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September 25, 1992 - Image 86

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-09-25

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

NEWS

SPERBER'S NORTH

JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER

West Bloomfield, Mich.

661-5151

HENRY & MARIETTA SPERBER

AND

ANN FORD

WITH ALL THEIR EMPLOYEES

WISH YOU A HAPPY & HEALTHY
NEW YEAR

CATERING FROM CHILDREN'S PARTIES TO THE
MOST ELEGANT AFFAIRS, IN OUR LOCATION
OR YOURS

WE ARE AT YOUR SERVICE TO HELP
YOU PLAN A COMPLETE MENU AND
ACCOMMODATE ALL YOUR FESTIVE NEEDS

UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE COUNCIL OF ORTHODOX RABBIS

tie
to-
16
0 w

Owners of
lop
I
I
11
and The Entire Staff

851-5559

14 MILE & FARMINGTON RD.

SIMSBURY PLAZA
FARMINGTON HILLS

Wish all their
Friends and Customers
A Most Happy and
Healthy New Year!

U)

LU

U)

U1

F-
LU

LU

86

Best Wishes
for a
Happy and Healthy
New Year

ORS

WEST BLOOMFIELD • MICHIGAN

( ),Itord Lakt Road • Noych of Mapic

Blind Find A Place
In Israel's IDF

NECHAMIA MEYERS

Special to The Jewish News

A

t first glance, Ser-
geant Moshe Dar-
shawn looks like any
other soldier. But he isn't, for
Mr. Darshawn is blind and
has been since birth.
Turned down by his local
Mobilization Office when he
asked to be inducted four
years ago, Mr. Darshawn ap-
pealed directly to the then
Chief of Staff, General Dan
Shomron. The appeal was
made in the course of a radio
broadcast when Gen.
Shomron was answering
questions put to him by
various listeners.
After Mr. Darshawn called
in and was put on the air, he
said to Gen. Shomron: "I've
just completed a course for
computer technicians and
now I'd like to serve in the
Israel Defense Forces — even
though I'm blind. Can you do
anything to help me?"
Gen. Shomron's reply was
polite but noncommittal. "I'm
very pleased that people like
you want to join the army and
I'll see what can be done
about your request," the Chief
of Staff said.
"My reaction," Mr. Dar-
shawn recalls, "was less than
enthusiastic. I assumed that
Shomron gave me the kind of
vague answer one can expect
in such circumstances, and
that, later on, his office would
inform me that there was no
possibility of my being taken
into the Defense Forces.
"But," Mr. Darshawn goes
on, "I was absolutely wrong.
Within 24 hours I had been
contacted by the army and in-
vited to come for a
preliminary examination,
after which I was inducted
and assigned to work as a
computer programmer."
At first the other people in
his unit didn't know how to
deal with Mr. Darshawn.
They offered their assistance,
but otherwise didn't talk to
him. The turning point came,
he says, when they felt free —
with his encouragement — to
joke about the blind. Indeed,
in that spirit, he himself was
apt to tell fellow soldiers: "I
trust you sight unseen."

"When they laughed," he
declares, "I knew they
weren't afraid of me
anymore."
Elsewhere, Mr. Darshawn's
appearance in uniform can
still cause bewilderment or
misunderstanding. For exam-
ple, passersby have said to

him: "The army's shortage of
manpower must really be
terrible if even blind people
are forced to do military ser-
vice."
While this, of course, is
nonsense, the Defense Forces
has shown greater will-
ingness of late to accept
sightless volunteers because
their extraordinary motiva-
tion makes them very good
soldiers.
Most, like Mr. Darshawn,
were blind before being in-
ducted, but Major (res.)
Ya'acov Canani was already
an officer in an elite unit
when — on the last day of the
Yom Kippur War — an ex-
ploding Syrian shell deprived
him of his eyesight.
The army did its best to aid
Major Canani, even sending
him for treatment to a famous
Boston hospital in hopes that
his condition could be rec-
tified. However, it couldn't; so,

The appeal was
made in the
course of a radio
broadcast when
Gen. Shomron was
answering
questions put to
him by various
listeners.

in preparation for his return
home, Major Canani was sup-
plied with a seeing eye dog.
Up to that point he didn't
even have a high school
diploma. Yet this didn't stop
Major Canani. He acquired
that diploma and went on to
earn a degree in industrial
engineering and computer
science at Tel Aviv University.
Then, after four successful
years in civilian life, Major
Canani applied to rejoin the
IDF and was accepted for a
key position as a computer
systems analyst in a par-
ticularly sensitive unit.
This January, Major
Canani decided that the time
had come to move on.
Therefore, he left the army
and, in cooperation with a
sighted partner, set up a big
flower-growing project. But he
hasn't completely severed his
ties with the armed forces.
Major Canani remains a
member of the reserves and,
like other Israeli males, ex-
pects to be called up for
several weeks of active ser-
vice every year.



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