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April 27, 1990 - Image 75

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-04-27

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

THE JEWISH NEWS

APRIL 27, 1990

A Toast
To Jewish Living

ft 0 0

414

America And Israel: Spiritually Inseparable

By PHILIP SLOMOVITZ



Philip Slomovitz is editor
emeritus and founder of The Jewish
News and the author of this month's
To Our Readers.
For each issue of L'Chayim, a
rabbi, a Jewish educator or other
notable will present an overview of
the month's theme.
Yom H'atzmaut as Israel's
Festival of Redemption acquires
inspiration from the supporting
American legacies. While it is not
unanimous and there are always the
argumentative even in the most
advanced cases, the Zionist ideal,
with its emerging fulfillment in
Israel's statehood, has the strongest
support in this country and Yom
Ha'atzmaut has always been a
unifying partnership.
Especially noteworthy has been
the advocacy of Zionism by one of
the most distinguished Americans of
this century. On the 42nd
anniversary of Israel's statehood, as
was the repetition on every Yom
Ha'atzmaut, the commitments of
Supreme Court Justice Louis D.
Brandeis received serious
consideration. Throughout his
widely applauded judicial career
Brandeis pleaded for the Zionist
ideal. In his propagation of it he
was constantly quoted for these
sentiments:
"Loyalty to America demands
that each American Jew become a
Zionist."
"Shall we, with our inheritance,
do less than the Irish, the Serbians,
or the Bulgars? And must we not,
like them, have a land where the
Jewish life may be naturally led, the
Jewish language spoken, and the
Jewish spirit prevail?"
While these declarations were
significant in advancing the cause
of Israel redeemed, notable Jewish
leaders like Stephen S. Wise and
Abba Hillel Silver are never ignored.
There was a dream for the

Continued on Page L-2

Former President Harry S Truman holds Torah presented to him by Chaim Weizmann 11 days after Truman extended de facto recognition to
the new state of Israel on May 25, 1948.

Notes In The Western Wall

BY PHILLIP APPLEBAUM

If you've seen the Kotel
Ma'aravi — the Western Wall — on
Jerusalem's Temple Mount, then
you've noticed the grass growing
out from between the massive
blocks of stone. But if you look
carefully, you'll see something
besides vegetation. Tucked carefully
into the wall's cracks and crevices
are hundreds of small pieces of
paper.
Each one is a note on which is

written the prayer of a Jew
beseeching God's intervention to
grant a cure to the sick, peace to
the troubled or resources to the
needy.
A letter addressed to God
sounds rather peculiar. As far as the
written word goes, the
communication has been pretty
much one way: Torah came from
God to us.
So how is it that Jews write
notes to God and turn the Kotel into
a giant mailbox?

The origin of the custom lies in
mysticism. Like most of the mystical
practices in Judaism, letter writing
to God began with the Chasidim.
Since the mid-18th century,
when the Chasidic movement began
in Eastern Europe, loyal followers of
a particular rebbe (Chasidic leader),
brought their troubles to the rebbe
with the hope that he would
intervene with the Almighty to
alleviate their suffering. Their
petitions to the rebbe were
Continued on Page L-3

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