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March 02, 1984 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-03-02

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


Separation Issue Divides Youth


The Jewish News Special
Israel Correspondent

TEL AVIV — Fifty years
ago there was a controversy
between Rabbis Abraham
Yitzhak Kook and Benzion
Uziel about the question of
relations to women and
separating males and
females in society. Rabbi
Kook was'against equal so-
cial activities for men and
women, whereas Rabbi
Uziel took a more liberal
stand and advocated such
an activity as long as it is in
the framework of religious
Later, a compromise was
reached and in the youth
movement of the National
Religioiis Party, Mafdal,
Bnei Akiva boys and girls
were allowed to act and
dance together, to make
trips throughout the coun-
try and have common
Twenty years ago, a
change was introduced in
some groups of Bnei Akiva.
The mixed groups were dis-
solved and special separate
groups of boys and girls
were established in the Bnei
Akiva movement.
A few years ago, a reli-
gious youth movement
called Ariel was founded
in the Old City of
Jerusalem. Its members
are pupils in Yeshiva
Merkas Harav, the
yeshiva of the late Rabbi
Kook. The head of the
yeshiva had been the late

Rabbi Zwi Yehuda Kook
(the son of the former
Chief Rabbi of Israel),
who was the spiritual
leader of Gush Emunim,
Ariel came out strongly
against mixed activities
and established separate
groups for boys and girls in
Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and
other places. The group de-
manded that Bnei Akiva
forbid mixed activity of boys
and girls — dancing, sing-
ing and making trips, even
being in the same building.
This demand was supported
by Yeshiva Merkaz Harav
and other:heads of yeshivot
of Bnei Akiva and Knesset
member Rabbi Haim
But the leaders of Bnei
Akiva, General Secretary
Yohanan Ben-Yaakov and
former General Secretary
Amnon Shapira of Kibutz
Tirat Zwi, are categorically
against the activity of Ariel.
They argue, that such a step
would interfere with the
pioneering effort, coloniza-
tion and cultural activities
and turn Bnei Akiva into an
extremist youth movement.
Former Israeli Chief
Rabbi Shlomo Goren is
against separate clubs for
boys and girls and supports
the attitude of the leader-
ship of Bnei Akiva. He
maintains that separation
would cause many to leave
the youth movement.
The former secretary of
Bnei Akiva has published


a special booklet against
Ariel. He says that the
controversy is not about
communal dancing and
swimming, but about
communal studies in uni-
versities, settlements and
kibutzim and moshavim,
military service and
other communal ac-
tivities of the Israeli
people. Separation
would bring about a split
in the national religious
movement. The com-
munal activity leads to
meetings with non-
religious circles, which
are important for Jewry.
Supporters of Ariel main-
tain that they have found a
way to cope against free
sexual life between men and
women, with a system of
`neutralizing the evil urge."
Bnei Akiva and Ariel are
today fighting over the
youngsters of the Mafdal,
promising them a "healthy
life of spirit and soul."

Friday, March 2, 1984 15

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Kosins Extends A Special
Invitation For Your Golden
Wedding Anniversary

Israel-Diaspora Dialogue
`Critical' New Guide Asserts

The most urgent challenge
facing the Zionist move-
ment is to foster a substan-
tive ongoing dialogue be-
tween Israeli and Diaspora
Jews to "enhance the qual-
ity of Jewish life wherever it
is lived," according to, a new
discussion guide titled,
"Jewish Nationalism and
Jewish Peoplehood."
The guide was issued by
the American Jewish
Committee's Leadership
and Community Services
Department for use by the
agency's chapter leadership
groups around the country.
The guide has been pub-
lished at a time when
Jewish leaders in Israel and
the United States are seri-
ously reviewing their
partnership and consider-
ing proposals to improve
cooperation. In 1982, The
American Jewish Commit-
tee, for example, founded an
Institute on American
consisting of leade=rs of both
communitie. The intitute
has identified a number of
mutua: cO"nols fc3r
it has conducted rails and
research to develop new
perspectives on upgrading
"Jewish nationalism
and Jewish peoplehood"
starts with a review of the
Jewish exile and the
pivotal events in Europe
leading to the birth of
political Zionism. The
guide notes that Zionism
waS'* Ar'ainatically af-

firmative response to
age-old problems be-
leaguering the European
Jewish community. The
need for a Jewish state
became unquestionable,
according to the docu-
ment, after the
Holocaust, and its impor-
tance as a haven for refu-
gees has continued until
the present.
At the same time, the
guidebook points up the fact
that Diaspora life was
transformed by the un-
precedented ascent of Jews
in the United States, proof
that Jews could flourish in a
functioning pluralistic
society. Moreover, the vital-
ity of Diaspora life, the
guide further states, was
enhanced by the creation of
the Israeli state.

Soviets Expel
Two 'Zionists

tourists from New York
were expelled from the
Sr-Met Union for "activities
of a pro-Zionist character,"
t!-; e Soviet government
press agency Tass reported
last week.
The agency identified the
two Americans as Meir
Schweiger and Michel
Strick, each 34 years old.
Tass said the couple had
carried unspecified
"Zionist" literature as well
as questionnaires about the
condition of Jews seeking
emigration at the time of
their, dtention.

50 years later and the magic is there. Now through the

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