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May 16, 1986 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-05-16

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

24

Friday, May 16, 1986

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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TEMPLE BETH EL
BIRMINGHAM, MICHIGAN

32nd ANNUAL HEBREW MUSIC FESTIVAL

OUR MUSICAL HERITAGE

Through the Years

Guest Choir-The Madrigal Chorale of Southfield-Carolyn Eynon, Director
Three Temple Beth El Choirs, Mrs. Jason Tickton, Conductor

Dr. Morris Hochberg

Shalom Kalib

Carolyn Eynon

Violin Soloist

Composer

Conductor

Traditional and Modern Responses from the Hebrew Liturgy
Special Anthems

* * Adon Olam by Soloman Rossi (1600)
* * Psalm 23 by Shalom Kalib (1985)
* * Psalm 150 by Shalom Kalib (1977)
Psalm 23 by Leonard Bernstein (1965)
accompanied by a Chamber Orchestra

* * FIRST PERFORMANCE AT TEMPLE BETH EL
Rabbis Donne' I. Schwartz and Norman T. Roman, Narrators
Professor Jason Tickton, Music Director and Organist

Sponsored by SANDRA T. BLOOM MEMORIAL MUSIC FUND
Barbara and Douglas Bloom

NO ADMISSION CHARGE - EVERYONE IS WELCOME

NEWS

Shining Face Of Hope
Carried A Shy Smile

BY SHELDON ENGELMAYER
Special to The Jewish News

For 15 years, people came
every May to New York's Dag
Hammarskjold Plaza, across

from the UN Building, to show
their support of Anatoly Shch-
aransky and protest the treat-
ment of Jews by the Soviet
Union. And year after year, the
number dwindled until only the
faithful remained. But this year
was different. The crowd was so
huge in Dag Hammarskjold
Plaza — some said 300,000,
others went even higher — that
people couldn't move.
This year, there was no
thought of the futility of it all,
only the knowledge that dreams
can come true. There was no
feeling of sadness, but of
unremitting joy. The hundreds
of thousands massed in the
small area between 1st and 2nd
avenues had come to see hope
personified and to hear its voice,
the hero of the hour: Shcharan-
sky himself.
The program began almost on
time, at about 1:15 p.m. Speaker
after speaker spoke to polite ap-
plause from people who were on-
ly half listening. In the past,
these people would begin to
leave the plaza by 2 p.m. and
soon the empty spaces would
appear even emptier. In other
years, once a politician spoke, he
or she found an excuse to leave.
This year, no one budged.
At 2:24 p.p., Rep. Steven
Solarz (D. B'klyn) was addres-
sing the crowd. Suddenly, on the
podium, all eyes turned from the
back of Solarz's head to the
back stairs. Politicians and
VIPs began to rise from their
seats and walk towards what
they had seen. Shortly, Israel's
ambassador to the United Na-
tions, Benjamin Netanyahu,
emerged from the crowd that
had gathered around him on the
podium, and with him was a
jacketless, tieless man, 5-foot-2
in height. The sound of tears
could be heard in the now-
overcrowded plaza.
Then came the cheers and,
drifting as a wave from one cor-
ner of the plaza to all four cor-
ners and even beyond, a spon-
taneous song — "Haiveinu
Shalom Aleichem" — took hold
of the crowd.
Natan Shcharansky stood
before them.
The man who, as Anatoly, had
been the symbol of Soviet
Jewry's anguish, was now the
symbol of its hope. And on the
face of hope was a shy, embar-
rassed smile.
A little pedestal surrounded
by black material and covered
on top with red was placed
behind the rostrum. On it Natan
now stood, clearly overwhelmed
by the love streaming forth. He
raised his hands to silence the
din.
It was now 2:35 p.m. For the
first time since the rally began,
not a sound could be heard
through the crowd except for

Anatoly Shcharansky
the sniffles tears bring. For the
first time in 15 years, in fact, no
one spoke. All ears were tuned
to one man.
"Together we have won
once," Shcharansky told them.
"Together, we will succeed
again."
He recalled the efforts of
Soviet officials "to convince me
I am alone — but I knew what
they only sensed — that I was
not alone, that my wife, my peo-
ple, you all were with me.
"They were trying their best
to find me a place where I would
be isolated..., but all the re-
sources of a superpower are not
enough to isolate a man who
hears the voice of freedom, to
isolate a Jew who hears the
voice of solidarity with his peo-
ple."
For 12 minutes, Shcharansky
spoke as his "brothers and
sisters" listened to his every
word. At one point, he reached
into his shirt pocket with his
right hand and pulled out a lit-
tle beaten black book. "They
tried to take away my psalm
book from me," he said, waving
it in the air, "but each time they
were compelled to return it to
me."
The Soviet leaders, he con-
tinued, "delude themselves into
thinking they can keep as
prisoners 400,000 of our bro-
thers, [but they] must under-
stand that they will never be
able to destroy our solidarity."
"They were saying [to] me
that this day of my freedom
would never come if I wouldn't
change my beliefs," Natan
Shcharansky said, "but today I
am here speaking to you after I
joined my wife, Avital, in the
Land of Israel. And all of this
has become possible because of
you."
Finally, when he was through,
all on the podium moved toward
Natan Shcharansky. Linked
arm in arm and swaying from
side to side, they sang. "The im-
portant thing is not to fear,"
went the first song. "How good
and how pleasant it is to see
brothers sitting together," went
the other.
The author is managing editor
of The New York Jewish Week.

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