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March 27, 1987 - Image 30

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-03-27

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The Many Moral Issues

Continued from Page 2

ship. Perhaps it all leads to vast im-
The manner in which Israel has
been put to the serious test stemming
from spying is challengingly analysed
by a top ranking reporter, the New
York Times Israel correspondent
Thomas Friedman. First, in the ca-
bled report to his newspaper, March
17, that was published under the title
"Israelis Voice New Weariness at
Scandal-Ridden Leaders," Friedman
Israel's largest newspaper,
Yediot Aharonot, recently ran a
photo spread of the country's
top three leaders that summed
up the prevailing mood toward
politicians here.
One picture showed Prime
Minister Yitzhak Shamir
covering his ears. The second
picture showed Foreign Minis-
ter Shimon Peres covering his
mouth, and the third showed
Defense Minister Yitzhak
Rabin hiding his eyes.


Continued from Page 2

rector of the Princeton Jewish Center.
She has authored numerous valuable
works for children.

Catholic Captive
Acquires Birthright

It happened repeatedly, Jewish
children were "stolen into the Church."
The Catholic anxiety to convert Jews
resulted in their acquisition of "cap-
tives." What could not be attained with
adults was enforced with children.

There were instances of children
being abducted for that purpose. They
were placed either in homes or with
nuns or priests. One such case is now a
sensational discovery. It is not a re-
covery — the abducted having grown
into womanhood and now strongly affil-
iated with the Church. The drama of it
is a remarkable story of a family reu-
nion and reacquaintance, while the ab-
ducted remains loyal to the faith into
which she was reared by the abductors.

There were analogous Jewish
occurrences of a military rather than
religious nature. It was when Jewish
children were stolen from their homes
and parents in the years of the Czarist
rule of Nicholas I. They were mere
children and were trained for service in
the Russian army, totally separated
from their families and the com-
munities into which they were born.
They were known as "Nikolayevsiye
Soldati — Nicholas' Soldiers." They
were kept in the Czarist army until
late adulthood. In many instances, in
later years, there were deeply-moving
declarations of faith to Jews and Jewry
by many who survived their torments
as the army captives. They remem-
bered a sacred observance in home and

30 Friday, March 27, 1987

"Everyone covering up for
everyone," and no one needed
any further explanation.
More than at any other
time since Israel's coalition
government was formed in
September 1984, the Israeli
public and political commen-
tators have been expressing
disappointment with their

Therefore the suggestions for
change assume great significance for
Israel and her partner American
Jewry in the duty to protect the State.
In his revealing report about the Is-
raeli feelings in the serious matter
involving "spying," Friedman quoted
in his cabled report to his newspaper:
In an open letter to the
American people in Haaretz,
the commentator B. Michael
wrote: "My dear America,
make a clear distinction be-
tween the citizens of Israel and
the Government of Israel. We

synagogue, a prayer, a phrase from the
There were not so many recapitu-
lations among those who were placed
totally under church influence. When
there were family reunions there could
be nostalgia.
The most deeply-effective case of
rebirth of family fondness, while the
conversion remains intact, is the sub-
ject of a dramatic story, recapitulated
in a spirit of mutual respect.
It is the story of a 13 1/2-year-old
girl, daughter of a devout Chasid, who
was taken to a convent by a Catholic
nurse she was walking with in Cracow,
Poland. The Chasidic family searched
for her and made queries in many con-
vents. She was not located until 60
years later, when she was 74, through
contacts which finally led to her joining
her family in Israel.

