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May 18, 1984 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-05-18

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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Continued from Page 2

was very religious and
grew up in a religious
family. But there was a
great struggle between
the street and the home.
There was the chance to
become an American and
it was a strong pull. Be-
sides, I couldn't keep on
with what I felt to be a
suffocating Orthodoxy.
"But the religious
-eling was very strong in
a when I was young and
it nas persisted. I would
never describe my self as
an atheist or agnostic; I Saul Bellow
always thought those were terms for a pathologi-
cal state and that people who don't believe in God
have something wrong with them. Just say I am a
religious man in a retarded condition and the only
way I can square myself is to write."
While much of Jewish experience, approaching the
totality of the people's legacies, is analyzed in the
adherence to dissent, the Jewish accent in the NYTimes
interview has special significance. Here, too, Bellow is the
dissenter. Yet, in what he had acquired in his youth, there
remains an identification. He proved it when he described
his reactions to the State of Israel in a significant volume
delineating it. He was left with acceptable memories of the
study of Hebrew and an early religious adaptation. Why
even a partial separation, considerably later in life, when
his positive relation would mean so much to the Jewry he is
admittedly a part of?
The entire chronicle of Jewish life, the effects upon the
generations, would have to be reviewed if even a modicum
of solution is to be found to the difficulty to enroll Jews of
the eminence of Saul Bellow into Jewish activism. An obs-
tacle to partition seems to predominate. It would be sheer
blindness to deny that Jewish loyalties have not mounted.
If there is an increase, it continues in the philanthropic
responses. But identifications call for a matching of
generosities with a cultural - spiritual adherence and a
dedication to a continuity that craves for and encourages
the learning that might be abandoned, as the Bellow com-
ment may be interpreted.
This is not to say that there is a cessation of Jewish
studies, of research, of devotion to traditions and legacies.
But while Jews continue to win Nobel Prizes, few of such
Nobelists exert an influence upon Jewish life. It is fortu-
nate that in the pursuance of human values, in the advo-
cacy of social advancement, there is that adherence which,
described as dissent, continues to exert great influence
upon the quest for higher values, for genuine freedoms, for
all mankind. In this respect such loyalties, in the Jewish
tradition of dissent, are Jewish contributions to humanism.
Would that a measure of such libertarian humanism were
also applied to strictly Jewish needs! Saul Bellow ap-
proaches it, especially in his dissent.

Lee
Wolin

411-3223

Z O EY'S

Tel Aviv (JTA) — The
Deputy Mayor of Moscow,
Anatoly Kostanko, arrived
in Tel Aviv last Friday at
the head of a seven-member
Soviet delegation. They
were invited by the Israel-
Soviet Friendship Commit-
tee to join in celebrating the
38th anniversary of the Al-
lied victory over Nazi Ger-
many.
According to members of
group, their visit does
indicate any change in
Soviet relations with Israel
which have not existed on a
diplomatic or trade level
since 1967. In speaking to
reporters, they seemed
mainly interested in justify-
ing their government's de-
cision to boycott the Olym-
pic Games in Los Angeles.
Members of the delega-
tion include Andrei
Bulayev of the Moscow In-
stitute of World Economy
and International Relations
and Vladimir Runikov of

the Soviet news agency
Novosti. Asked about re-
ports published in Israel
that the telephones of
Jewish activists in the
USSR have been cut off,
Runikov said they were un-
true.

"There are no restrictions
on phone conversations.
Phones are not cut off and
there is no watch on who
phones whom abroad," he
said, adding, "I think this is
an invention. I think some-
one is interested in harming
relations with the Soviet
Union."
The visitors insisted that
Soviet participation in the
Olympics was canceled be-
cause the Americans could
not guarantee the security
of Soviet athletes, not for
political reasons. They said
preparations were being
made to 'hold anti-Soviet
demonstrations in Los
Angeles during the Games.

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