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March 21, 1986 - Image 100

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-03-21

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

100 Friday, March 21, 1986

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

GOT
A
QUESTION?

Call the

Je ish Information Ser vice

967-HELP

- Monday-Friday
9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

In cooperation with these
Jewish Welfare Federation member agencies:

•Fresh Air Society
•Hebrew Free Loan Association
•Jewish Community Center
•Jewish Community Council
•Jewish Family Service
•'Jewish Federation Apartments
•Jewish Home for Aged
•Jewish Vocational Service
and Community Workshop
•Midrasha—College of Jewish Studie
•Resettlement Service
•Sinai Hospital
•United Hebrew Schools .

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MVAMICIPMPola

NOTEBOOK

From Saudis In The Sky
To Wiesel In Germany

BY VICTOR M. BIENSTOCK

Weizmann & The Elephant
Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the first
President of Israel, never forgot
the poverty of his youth in
Poland, Abba Eban recalled re-
cently. In the early days of
Israel's statehood, he recounts,
the government of Burma
wanted to give to the new na-
tion's first president the gift of
an Indian elephant. Weignann
diplomatically declined the offer.
"Weizmann told me," Eban ex-
plained, "that back in Mottel,
Jews on principal would never
accept a present that eats:'
Elie Wiesel In West Berlin
In his capacity as chairman
of the US. Holocaust Memorial
Committee, Elie Wiesel recent-
ly visited West Berlin for the
first time and the Germans
hailed the event as a triumph
in the long effort to achieve
German-Jewish understanding.
Weisel's visit was for a
•meeting of the Holocaust com-
mittee's German-American
Council which is composed of
six Americans and six Ger-
mans: Council spokesman Peter
Petersen, a Christian Demo-
cratic Bundestag deputy, told
the press that it was a great
success that after years of
hard work, cooperation had
been achieved with 'VViesel,• a
Buchenwald survivor who had
long refused contacts with
Germans.
The West German half of the
Council has decided, he said, to
contribute to the development
of the Holocaust Memorial
Museum to be erected in Wash-
ington. The German members,
of the Council will attend
meetings with the architects in
Washington next June. •
The Council also discussed
plans for a conference of
Holocaust teachers in the
United States and Germany
and for a summer camp for
German, American and Israeli
youths.
Wiesel, according to German,
press services, said that while
his first visit to West Berlin
had filled him with sadness, at
the same time it awakened
hope within him. The German-
American Council, he said, will
work to overcome the terror of
the •past, but that terror can-
not and must not be forgotten.
The Computer & The Torah
After thousands of years in
which his only tools were quill
pens made from turkey feath-
ers, the sofei; or Hebrew scribe,
thay soon have to learn to use
the computer. A few innova-
tive sofrim have developed a
computerized optical scanning
system to identify missing let-
ters or words, cracked ink and
other defects that make sacred
scrolls invalid.
Scanning Ibrahs and mez-
zuzahs for defects is an ar-
duous, time-consuming task,
which the scribes have had to
perform by checking every
.`isa us c is

\t`i

single letter in the scroll. "lb
locate all the mistakes is hard,"
Rabbi Yakov Basch, executive
director of the Vaad
Mishmereth Stare, the Council
for Safeguarding the Scribal
Arts, told. the Wall Street Jour-
nal. "What a computer is bet-
ter for is that it's exact. It's
also going to save us a lot of
time."
The Vaad is seeking investors
to form Identiscroll, Inc., to
operate 14 mobile scanning
units here, in Israel and
Europe to permit wider inspec-
tion of old Thrahs and mez-
zuzahs. According to Rabbi
Basch, computer training may
eventually be part of the
education of aspiring scribes
for whom the Vaad maintains
a school in Brooklyn.
Computers will not eliminate
jobs for the sofrim; on the con-
trary, Rabbi Bosch expects
they will provide more jobs for
the 200 or so men who work as
scribes in this country correct-
ing the increased number of
scrolls they will be able to
handle. .
But Rabbi Aryeh Schecter, a
Brooklyn scribe who teaches
Hebrew calligraphy, has his
doubts. "If the post office has
trouble sorting the mail with a
computer," he argues, "we're
sure to have trouble." •
Bargain-rate Luxury
El Al, Israel's airline, with a
load factor, of 80 percent,
which makes it the envy of
most other airlines, recently in-
troduced a new business class
which provides a number of
first-class features for a mere
$180 over the one-way econo-
my fare. A 35-seat up front sec-
tion• is reserved for this 'class,
providing passengers with ad-
ditional space, free drinks and
separate lavatory facilities.
But 92 percent of El Al's
passengers are toutists and on-
ly 8 percent are business trav-
elers. El Al doesn't expect the
new rate to bring a spate of
business travellers but it does
give the economy-class flyer a
way to upgrade his ticket. Full
first-class, after all, is $4,422.
David Schneider, El Al's
general manager 'for North
America, admits that his pro-
posal for a slogan to advertise
the new category was rejected
by the brass. It read: "For
$180, you can fly like a mensch
[as in V.I.P.]"
From Camel to Flying Palace
His grandfather' got around
on fleet cancels but King Fand
of Saudi Arabia will travel in
style the world has never seen.
Although the flow of petro-
dollars has dwindled to a
trickle and the kingdom has
had to tighten its belt, cutting
the pay of government workers
by 30 percent,' the king is
spending about $150 million to
outfit the most lavish Flying
1,,p,hqqa sit c+,-,

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