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December 05, 1986 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-12-05

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

THE JEWISH NEWS

Serving Detroit's Metropolitan Jewish Community
with distinction for four decades.

Editorial and Sales offices at 20300 Civic Center Dr.,
Suite 240, Southfield, Michigan 48076-4138
Telephone (313) 354-6060

PUBLISHER: Charles A. Buerger
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Arthur M. Horwitz
EDITOR EMERITUS: Philip Slomovitz
EDITOR: Gary Rosenblatt
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Elie Wiesel
ART DIRECTOR: Kim Muller-Thym
NEWS EDITOR: Alan Hitsky
LOCAL NEWS EDITOR: Heidi Press
STAFF WRITER: David Holzel
LOCAL COLUMNIST: Danny Raskin

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES:
Lauri Biafore
Millie Felch
Randy Marcuson
Rick Nessel
Danny Raskin

• OFFICE STAFF:
Lynn Fields
Percy Kaplan
Pauline Max
Marlene Miller
Dharlene Norris
Mary Lou Weiss
Pauline Weiss
Ellen Wolfe

PRODUCTION:
Donald Cheshure
Cathy Ciccone
Curtis Deloye
Joy Gardin
Ralph Orme

.C) 1986 by The Detroit Jewish News (US PS 275-520)
Second Class postage paid at Southfield. Michigan and additional mailing offices.
Subscriptions: 1 year - $21 — 2 years - $39 — Out of State - $23 — Foreign - $35

CANDLELIGHTING AT 4:43 P.M.

VOL. XC, NO. 15

Irangate

It seems, noted one Washington cynic this week in commenting on
the current Iranian crisis, that the only lessons the Republicans have
learned from the Watergate trauma is to destroy the evidence as soon as
possible.
Indeed, President Reagan seems to be plagued with a cover-up
mentality that makes parallels to Watergate inevitable. That's a shame,
especially because the American people are only too willing to forgive
politicians who simply say they are sorry when they have made a
mistake and appeal to our humanity. The Iran crisis was clearly brought
about by mistakes on the part of the Administration, whether it was
trying to keep foreign policy decisions secret or having woefully
inadequate lines of communication. Certainly the upcoming investigation
in Washington will shed more light on the situation and how it happened.
Israel's role in all of this, and the impact it might have on U.S.-Israel
relations, is of great importance to the Jewish communiy, as noted in
reports in this issue by correspondents Wolf Blitzer in Washington and
Helen Davis in Jerusalem. Israeli officials are fearful that their
government will be made the "fall guy" in this affair to protect President
Reagan, with Israel transformed from a strategic partner to an
accomplice in an offense. Was she aiding an enemy in Iran or helping out
a friend in Washington?
Israel has always had a pragmatic approach in dealing with
less-than-friendly governments, whether it's related to arms sales or
negotiating for the release of hostages. The difference is that when
hostage talks have broken down, Israel's next step is to take military
action, with Entebbe but one example. In the case of Iran, Israel has been
dealing with Teheran since the Shah fell seven years ago, in part because
Israel sought to buy protection for the 50,000 Jews still living in Iran, in
part because Iran was willing to buy arms for its war with Iraq, and in
part because it was in Israel's interest to see that war continue. In acting
as a conduit for the U.S., Israeli leaders no doubt felt that they would be
promoting their own interests while proving their strong cooperation with
Washington.
It's too early to draw conclusions here. One has the feeling that we
are still in the midst of this crisis, that not all the facts have come to
light yet. Until they do, Jerusalem's credibility is on the line, along with
Washington's.

Soviet Essence

Former refusenik Rabbi Eliahu Essas reminded Detroiters this week
that they can, and do, make a difference to the Soviet Jews locked behind
the Iron Curtain. Although many Jews in the West become discouraged
or complacent when letters to refuseniks or Soviet officials go unanswered
or are returned, Rabbi Essas assured us that those communication link
are an unparalleld pressure point for the Soviet hierarchy, and a lifeline
for the two million Jews of the Soviety Union.

OP-ED

A Very Merry Christmas
In Our Homes And Schools

MIRIAM L. SUSSMAN

m erry Christmas! A very
Merry Christmas to you all!
It comes as a shock to
see this greeting in a Jewish publi-
cation. Yet how many times in the
next few weeks will you be saying
"Merry Christmas"?
As a Jew, do you send Christ-
mas or season's greetings cards to
your Jewish friends and business
associates?
Or perhaps you feel that your
children are missing something dur-
ing the Christmas season and in
order to make them feel a part of the
festivities you are planning to put
gifts under a "Chanukah bush"?
If you do, you are depriving the
children and youself of one of our
great heritages, the Chanukah story
and all that it symbolizes.
The only link between Christ-
mas and Chanukah is that they
usually occur within two or three
weeks of each other. This year,
Chanukah will be observed two days
after Christmas. The similarity ends
right there. There is no connection
between the observance of Christ's
birth and the recapture of the Tem-
ple.
Any attempt to cross pollinate
the symbols confuses the children
and bastardizes both holy days. For
example, a toy store last year was
selling an expensive stocking to be
hung on the fireplace. Traditional?
No. The stocking was woven in an
overall pattern of blue Mogen
Davids on a white background.
It is common practice in many of
the public schools to present assem-
bly programs about both holidays
during the month of December.
What doei a parent say when the
child's teacher requests the family

Miriam Sussman is a freelance writer in
Florida.

menorah to be used in the mid-year
pageant so that all the children can
share the holiday spirit?
The parents can send a note to
school with the following message:
We appreciate your good inten-
tions in wanting to observe
Chanukah in school this year. We
regret that we cannot share this
ceremony with you because we • feel
that religion is a very personal mat-
ter and religious rites — yours or
ours — do not belong in the public
schools.
If you like, I am sure that your
church and our synagogue can ar-

Any attempt to cross
pollinate the symbols
confuses the children and
bastardizes both holy
days

range a fellowship day where we can
explain our cultures to each other in
an ecumenical way to anyone who
cares to participate.

"Please understand that we are
sincerely grateful for your efforts,
but since there is absOlutely no cor-
relation between Christmas and
Chanukah, which was celebrated
165 years before the birth of Christ,
it deprives both holidays of their
true meanings when they are pre-
sented together and may tend to
point out the differences between the
children rather than the common
areas where they can work together
to build our American democracy.
"Again, your consideration is
sincerely appreciated."
One of two things will probably
happen: the teacher will be so de-
lighted not to have to do the annual
cantata that the whole matter will
be dropped, or the request will go
out to some other Jewish parent who

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