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December 12, 1986 - Image 28

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

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

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The Great Cover-Up

851-1125

28

Friday, December 12, 1986 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

No Hidden Shipping Charges

rael, but with the USSR,
the nation which runs the
world's best Yiddish-
language literary journal."
It is interesting how the
Soviet official agencies seek
to utilize every opportunity to
boast that religion is not
treated prejudicially, that
Yiddish — and the claim is
also often applied to Hebrew
— is not persecuted, that
there is glory wherever
Novosti circulates and the
USSR dominates. The proof

to the contrary will be found
among the refuseniks, and
also in the ranks of incoming
immigrants from Russia to
this country who do not claim
a knowledge of the language.
If the claim of Yiddish sur-
vival in Russia is fulfilling,
more power to those in the
USSR who make it possible.
The facts, however, spell
out exaggeration without
limit to the bigotries which
reveal a continuity of Soviet
anti-Jewishness.

One Foot In Each Camp

Jerusalem — Menahem
Hacohen, 53, is an orthodox
rabbi, the scion of seven gen-
erations of rabbis and Torah
scholars. He was born in
Jerusalem's ultra-orthodox
Mea Shearim neighborhood,
educated in some of the city's
most highly respected
yeshivot, and for years has
served as the rabbi of Israel's
moshav movement. Yet, since
1974, Hacohen has repre-
sented the distinctly non-
religious Labor Party in Is-
rael's Knesset. He sees no
contradiction.
"First of all," Hacohen
says, "when looking for a
political party I sought one
most closely aligned with my
political — not religious —
convictions. True, if this
party was anti-religious I
could not have joined it. But
Labor is not anti-religious. It
is a Jewish party with a very
positive attitude toward
Jewish heritage.
"Secondly," he continues
you can't influence anybody
by closing yourself in your
own little ghetto. I remember
as a child going to synagogue
and hearing the rabbi talk of
the beauty and importance of
keeping the mitzvot. So what
did he accomplish? If you
want to influence, if you
want to change things then
you have to talk with people
who don't necessarily think
like you."
As a religious Labor Party
Knesset Member, Hacohen is
uniquely positioned to be able
to talk with both the reli-
gious and secular com-
munities. "Although the reli-
gious establishment might
disagree with me, they can't
just ignore me, because I, too,
am an observant Jew," he
claims. And the secular
community, which often pays
no attention to what a reli-
gious party says, is more
likely to listen to me because
they think that if I'm in
Labor I must be all right, not
a religious or political ex-
tremist."
Hacohen offers no easy
solutions for Israels
religious-secular schism. He
sees the problem as a battle
between two different cul-
tures, with no simple cure-
all. But Hacohen feels that
more dialogue and less legis-
lation of religious law would

bring Israelis closer to
Judaism. And although he is
against changing the status
quo on religious issues (which
among other things, prohibits
public transportation in most
cities on Shabbat), Hacohen
is opposed to any further
religious legislation. "In
fact," he comments "when Is-
rael was founded, they should
have made a stronger separa-
tion between religion and the
state. No one wants anything
shoved down their throats."

HIAS Honors
Moynihan
And Kunin

New York (JTA) — A
Jewish refugee from Switzer-
land during World War II and
a New York politician born in
Tulsa, Oklahoma, were
honored here last week night
by the Hebrew Immigrant
Aid Society (HIAS) for their
contributions to American
society and their symbols of
hope as immigrant or des-
cendant of immigrants who
succeeded in America. Also
honored was the Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan
Chicago for its efforts on
behalf of refugees and
immigrants.
The Irish New Yorker who
received to 1986 Liberty
Award for his "lifelong com-
mitment to the cause of
human rights and the conti-
nuance of America as a haven
to the oppressed and perse-
cuted" was Sen. Daniel
Moynihan (D., N.Y.).
The 6 1/2 year-old girl who
came to Forest Hills, Queens,
from Zurich in 1940 to escape
probable persecution grew up
to be the Governor of Ver-
mont. Madelein Kunin deliv-
ered the guest speech at the
dinner whose theme was "A
Salute to Immigrants," a
capping-off ceremony for the
year that celebrated the
centennial of the Statue of
Liberty and generations of
immigrants who have made
America what it is. A month
ago, Kunin was reelected as
only the third Democratic
Governor of Vermont.

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