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March 09, 1990 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-03-09

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PURELY COMMENTARY

Avoiding Procrastination In Rescue Obligations

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor Emeritus

T

ime is precious in
these serious hours
that demand total
fulfillment of the New Exodus
of our fellow Jews out of
Russia. It was never less
precious, as a reminder here
of our call to action more than
two decades ago. Then it was
difficult, with restrictions
upon applicants for exit visas.
Now the demand is for com-
mitments never to submit to
destruction that made the
road to freedom into Israel
slower and an invitation to
humiliation. Any such obsta-
cle, whether it comes from
Israel's enemies or from
miscalculating Jews, de-
mands rejection and even
condemnation.
There are the regrettable
occurrences like the assertion
by Prime Minister Yitzhak
Shamir about Russian Jews
being destined for Judea and
Samaria. He corrected and
revised it to assure freedom of
residential choice for Russian

settlers. The stir it caused,
which assumed international
proportions, should not have
received even a single Jewish
encouragement. Therefore,
the renewed admonition
never to submit to destruc-
tion, never to permit any form
of misconception that could
contribute harm to Israel.
The call to action continues
— with emphasis and with
caution not to become tools to
the evil forces intent upon
undermining the task of
rescue of the threatened in
the Soviet Union. While
Pamyat is operating with "a
lust for pogroms," as a promi-
nent Russian editor described
them, the Arab enemies of
Israel are sending their chief
propagandist, former U.S.
Sen. James Abourezk to the
Soviet Union as an advocate
against the right of Russian
Jews to emigrate to their
Israeli freedom. It is of the ut-
most importance that such
evil not be given comfort,
especially by Jews tempted
into misleading peace loving.
With the emphasized call to
unity in the present rescue ef-

forts, the philanthropic is
most vital. Hopefully there
will be speed in raising the
necessary funds for the mass
settlement movement of the
New Exodus.

The call for unity and total
Jewish cooperation sounded
on this page, June 23, 1967,
is valid today. Its appeal for
Jewish solidarity is even
more urgent now. We appeal
now, with this original text:
Russia's anti-Semitic
background has never
been shrouded in secrecy.
An inheritance from
Czarist Russia has passed
on to the Communists.
In some quarters hope
was abandoned that even
the most brutal in the
USSR regime might see the
light of day and could be
swerved from policies aim-
ed at Israel's destruction.
But the greedy aspirations
for control of the oil wealth
of the Middle East is more
important to them. Else,
they might not have
poured in billions of
dollars worth of munitions

Yitzhak Shamir:
Causing a stir.

into the hands of those
who aimed at Israel's
destruction.
The roles of the Russians
at the United Nations —
first at the Security Coun-
cil where the vilest hatreds

were expressed for Israel
and this week at the
General Assembly where
the poison emitted could
be credited only to
medievalism — offer proof
that there is little hope of
even the minutest leaning
from USSR quarters
towards justice.
Abba Eban's brilliant ad-
dress fully evaluated
Israel's position and pro-
vided data regarding the
events of the past month in
minutest detail.
Is it conceivable that
states other than the
Arabic and those tied by
party loyalties to Com-
munist domination will act
against Israel?
There is no doubt that
the nations of the world
are being put to the test in
Israel's present struggle
for fair play. This is the
time for a showdown.
Perhaps Israel's courage
will guide the world's
powers towards new ap-
proach — one of refusal to
yield to Soviet Russian
domination. 111

Is Gambling On The Agenda For Israel's Tourist?

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor Emeritus

A gambler always loses. He
loses money, dignity and time.
And if he wins, he weaves a
spider's web round himself
Maimonides,
Shaare HaMusar
ith the many mil-
lions being tempt-
ed to gain riches by
way of lotteries, the game of
chance is seldom rejected as
something that becomes an
addiction. Since the lottery is
also a practice in Israel, there
is an arousing interest to
study the Jewish attitude and
the existing difference in the
views of scholars, sages and
communal leaders.
Legalized gambling has

W

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
(US PS 275-520) is published every
Friday with additional supplements
the fourth week of March, the fourth
week of August and the second
week of November at 27676 Franklin
Road, Southfield, Michigan.

Second class postage paid at
Southfield, Michigan and additional
mailing offices.

