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October 17, 1986 - Image 47

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-10-17

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PURELY COMMENTARY

British Deception

Continued from Page 2

writers on subjects relating to
British imperial policy. Dr. Sil-
verfarb, however, has not used
these sources uncritically, since
he has verified his material with
works by Iraqi leaders and
writers who provided us with
their version of the events and
developments in the country that
have bearing on British imperial
policy.
The product of his research
may be taken as a balanced
assessment of both British impe-
rial interests and legitimate Iraqi
national aspirations. He has also
provided the reader with an in-
terpretation of the movements
and events which shaped the "in-
formal • empire" that may be

in the additional 46 pages of notes indi-
cating the extent of the studies scrupul-
ously pursued . in the making of this
noteworthy work.
Daniel Silverfarb is the son of Mr.
and Mrs. Louis Silverfarb of Southfield.
A University of Michigan graduate who
also pursued post-graduate studies at
Wayne State University, he received his
PhD degree at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison. He has authored
eight articles on Anglo-Saudi relations.
He is presently engaged in extensive
Arabic studies at the University of Wis-
consin, having devoted the past summer
in such studies at the Hebrew University
in Jerusalem.

Dodger Followed

Continued from Page 2

Arthur Balfour

taken to sum up Britain's impe-
rian experience in Iraq. Nor did
he shrink from giving his own
personal views on dome of the
important issues that arose be-.
tween Britain and Iraq. In all
these endeavors, Dr. Silverfarb
did his utmost to maintain a high
level of objectivity and impartial-
ity.
This requires emphasis in the
treatment of the Silverfarb thesis be-
cause its originality and the publication
of Britain's Informal Empire in the Mid-
dle East is filled with facts never pub-
' dished before. As Dr. Silverfarb advises
his readers:
This book is based mainly on
unpublished British documents
located at the Public Record
Office in London. The volumes on
Iraq in the foreign office 371
series were the most valuable, al-
though for the period before
Iraqi independence in 1932 the
files in the colonial office 730
series were important. I also used
cabinet, air ministry, war office,
and Baghdad embassy papers.
For matters relating to Kuwait,
India office and Kuwait political
agency docuthents located at the
India Office Library and Records
in London were useful.
This volume therefore assumes an
importance among the major historic
documents dealing with the Middle East.
They are revelations that give them sig-
nificance as documentaries.
The less than 160 pages in the Sil-
verfarb researched study has annotations

50

-

Friday, October 17, 1986

me: being Jewish and rooting
passionately for Brooklyn to ec-
lipse the Yankees in the next
year's World Series.
Observance of Jewish Holy Days and
festivals often presents a problem, de-
veloping into challenge and protest, as
the following from the New York Maga-
zine indicates:
Nancy Reagan's office re-
cently sent out invitations to a
Vladimir Horowitz concert at the
White House, set for Sunday af-
ternoon, October 5 — he second
day of Rosh Hashanah. One
Jewish New Yorker who received
an invitation called the Office of
the White House Social Secretary
to complain that the Reagans had
scheduled the event on the
Jewish New Year, the second
most holy of the Jewish holidays.
He was told, "Oh, we didn't
realize it was a holiday."
Mrs. Reagan's press secre-
tary did not return calls for
comment. Howoritz's agent, Peter
Gelb, said, "Every Jew I know,
except for really, really religious
Jews, celebrates Rosh Hashanah
the first day. This blowing it out
of proportion.
This revives importance to the
recommendation frequently made that
Jewish community functionaries should
endeavor to provide public institutions,
universities, schools, government offi-
cials, et. al, with Jewish calendars
months ahead of Rosh Hashanah. Would
it help? That's as doubtful as the hope
that many transgressions calendar-wise
will ever be forgotten.

Shaarey Zedek Legacy
In B'nai Mitzvah Manual

Fayga Keidan was a popular name
in local women's movements for a
number of years. She was an'especially
active and impressive personality among
Shaarey Zedek women in all aspects of
their work,especially the cultural.
Bayre Kaidan, her husband, in addi-
tion to his professional work as a lawyer,
shared her interests, in the synagogue,
Zionism, social services.
It was natural, therefore, that they
should be regular participant in the
services of their synagogue and that
their children should be worshippers
with them and students in the Shaarey
Zedek school. It left a deep impression
upon daughter Alice and she now shares
the legacy in a book for b'nai mitzvah
celebrants.
Now, as Alice Keidan Lanckton, in

