordecai Richter is himself a source of much humor. His novels,
some disputatious, provide many laughs. He is a proper collector of
the humorous from the most popular works and authors of this gener-
ation. He proves it in "The Best of Modern Humor" (Knopf).
It is a hilarious work and as an anthology of laugh-provoking
excerpts from the writings of 65 authors it is a veritable classic.
Indeed, Richter provides humor from many sources in this
splendidly-edited anthology.
Inevitably, Leo Rosten has an acknowledged place in humorous
compilations. That Richter should have selected Rosten's "The Educa-
tion of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N" as an evidence of the lighter
vein in American literature is not a bit surprising. "H*Y*M*A*N had
many reprintings and the story of the immigrant in the American
classroom enchants readers of all faiths. It has become an American
On the same score, it is not a bit surprising that Stephen Leacock
should have chosen to lead off the Richter collection. The choice of
Leacock's "Gertrude the Governess: Or Simple Seventeen" is the type
of story that can be read and read again for more laughs.
Readers of this anthological work will be grateful for inclusion of
Groucho Marx's "Letters to Warner Brothers." Because Groucho pro-
duced "A Night in Casablanca," after the Warner Brothers' "Casab-
lanca," he was sued for "misuse" of the name. Groucho's reply to the
accusers is so hilarious that there is an assurance of gratitude for its
being made available in the laugh-provoking Richter collection.
Saul Bellow is properly and notably represented here. An excerpt
from "Jerusalem and Back" will prove sidesplitting. It is the story of
Bellow's trip to Israel, his fulfillment of a fellow traveler's request
that Mrs. Bellow should not be seated next to the Orthodox adherent
and Bellow is therefore between them and the subject of a theological
lecture admonishing him not to eat non-kosher food, being offered a
$15 weekly fee if he'll adhere to the dietary laws, etcetera, etcetera. It
is fun-provoking while defining the Orthodox loyalties.
Woody Allen in "The Kugel Mass" is a selection to match the
storytelling humorists and a tale to be recommended when seeking
relief from gloom.
Should it be viewed as surprising that an excerpt from Philip
Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint" should have been added to this collec-
tive task?
Dan Greenburg's "How to Be a Jewish Mother," George S. Kauf-
man's "If Men Played Cards as Women Do," and the scores of other
selections add to the skills of anthologist Richter who does a lot of
reading to have gathered truly the best for an excellent ingathering of
humor from modern American literai'y gems.

Shtetl and Sephardic Tales

Shaindel Weinbach has to her credit many stories about Jews in
many lands. An educator who has settled in Israel, she has gathered
knowledge about the many elements in the population who have
become nation-builders. In the process, she has become intimately
acquainted with the backgrounds of the heroes of her stories.
She indicates, in her narratives, knowledge about the shtetl and
East European Jewry as well as about the many who make up the
state of Israel.
"The Three Merchants" (Mesorah Publications) is the title of the
lead story in her newest book. The contents, the people dealt with, the
incidents recorded, merit its being labeled an anthology.
Her emphasis on the Sephardi traditions and the fascinations
provided in that social sphere renders a superb service.

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