Postmaster: Send changes to:
DETROIT JEWISH NEWS, 27676
Franklin Road, Southfield, Michigan
48034

$26 per year
$33 per year out of state
60' single copy

Vol. XCVII No. 2

2

March 9, 1990

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 1990

been placed on the agenda in
Israel with the appointment
by Finance Minister Shimon
Peres of a panel to study the
idea. The committee, headed
by Tel Aviv District Judge
Binyamin Cohen, is to recom-
mend how proposed gambling
can be both introduced and
regulated.
Two lotteries have been in
operation in Israel for many
years. One is hardly
avoidable, with salesmen on
street corners in many com-
munities to incite participa-
tion. Its prizes are a number
of automobiles a year for win-
ners. Its proceeds go to the
Magen David Adorn, the
Israeli equivalent of the Red
Cross.
Although gambling is still
illegal in Israel, the assign-
ment of Asher Arian, the
finance ministry's senior
economist, as secretary of the
study panel already suggests
impending legitimization for
the plan.
Suggestions outlined in the
proposal certain to arouse
global Jewish debates over
the morality of all sorts of
gambling are discussed in a
JTA news analysis:
The committee will study
various initiatives to set up
casinos in Eilat or other
holiday resorts and to in-
troduce horse racing. It
also will review the two ex-

isting gambling outlets: the
Mifal Hapayis lottery and
the Sportoto weekly soccer
pool.
According to Yitzhak
Feinberg, director of the
Council for Sports Gambl-
ing, which runs the soccer
pool, Sportoto and Mifal
Hapayis generate a com-
bined annual revenue of
about $400 million. The
money is channeled into
sports and educational
facilities around the
country.
The pool and the lottery
provide virtually the only
approved outlets for the
gambling urge. Both are
publicly supervised under
existing laws.
Gambling casinos are il-
legal in Israel. There have
been attempts to establish
off-shore casinos in
pleasure boats anchored
off the beach at Eilat.
There is also the following
by the most eminent of
Jewish sages, Moses
Maimonides, who wrote in
Shaare HaMusar:
"A gambler always loses.
He loses money, dignity
and time. And if he wins,
he weaves a spider's web
round himself?'

There is special interest in
the opinion of George
Washington. A letter he

wrote Jan. 15, 1783, is cited
in The World Treasury of
Religious Quotations:
Gambling is the child of
avarice, the brother iniqui-
ty, and the father of
mischief.
An encyclopedic anthology
is in the record of scores of
opinions by the most eminent
Jewish scholars and religious
authorities on the subject of
games of chance. Gambling
has never been hidden from
public consideration in
Jewish experience and con-
sideration of the subject is in
the ages of our historic
judgments.

There is an immensity of
scholarly coverage in the
treatment of this debatable
topic. Encyclopedia Judaica
devotes much consideration
to the disputes and the devo-
tion to the numerous aspects
of it. It includes the ethical
and moral elements. It takes
into consideration the
charitable possibilities
resulting from gambling in-
comes. There is a serious ele-
ment in the relation of
synagogue activities and its
membership involvement in
the scholarly devotion to
gambling.
Excerpts from the En-
cyclopedia analytical com-
ments on the subject add
fascination to the numerous

interests attached to it. The
temptation to continue the
research is provided in these
encyclopedic selections:
Professional gambling in
any shape or form,
whether among Jews or
non-Jews, was severely
frowned upon. The profes-
sional gambler was con-
sidered a parasite who was
engaged in a useless
endeavor and contributed
nothing to better the
world. Some rabbis went
so far as to declare the pro-
fessional gambler a robber
whom the Mishnah dis-
qualified from giving
testimony; he was looked
upon as a spineless wastrel
who, instead of engaging in
the study of Torah or in the
pursuit of an honest
livelihood, frittered his
time and efforts away on a
demeaning occupation
and unseemly conduct.

The rabbi recognized the
inability of the compulsive
gambler to control his pas-
sion for the game, con-
sidered him a moral weakl-
ing, and consequently
dealt with him severely.
One medieval rabbi advis-
ed: "Do not show pity to
the gambler who pleads
`pity me in order that I may
not be shamed and

Continued on Page 54

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