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February 08, 1991 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-02-08

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

PURELY COMMENTARY

The Finest Expressions
Of Love Come From . . .

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y

Jewish Learning, Russian Olim
Enmeshed In Field Volume

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor Emeritus

D

available exclusively at

GEM / DIAMOND SPECIALIST
Established 1919
Formerly Norman Allan and Son

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855-3777

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 1991

I--

uring the very hours
of the commencement
of the Gulf war, the
Jewish liberating movement
from Russia continued.
El Al flights continued to
bring the Russian settlers to
Israel even during the first
weeks of the bombing; and in
mid-January, 900 olim from
Russia arrived in one day at
Ben-Gurion Airport.
Occasional delays of such
flights will not be surprising
due to the war, but the Rus-
sian exodus is assured of
continuing. At the same
time Russian Jews keep ar-
riving to build new homes in
the United States, and more
than 500 are scheduled for
home building in Detroit
alone.
In the process of linking
the Jewish settlers in Israel
and in the United States
with the Jewish com-
munities in their new
homeland, spiritual-cultural
factors play dominant roles.
The new arrivals and their
children become important
participants in our schools,
synagogues and social ser-
vices. In the process of such
integration, learning our
history and traditions
becomes an urgency. This is
where our newspaper is an
influential element and the
Bible and related textbooks
are major cultural in-
struments.
In the sharing of Jewish
knowledge, a highly
respected fellow citizen
makes a definite contribu-
tion toward providing proper
textual material for study.
About 30 years ago, Walter
L. Field authored his primer
for the study of Jewish Bible
history. He covered the field
in 40 pages, under the title A
People's Epic. Numerous

Slomovitzes
Honored

Detroiters Grant and
Betty Silverfarb have
made a $5,000 contribu-
tion to the Philip and
Anna Slomovitz Scholar-
ship Fund at Tel Aviv
University.
The Silverfarbs made
the contribution after
hearing Dr. Robert
Rockaway describe the fi-
nancial hardships of
many students at the uni-
versity.

schools began to utilize what
soon became viewed as en-
couragement to knowledge
and further study. It merited
translation into Hebrew and
was highly praised by then
Israel Prime Minister David
Ben-Gurion. Now it assumes
significance as a primer for
Russian settlers in Israel
and the United States.
Several weeks ago, A
People's Epic had its ap-
pearance at the Hebrew
University in Jerusalem, in
Russian translation.
Chancellor and former
president Avraham Harmon
of the Hebrew University
displayed it as an achiev-
ement by the translators of a
valued textbook for Russian
olim. Mr. Harmon said that
for a number of years he
shared admiration for
Walter Field and his Bible
history.
Because of its importance
as a text for former Russian
Jews, Walter Field's book
may well attain global cir-
culation. In Russian it is

Pam 0 Moem Narode, A
Song About My People. It is
already widely utilized by
Jewish arrivals in
Philadelphia and Los
Angeles, in addition to those
who obtained copies of the
translated work in
Jerusalem. Now it is to be
introduced to the Detroit ar-
rivals.
Walter Field's explanation
of the style of his textbook is
explained in the following
personal notes: I aimed for
three things:
First and formost, brev-
ity; I should be able to fit
4,000 years of our history
into 40 pages and that I
accomplished by using
rhymed tercet.
Second, that important
points of our long march
through time should not
be left out, and that, too, I
feel I have accomplished
by using 81 introductory
titles of three words each
____ on top of each page of
seven stanzas.
Third, that the story
should be easy to read,
easy to comprehend and
easy to recall the facts.
In addition, I divided
Jewish history into seven
periods of cultural
achievement which ap-
pear on seven separate
pages.
The Field epic received
much acclaim and its initial
commendation came from
Professor Harry M. Orlin-
sky, the eminent Bible

Walter L. Field

scholar, who supervised Bi-
ble translations of both the
traditional Hebrew and the
New Testament. He praised
Mr. Field's poetic work,
stating:

It is heartening when a
Jewish layman devotes
himself to learning all
about the history of the
Jewish people, about
their social, religious, lit-
erary, and political heroes
and leaders and their
manifold contributions
both to Judaism and to
humanity at large. It is
even more encouraging
when this same layman
takes the trouble _____ nay,
he delights! to present a
survey of Jewry's long,
varied, and stimulating
career in a form that will
attract and capture Jew-
ish youth and those
who refuse to grow old.
Such is the aid to learning
our history by our new
citizens who are defying
persecution in new
homelands. To Walter L.
Field, as author of A People's
Epic — A Song of My People,
goes a people's gratitude.

NEWS

Ramat Gan
Opens Kitchen

Ramat Gan (JPFS) — A
soup kitchen for new immi-
grants has opened in Ramat
Gan. A hot lunch costs $1.
Mayor Zvi Bar decided to
open the kitchen after being
told that immigrants were
scavenging for food in trash
bins and in boxes.
Many new immigrants
have complained that the
basket of services they
receive — currently about
$5600 for a family of three —
can pay the rent, but does
not leave them enough for
food.

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