Our community honors its dedicated, hard-working and
charitable members in many ways. There are often testimonial din-
ners, special concerts, keynote addresses, plaque presentations and
monument unveilings. While these honorees are usually deserving,
a quiet, nearly invisible group of mitzvah people are carrying out
unusual and extraordinary acts of human kindness.
The Jewish News sought to find them and bring their good work
to the attention of our readers. The result is a special Mitzvah Heroes
section in the center of today's edition.
The four selected were drawn from more than 70 nominations
. . . each one a mitzvah hero. It was not easy to have the four agree
to be identified and their touching stories told. Mitzvah heroes don't
seek publicity. Rather, they have a desire to "spread the word" to
obtain greater support for their work.
We are hopeful their efforts will inspire you and members of your
family to perform acts of kindness and charity above and beyond
those to which you are already committed.
Too Easy On Moscow
tions for trade with the West. But as Sharansky noted, "not everyone
agreed with this linkage. After the Jackson amendment linked Soviet
human rights policies to trade in 1974, we were told that it was a
mistake to apply pressure on the Soviet Union this way. But without
that amendment Mr. Gorbachev would never have understood that
the way to Western capital is through humanitarian policies."
Sharansky, and other Jewish activists and human rights advocates,
are deeply worried that Moscow will use the 1991 conference as a
major public relations event to convince the world that human rights
in the Soviet Union is no longer a controversial issue. Will political
prisons be closed down? Will Jews be able to leave or, if they choose,
practice their religion freely in the Soviet Union?
The Western agreement to hold the international conference in
Moscow, asserts Sharansky, "renders our responsibility toward our
brothers and sisters there, and our commitment to democractization
and lasting peace, greater than ever. If we fail to discharge this
responsibility, we shall be guilty of betraying a long, costly strug-
gle and a most noble cause."
THE WORLD REACTS To THE DECIARATioN
OF p PALESTiNiAN STATE
There is little doubt that the Kremlin under Mikhail Gorbachev
has made real strides in terms of human rights, from opening wider
the doors of emigration for Soviet Jews to releasing political prisoners
from the gulag. But it strikes us as premature for the United States
to approve of holding an international conference on human rights
in Moscow in 1991. It's too good a public relations triumph for the
Soviet Union, and a case of too much, too soon.
As former dissident Natan Sharansky wrote recently, Gorbachev
"has taken steps to placate the West. But none of these steps has
been unqualified." Political persecution is still legal, political prisons
still exist, and victims are still traded for concessions from the West.
Real freedom remains an elusive dream for Soviet citizens.
One of the key factors in the successes to date has been the linkage
of economic and political ties with human rights. In other words,
pressure has paid off, and Gorbachev, recognizing his need for
economic help, has been willing to ease Moscow's human rights viola-
Regarding your Royal
Revival (Jan. 20) why the put
down on antique shops?
When we opened in Royal
Oak five years ago Royal Oak
had more bars and
restaurants than anything
else including antique shops.
Through a great deal of
commitment and effort the
antique dealers have spread
the news of Royal Oak world-
wide. In our shop we have
many repeat customers from
Japan, Italy, six Canadian
provinces and 22 states.
Our customers like the idea
of several shops in close prox-
imity, so they can make a day
of it. Antique shops and malls
offer something big shopping
centers don't: personalized
service, unusual items, old
We fail to see why this arti-
cle warranted a place in The
Jewish News, but if you were
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 1989
looking for Jews in Royal Oak
our shop boasts several (but
never on Saturday, they're
Obviously your reporter did
not appreciate the workman-
ship in an old filagree setting
or the patina on an old siver
Regarding the article of
Jan. 19, "Sinai's Quints":
I concur that the event of-
fers Sinai Hospital positive
publicity, both locally and na-
tionally, but what purpose is
served in the detailed descrip-
tion of indications and
These items do not belong
in The Jewish News.
Betty R Cohen
From Both Sides
Both the far left and the far
right seem equally disen-
chanted with the United
Jewish Appeal's policies
regarding the West Bank.
The Ann Arbor New Jewish
Agenda urges Jews to discon-
tinue support of the UJA.
They have "good evidence"
that UJA money supports the
occupation of the West Bank.
("Israeli Political Issues Spill
Over Into Washtenaw UJA
Campaign," Jan. 16).
On the other hand, "lbhiya-
USA, the American affiliate
of the right-wing Israeli par-
ty" is considering legal action
against the UJA because of
its policy of "discriminating
against the Jews living across
the Green Line; by refusing to
allocate funds for projects in
the territories.' ("Dassie Bat-
tles The Green Line,"
Jerusalem Post Magazine,
June 24, 1988).
At this point UJA is effec-
tively serving the interests of
American Jews through its
activities in Israel proper. Its
unwillingness to fund projects
in the territories seems to be
compatible with the view-
point held by the vast majori-
ty of its contriutors.
There was a problem with
the Torah Portion by Rabbi
Richard Hertz (Jan. 27), Par:
shat Yitro. Moses wife Zip-
porah did not "introduce her
tribal practice of circumcision
to the Hebrews."
Circumcision was a com-
mand given to our father
Abraham who preceded
Moses. Zipporah circumcised
her son Eliezer because "The
Lord met him, and He sought
to kill him (Moses)" and "Zip-
porah understood it was
because of the circumcision."
documented contribution was
the appointing of judges. He
could not have contributed
ideas for the religion of the
Israelites because he came
from idol worship and had for- 1
saken his entire past to follow
the religion of Moses. Yitro's
original name was Yeser;
after he converted to
Judaism, a vov was added to
his name (similar to the addi-
tional letter added to
Abraham's name when he
became the first convert). It is
in the merit of this name the
parsha is named.
The greatness of Yitro and
his daughter Zipporah is
undeniable. However, it is im-
portant to remember these
acts which are noted were
performed after their conver-
sion to the belief in the God
of Abraham, which of course
Jocelyn Ruth Krieger