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October 21, 1988 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-10-21

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`Vox Populi' For 'Dignified' Politics


Editor Emeritus


s Jews whose parents and grand-
parents — in some instances
ourselves — lived under Czarist
and Germanic rulers who denied us
human rights, we acclaim the glory
that is America under whose Stars and
Stripes anything like "official anti-
Semitism" would never be tolerated.
That's the point in the pride in this
wonderful environment of our citizen-
ship — that any elected administration
with the Commander in Chief's head-
quarters in the White House, would not
dare be anti-Semitic.
I like to — and do — believe that this
applies also to the black community —
that there must never be an official
anti-black policy — or anti-human, ap-
plied to any and all citizens.

Therefore, the deep satisfaction im-
mediately after the two political party
conventions that Israel and Zionism
would not be part of campaign disputes,
because both platforms were like bipar-
tisan reaffirmations of American
policies on the American-Israel
cooperative friendship. Not that party
platforms adopted at conventions mean
anything, but a silent agreement on a
government policy seemed to be
adhered to. That was all to the good.
The emergence of a limitation is
what's causing pain. Suddenly anti-
Semitism became a sensation that adds
juice to the gossip-mongering that is
always means for media absorption.
Would that it could have been avoided!
We wish that the American voter would
rather be enlightened on the problems
and needs confronting the nation than
be fed on speculative prejudices.

When toying with the headline
about the Latin "Vox populi" it was a
question whether it should be
"dignified" or "respected" or "unpre-
judiced" politics. There is a deplorable
belief that politics is unable to adjust
to any such qualification. That's a pity
because there is, after all, a bit of glory
in the entire phrase, "Vox populi, vox
Del." If the "voice of the people" thus
is "the voice of God," then the prejudic-
ed elements should be shunned and the
voter who will be "King for a Day" on
the Nov. 8 Day of Judgment must be
given credit for possessing the good
sense of treating the implied divinity as
an obligation to be performed
honorably on Election Day.
Serious issues are at stake. The
foreign policies, the defensive urgencies,
the economic problems, the declining
school curricula, scores of other issues

are at stake. There are matters involv-
ing the future make-up of our high
court, the capital punishment dispute,
the civil rights obligations, the affir-
mative action urgencies which are so
vital as long as they do not introduce
numerous clauses for Jews, the sancti-
ty of the flag that must not be turned
into a charade. The duties are
numerous and they must not be confus-
ed with sensationalized prejudices that
are granted the notoriety that has
developed under the label "anti-
Semitism" in the political campaign.
The dominant obligation of those
who make their appeals to the voters is
to avoid seeking to make capital of un-
fortunate prejudice in a quest for mak-
ing capital in campaigning.
"Vox populi, Vox Dei," the "voice of
the people is the voice of God." Can it
be kept sanctified?

The Calendar's Lunar Status Defined


ith the holiday period there
is the usual quest for knowl-
edge regarding our calendar.
To avoid confusion, it is necessary
to define its lunar status that guides
our lives as Jews.
It is normal to ask why Chanukah
5749-1988 will be observed Dec. 44-11,
while Chanukah 5750-1989 will be Dec.
Being informed about our calendar
year is therefore a necessity and a du-
ty. In its brevity our lunar year is effec-
tively defined as follows in the Junior
Jewish Encyclopedia:
The Jewish calendar is has
ed on the changes of the moon
and not on those of the sun, as
is the general calendar. There is
a new moon every 29 or 30 days
Twelve such months make up
the normal Jewish year.
This method of figuring
created differences between the
solar, or sun year, of 365 days
and the Jewish or lunar year of
354 days. To make up for this dif-
ference, the Jewish leap year
has an additional month after
Adar, called Adar Sheni (Second
Adar). The second Adar month
comes every third, sixth, eighth,
11th, 14th, 17th, and 19th year.
In ancient times, before

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Vol. XCIV No. 8


October 21, 1988


astronomical calculations were
made mathematically exact, the
people of Judea watched the
skies for the appearance of the
new moon. As soon as it was
spotted by witnesses, great bon-
fires were lit on the hill tops to
speed the news. Burning torches
signaled from mountain to
mountain, beginning with
Jerusalem's Mount of Olives and
on as far as the Baylonian fron-
tier. In the Holy Land, the
Sanhedrin (highest legislative
and judicial council) fixed the
dates of the holidays and the
festivals, and fast messengers
relayed the information as far as
By the middle of the fourth
century, persecutions had made
conditions in Palestine very dif-
ficult and uncertain. It was pro-
bably then that the head of the
scattered Sanhedrin, Hillel II,
introduced a final and fixed
calendar. He published the
mathematical and astronomical
information for it and made it
possible for all Jewish com-
munities in the Dispersion to
use this knowledge. This remov-
ed the uncertainties from the
date of the Rosh Hodesh, the
New Moon, and of the first of the
year from which the dates of all
Holidays are set.
This is a time when we are treated
to a variety of calendars. Art works
predominate and the legends create the
interest needed for Jewish
When instructive, calendars are
published for the youth they serve an
especially valuable purpose. This is the
case with My Very Own Jewish Calen-
dar 5749-1989 published by Kay-Ben
Copies, Inc.
This calendar provides the dates,
with added features, for 16 months
through December 1989.
There is a wealth of information

and many special features in this paper-
backed handy calendar compiled by
Judith Groner and Madeline Wikler.
Here the young possessors of the
well-assembled calendar are provided
with many illustrated items. There is
a wealth of informative items. For the
girls, and boys who like to cook, there
are recipes for especially tasty food

items for the oncoming seasons.
Kar-Ben Copies also published a
most interesting and exceptionally well-
illustrated booklet for the recent
festival entitled Tamar's Succah by
Ellie Gellman. The story and the
glorification of the succah are inciting.
The able illustrator Katherine Kahn
gives the topic genuine inspiration.

Sally Fields Remembered

aterials for Israel" was a
rallying call in the 1940s for
concerned Jews to provide the
means to bring refugees to Palestine, to
assist in rescue movements, to provide
the necessities for the redemption of
Jewish statehood. Those who now pay
tribute to the memory of Sally G.
Fields, who died Oct. 10, recall with
deep appreciation her militancy as a
dedicated Zionist.
"Materials for Israel" not only
secured ambulances and supplies that
were needed to protect the impoverish-
ed in their quest for homes in Israel. It
secured the needed weaponry in the
struggle for Israel's emerging
statehood. It acquired small airplanes
in the battle against Arab states who
sought the destruction of the reborn
state of Israel in its first weeks of ex-
istence proclaimed by the United Na-
Sally Fields
tions. It helped in acquiring small boats
used to take escaped Jews to the shores
Sally Fields would have taken great
of Palestine.
pride in doing honor at the approaching
Mrs. Fields earned a journalism annual Zionist Organization Balfour
degree at the University of Michigan Concert to Louis Berry who had a great
and studied law. She was a contributor role in the "Materials for Israel" move-
to many Detroit area newspapers, in- ment, especially in the acquisition of
cluding the old Journal and the Times. planes and boats for rescue tasks. Louis
She became Midwest director of and his son Harold Berry remain loyal-
Materials for Israel, also gathering ly associated in the continuation of
medicines and farm equipment for the these devotions.
new state. She was a guest of the Israeli
Sally Fields earned and was given
government on several occasions and many recognitions. Among them was
was awrded a medal by Prime Minister the Distinguished Service Award given
David Ben-Gurion. She opened and by Magen David Adorn, at a dinner at
directed the El Al Israel Airlines office which the citations for her labors were
in Detroit.
Continued on Page 42

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