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February 15, 1985 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-02-15

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



THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

SIM MI • UM NM IN En OM •111 111111 11111 ....

..mas m so mma suu. ..... "

ENTERTAINMENT?
Seymour Schwartz

INVITATIONS?
Hattie Schwartz

1

I

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PEOPLE TALK ABOUT

/--

the clothing, find and repair
the ships, and extract these
men, women, and children
from their misery. The illegal
immigration of 1946-1947 was
one of the major achievements
of the Jewish Agency, and the
antecedent of Operation
Moses.
For Jews, Jewish suffering
is insufferable: that is the con-
trolling Zionist notion. I say
"for Jews" not because non-
Jews should not care about
Jewish suffering, but because
non-Jews often have not cared.
Self-reliance is a perfectly ra-
tional conclusion to be drawn
from the time-honored Jewish
enterprise of looking to others
for protection. And I say
"Jewish suffering" not be-
cause the suffering of non-
Jews is a matter of indif-
ference. Of course it is not.
That the philanthropic be-
havior of the Jews in Israel
and elsewhere extends beyond
the confines of the community
needs no proof. In Ethiopia,
Jewish efforts have been sig-
nificant. The Joint Distribu-
tion Committee, an American
Jewish refugee relief organ-
ization, had fed up to 400,000
people in Gondar, and dis-
patched many tons of clothing
and medical supplies. And of
course Jews are prominent in
the general relief organiza-
tions, too.
Yet no explanation should
be necessary for taking care of
one's own. The community is
not the only moral unit; but it
is a moral unit. Moreover, the
alternative is never between
helping your own and helping
everybody. Universalism, if
the truth be told, is usually an
alibi for inaction, accom
panied by a moral thrill. In the
real world the position of the
universalist usually comes to
this: that nobody be saved un-
less everybody be saved. To be
sure, it is neither easy nor
enviable to choose from among
the suffering. But practically
speaking, there is no such
thing as universalism. It is
impossible to help everybody.
A commitment on the part of
many communities to help
their own, on the other hand,
adds up to many people
helped.
Before there was the claim
that Zionism is racism (tell it
to the black Jews falling on
their knees and kissing the
tarmac), there was the claim
that Zionism is dead. It died,
the argument went, when it
succeeded, that is, when the
state was created. There is a
sense in which this is true; but

Continued on next page

16Lew Silver SAVE 30-60%
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SEE MACHON L'TORAH AD

pg. 53

Awm. PM' IPA

44

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27

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