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September 11, 1987 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-09-11

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

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Judy duslancler, Las.

interior designer

Jewish life more meaningful."
Natan Shcharansky's
words, his message, and his
very being here this week
gave new meaning to the
famous quotation from the
Ethics of the Fathers: "If I am
not for myself, who will be for
me? If I am for myself alone,
what am I? If not now, when?"

Alan Feiler contributed to this
report.

Am Religious
In My Own Way'

It is not often that Natan
Shcharansky has either the
time or the inclination to
reflect on issues that are not
directly related to his efforts
on behalf of Soviet Jewry. His
commitment to his cause is
total.
But during an hour-long in-
terview with The Jewish
News this week, he discussed
some personal views — al-
though he emphasized at the
conclusion that "the main
point of your story should be
that we must moblize for the
demonstration [planned- for
Washington on the eve of Gor-
bachev's visit to the United
States] and prove the skeptics
wrong.
"All the rest you can throw
away," he said with a smile.
This is Shcharansky's fifth
or sixth visit to America (he
is not sure which) since his
dramatic release from the
USSR 18 months ago, but he
acknowledged that "I really
don't know American Jewish
life —this is the first time I
have gotten to know people
here. Until now I was too
obsessed with my meetings
with leaders and politicians.
Part of what I have learned
this visit has been a pleasant
surprise and part has been a
disappointment."
He said he was pleased to
learn that "Jewish life here is
not just UJA and Solidarity
Sunday." He was impressed to
find bookshelves in people's
homes lined with Jewish
books, homes filled with
Jewish art, and to realize that
people live Jewish lives
"deeply?' But after spending
a Shabbat in the Orthodox
environs of Brooklyn, he was
disappointed to learn that for
many Jews, "Israel does not
play that central role that it
does for me and many others."
A serious concern of his is
that American and Israeli
Jews have "a gap between
them that grows bigger, there
are basic conceptual
misunderstandings." For in-
stance, Shcharansky says
many American Jews con-
tribute financially to UJA

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For further information on this
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661-1000, Ext. 342

Dr. Roland • Dr. Gottesman • Dr. Weishaus

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

13

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