are not they and they are not
He referred not only to the
intelligence cases but to the
1982 massacres at Sabra and
Shatilla, in which Lebanese
militiamen operating in the Is-
raeli occupation zone in Leba-
non killed hundreds of Pales-
tinians. "This is the fourth or
fifth time," he said of the Is-
raeli leaders, "that they are
trying to sell me the miserable
jingle: 'We did not know, did
not hear, did not see, did not
report and we are not respon-
sible. Pollard, Iran, Shin Beth,
Sabra and Shatila — we're just
ministers. No one tells us any-
thing.' And they continue to sit
on their chairs. If my I.Q. were
not greater than the speed
limit inside the city, I might
buy this once, twice, even
three times — but not five."
"I hope America," he con-
tinued, "you are beginning to
understand that I am also in-

suited just like you. According
to accepted democratic reason-
ing, it would be time for these
men to pack their bags and go
home. But the reality here is
that prime ministers and
people with top postings are
changed only when one can
find an alternative that is
The blunders are in evidence.
There can be no doubt that a con-
cerned Israeli constituency will exert
every available forcefulness for non-
repitition of the sins that are all-too-
frequent in statehood and diplomacy.
This is where a younger generation
may step in to assume responsibilities
that grow with maturity in statehood.
Where there is "governmental,
political and military intelligence"
there may always be "spying." Israel
should not have been and must never
again be involved against a friendly
nation. This is the challenge of the
dominant "morality" aspect. That
blunder must never again be re-

author indicates how the love that was
showered upon her when she was taken
out of her natural surroundings trans-
formed her into a creature of a foreign
Her mind gone blank and the con-
stant indoctrination left her in a state
of trauma. She was married to an
engineer when she was 17. Her life was
in a Polish aristocratic environment.
A chain of events followed her
brother's discovery of her whereabouts,,
her reunion with her brothers and their
families and her eventual settlement in
Photographs from Hebrew news-
papers at the time of Michal's kidnap-
ping and family portraits confirm the
truth of a story that sounds like fiction
but is a reality. Michalina's 80th birth-
day was marked by a family party in
Israel, the photographs of the event re-
The full account of this 20th Cen- produced in the story of her life and
tury Catholic kidnapping that led to family reunion.
This dramatic tale is an addendum Leon Fram
conversion is told in Michalina: Daugh-
ter of Israel (Am Israel Press, to many similar events of abduction of
Jerusalem). The book is being distrib- Jewish children by Catholics recorded cause of redemption of statehood. On
uted here by Philip Feldheim Pub- by Cecil Roth and other historians.
that score he had a role that was both
lishers, 200 Airport Executive Park,
leadership and pioneering.
New York 10977. The author who com-
Then there was the battle for jus-
piled the dramatic record, Rachel Sarna Rabbi Leon Fram:
tice and the need to assure rescue for
Araten, has a record of contributing
whoever could be saved from the Nazi
Zionist Loyalist
many important articles to English-
terror. He was among the very first to
Jewish newspapers and to periodicals
He was the "Zionist Par Excel- propagate the boycott of Germany in
in Israel. What she has compiled is a lence" and his courage was unmatched.
the very first year of Hitler's rule.
true account based on corroborative
Dr. Leon Fram had an immensely When some of us, in 1933, thought the
material secured from Michelina's impressive congregation that could be Nazi horror would be short-lived, Leon
brother and others who shared in counted as worldwide. He had the af- Fram called upon his community to
gathering data.
fections of his confreres in the rabbi- wage war on Hitlerism. He was right
The manner in which the captive nate, his congregants in two of the then, as he was on many more occa-
was finally located is a dramatic tale of country's largest temples — Israel and sions.
unraveling a mystery. It was when Beth El — and the enthusaism he gen-
He had vision — the Zionist
Michelina's brother met a non-Jewish erated for faith and learning was car- idealism and in a role of vigilance.
professor in Italy who knew the cap- ried into Israel by his many students
His name had become synonymous
tive's name and related it to his Jewish who went there on aliyah.
with Greater Detroit and World Jewry,
acquaintance he had just met. That
It is unnecessary to list all the and their institutions and aspirations.
was the clue to the kidnapped girl.
causes he inspired. His Zionist services
Blessed be the name of Leon Fram.
Explaining how Michalina, whose were especially immense and included It will ever be idealized by his friends
Hebrew name was Michal, was bandied everything pro-Israel.
and associates in the causes of justice
around from convent to convent, the
Rabbi Fram was a leader in the for our people.


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