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March 11, 1994 - Image 100

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-03-11

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Clothing For An
Active Life Style.

Tell Me Why

What Would Vidal Sassoon
Have Done With Golda Meir?


44: What's the origin of term "anti-Semite"?


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(In 1781, Hebrew already had been designated
a "Semitic" language by the German historian, Al.
In 1879, German political agitator and propa-
gandist Wilhelm IVIarr coined the term "anti-Semi-
tism" when he founded the League of Anti-Semites.
Thereafter, the idea of the
Jews as a separate race of
humanity entered all as-
pects of European learning
and filtered down to the
mentality of the common
folk. From there, it was a
short distance to the Nazi
-theories of race promulgat-
ed in the 1920s and '30s.

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44: Are Jewish newspapers a relatively
new concept?

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In the mid- to late-
19th century, an-
thropology developed as an
academic discipline, and
scholars and writers began
to think of humanity in
racial terms. In the late-
1870s German-speaking
world, thinking shifted from
the concept of Jews and
Christians to Jews and
Aryans. That is, Jews were
no longer viewed as a reli-
gious community, but as a
According to the Torah, after the great flood the
three sons of Noah — Ham, Shem and Japheth —
repopulated the world. The Jews, via the patriarchs,
descend from Shem. This interpretation was adopt-
ed by the Christian world and thus arose in the late
19th century the designation of the Jews as Semi-
tes, or descendants of Shem ("Sem" by the Greek


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Not at all. The oldest extant Jewish news-
paper is the Jewish Chronicle of London,
founded in 1841. and still widely circulated today.
One of its earliest editors was Abraham Benisch
(1814-1878), who settled in England in 1841. A na-
tive of Germany, while attending the University
of Vienna he founded a secret society whose goal

was to reestablish a Jewish state in Palestine.
Under Benisch's leadership, the Chronicle be-
came the first to publish Herzl's the Jewish State.
It also was the first newspaper to report on the Bal-
four Declaration, in which the British government
expressed approval for a Jewish homeland in Pales-

Q. Did Golda Meir
ever visit a beauty

No. The former Israeli prime minister nev-
er made it even once in her long life (1898-
1978) to a beauty parlor.

44: Is the Kaddish strictly a prayer for the

Kaddish is a doxology, a prayer of praise
to God. It makes no mention of death or
the deceased.
There are various types of Kaddish: The com-
plete Kaddish, the half Kaddish, the scholars'
Kaddish, the mourners' Kaddish, burial-service
Kaddish and the Kaddish recited at the conclu-
sion of the study of a talmudic tractate.
Generally, Kaddish functions as a conclusion
to a portion of the synagogue service.
In 13th-century Germany, during persecutions
by the Crusaders, Kaddish came to be associated
with mourning. Until then, the usual practice for
a male mourner was to lead one or all of the three
daily prayer services in the synagogue. Leading
others in prayer was (and still is) considered an
appropriate manner of public mourning because

it reflects well on the mourner's parents: that is,
they cared enough for their son to have him well-
educated, and thus able to serve as a shaliach tz-
ibur, a leader of prayers.
Jewish law states that only a bar mitzvah, a
male at least 13 years old, may lead prayers. But
the Crusades left many children without parents.
To include minors in the synagogue service, the
rabbis instituted the recitation of a special Kad-
dish at the conclusion of the service and at the
end of certain psalms. And because the text of the
Kaddish calls on the congregation to answer
"amen," this could serve as a child's equivalent to
leading a synagogue service.
Later, the practice was taken up by all mourn-
ers, adults and minors.

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