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Alice Keidan Lanckton

anticipation of the Lancktons' son's bar
mitzvah and a friend's son's immediate
celebration, she utilized the acquired in-
spiration in her own childhood to advise
how to observe a bar mitzvah — indicat-
ing that it also applies to bat mitzvah. In
the advisory text, The Bar Mitzvah
Mother's Manual, (Hippocrene Books),
Mrs. Lanckton goes into all the compel-
ling details in preparation for a bar
mitzvah celebration. She emphasizes the
religious factors, the ritualistic, the Haf-
torah, and guides the celebrants along
the social needs, the dinner, the caterer,
the invitation.
Of special interest here, now, is a
revealing chapter entitled: "Where Do
We Belong? To Join a Temple (or Not)."
Thig is where she goes into details about
various houses of worship and introduces
her own experiences in childhood, defin-
ing Shaarey Zedek. Here is what she
says:
In the city where I grew up
there was only one place to be-
come Bar Mitzvah. With more
than seventy thousand Jews and
thirty different synagogues and
temples you might think that
there would have been quite a
choice. But there was really only
Shaarey Zedek.
Where else would the rabbi
know — and mention at the serv-
ice — that my great-great-uncle
had been president sixty years
ago, that my grandmother had
belonged since marriage, and
that my mother was president of
the Sisterhood?
Where else was there such a
large, imposing building with so
many grand, wide steps in front?
This was an IMPORTANT syna-
gogue, a venerable synagogue,
almost a hundred years old — a
mighty age for a midwestern
synagogue. Hundreds of families
were proud to "be Shaarey
Zedek" (as in "they're not
Shaarey Zedek"). Those wide
steps were full of people after
(and often during, the High Holi-
day services.
Yet they all seemed to know
each other, and best of all they
all seemed to know me. Hadn't I
won the Best Queen Esther con-
test there wearing an old purple
evening gown given me by one of
the very judges of the contest?
There may have been many hun-
dreds of members, but when my
parents were late picking me up
from Sunday school (and they

.

always were) I could have gotten
a ride home with anybody stand-
ing around chatting in the halls.
They all seemed to have known
me before I was born.
In my child's. mind, so ready
to see the world in black and
white, it was not just that
Shaarey Zedek was the utterly
right synagogue. It also became
apparent that all the others were
so thoroughly wrong. Reform
synagogues were just pretenders.
They didn't even call themselves
synagogues (let alone "shuls").
Instead they claimed to be tem-
ples. On top of that, they used
very little Hebrew and had serv-
ices at night (when it wasn't even
Kol Nidre). All those Jewish men
with no yarmulkas! Who did they
think they were? Protestants?
But to go to a "little Or-
thodox shul" (who knew there
could be large ones?) was prob-
ably worse. First of all, men at
these shuls wore hats — not sen-
sible, civilized yarmulkas like my
father and brothers — but actual
hats with brims. (Judaism was
very cerebral to my family.) The
men sat separate from the
women because of arcane Jewish
laws my mother wouldn't dream
of even speaking about. In their
prayerbooks they had Hebrew on
both the facing pages, the ser-
mons were often in Yiddish, and
few of the members were native
Detroiters.
Of course, the other Conser-
vative synagogues were also sig-
nificantly imperfect, though they
had the good sense to use the
same Hebrew and English
prayerbook Shaarey Zedek did.
The nearby one was much too
young an institution, and it was
full of people ivho still insisted on
walking on Shabbat (Our perfect
synagogue had made the com-
promise of having insufficient
parking available.)
Alice's definitions of the Reform and
the Orthodox, the differing and their
specific emphases on worship, make in-
teresting reading. An author's recollec-
tions of her own synagogue have a par-
ticular interest in a community that in-
spired an author to write about her
childhood and her house of worship. It is
a Keidan story worth reading.

To Wiesel: A Salute
Shared By Mankind

Elie Wiesel, as
Recipient of the
Nobel Peace Prize
emerges anew as a
symbol of the high-
est spirit in
humanism.
He is the repre-
sentative of his
people whose honor
he defends with
great dignity. He is
Wiesel
also the giant advo-
cate of justice for the oppressed in the
world, regardless of race or creed.
This is a glorious day: to send this
salute to my dear friend Elie Wiesel, to
share the opportunity to honor him, to-
gether with peoples everywhere who will
benefit from the courage of one of the
very great men of the century.
Mazal Toy, Elie!

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