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February 05, 1988 - Image 54

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-02-05

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

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CRUISES

Comic Woody Allen
Criticizes The Israelis

GARY ROSENBLATT

Editor

W

oody Allen is no
political activist —
indeed he describes
himself as an "uninformed
coward, totally convinced that
a stand on any issue from sub-
way fares to the length of
women's skirts will ultimate-
ly lead me before a firing
squad?' But the comedian-
director's Op-Ed article in last
Thursday's New York Times
is a serious one, criticizing
Israel for her policy of beating
Palestinians.
"As a supporter of Israel,
and as one who has always
been outraged at the horrors
inflicted on this little nation
by hostile neighbors, vile ter-
rorists and much of the world
at large, I am appalled beyond
measure by the treatment of
the rioting Palestinians by
Jews," he wrote.
Describing the situation as
"quite painful and confusing,"
Allen concluded that "per-
haps for all of us who are
rooting for Israel to continue
to exist and prosper, the
obligation is to speak out and
use every method of pressure
— moral, financial and
political — to bring this
wrongheaded approach to a
halt?'

Why Some
Orthodox Jews
Abstained From
The Rally

S

OtaW
464

10 10/
.

54

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1988



At the time of the massive
Soviet Jewry rally in Wash-
ington in December there was
a controversy over the deci-
sion of the right-wing Ortho-
dox, or "yeshiva world," not to
participate.
A prime reason cited by
some was the fact that Mary
Travers and Pearl Bailey had
been invited to sing, in viola-
tion of kol isha, the Halachic
prohibition against Jewish
men hearing a woman sing.
Leaders of the local yeshiva
schools said they had planned
to participate but felt
betrayed by the inclusion of
the women singers and with-
drew their support.
An article in the January
1988 issue of The Jewish
Observer, the monthly
magazine published by the
Agudath Israel of America,
does not mention the kol isha
issue as a factor in the deci-
sion of "the yeshiva world,
the Chassidic communities,
and generally, those who
identify with Agudath Israel"
to absent themselves from the
rally. The article, written by

Woody Allen:
"painful and confusing."

Rabbi Nissin Wolpin, the
editor, says that these groups
avoid participating in demon-
strations that they do not
control.
"From the inception of the
mass movement to activism,
these circles have eschewed
public manifestation, in ac-
cordance with the directives
of the Torah leadership," he
wrote.
Rabbi Wolpin told The
Detroit Jewish News that
he was unaware of kol isha be-
ing an issue in not par-
ticipating in the rally, while
a local rabbi suggested that
Wolpin's magazine does not
necessarily speak for all
segments of the coalition of
Orthodox groups under the
Agudath Israel umbrella.
"The Jewish Observer speaks
for Boro Park, not Klal
Yisroel (the Jewish people),"
said the local rabbi.

In any event, Wolpin's arti-
cle offers insight into at least
one school of thought advo-
cating an avoidance of public
demonstrations against the
Soviets. He notes that the
Council of Ibrah Sages issued
a statement in 1971 which
did not condemn public
demonstrations per se, but
warned of the potential harm
in provoking Moscow, and
urged non-participation
"because it is impossible for
us to control the character
and nature of these gather-
ings."
The article emphasized the
concern of the Torah world for
the Jews of the USSR and
cited the existence of many
Orthodox-sponsored pro-
grams and projects under-
taken on their behalf, in-
cluding some too discreet to
publicize.
"Caution is still the

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