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July 21, 1995 - Image 100

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-07-21

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

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I

ou was a rascal — that
much is unarguable. The
rest is up for debate. Lou
was Wolf's older brother.
Wolf is Jane's father. And Jane
Yolen is a leading author of more
than 150 books for children and
adults.
Her latest work, And Twelve

known as the Tree of Life," Ms.
Cone writes. "Like a tree that
makes life better for everything
around it, the Torah makes life
better for all who can learn from
it"), Listen to the Trees is filled
with quotations and stories that
teach children a Jew's responsi-
bility to care for the earth.
It also discusses Jew-
ish holidays that relate to
the environment, includ-
ing Tu B'Shevat, the fes-
tival of trees.

I

n Assimilation and
its Discontents
(Times Books), Barry
Rubin considers ex-
actly why so many Jews
do not want to be Jews.
He begins with the
facts: "Aside from the
Shoah, Jews vanished far
more often in the nine-
teenth and twentieth cen-
turies due to voluntary
assimilation than to anti-
Semitic persecution."
In 1900, he notes, the
Jewish population world-
wide was 16.6 million. In
1991 that figure was 12.8
million. And in the Unit-
ed States: "There were
barely
more Jews in 1994
Jane Yolen: Acrobats and tasteless borscht.
than in 1918."
PHOTO BY SHULAMITH OPPENHEIM
Mr. Rubin, a professor
Chinese Acrobats (Philomel), at the Hebrew University of
tens the true story well, as true Jerusalem, describes the evolu-
as the author can figure out,
anyway — of her uncle Lou,
who steals raspberry pies,
lets the lambs loose in the
village and meets up with
Chinese acrobats. But when
MOLLY CONE
Lou leaves his home, the
family is in terrible shape.
"The first week Lou was
gone he sent a letter to
Mama and Tata complaining
TO THE
about the food. 'All I can eat,'
he said, 'are hard-boiled eggs..
Nothing else is kosher."
Then the letters stop alto-
Jews and the Earth
gether.
"In the kitchen Mama
hardly spoke. On Fridays she
pounded the challah dough
flbe.strotims by
with extra vehemence and
ROY DOTY
braided it silently. Often she
wiped tears from her eyes.
The borscht she made was
thin and watery. 'As if she
has cried into it,' Wolf said."
Ms. Yolen, the author of
Briar Rose, has written nu-
tion of assimilation from 1789 to
merous original fairy tales.
Also new for children is Molly the present. He considers the rea-
Cone's Listen to the Trees: son for assimilation (anti-Semi-
Jews and the Earth (UAHC tism? a desire to get away from
"negative stereotypes connected
Press).
Using the Torah as its inspi- to world Jewry"? just plain re-
ration ("In Judaism the Torah is bellion?) and the role Hollywood

has played in fostering assimila-
tion, from studio founders like
Samuel Goldwyn to actors like
Woody Allen.
Mr. Rubin also discusses the
relationship between politics and
religion, and focuses on why
numerous Jews have chosen to
replace their religion with Marx-
ism, socialism and other liberal
political movements. (He the-
orizes that Jews' real motivation
in helping typically oppressed or
minority groups is to help them-
selves, without appearing oppor-
tunistic.)
Mr. Rubin also is a fellow at
the Johns Hopkins University
Foreign Policy Institute in Wash-
ington, D.C.

D

el Fuego: Sephardim
and the Holocaust
(Sepher-Hermon Press,
Inc.) is a collection of es-
says on a topic that is only be-
ginning to receive attention.
"The Sephardim who suffered
in the pangs of the Holocaust
were fewer in number (than
Ashkenazim), but the ravishment
was almost complete," write the
book's editors, Drs. Solomon
Gaon and M. Mitchell Serels.
The essays are by a diverse col-
lection of scholars, covering such
topics as "Albanian Jews in the
Holocaust," "The Fate of Tunisian
Jewry," and "The Role of Spain
in Protecting Sephardic Jews in
France During the Holo-
caust."
Also included is the per-
sonal memoir of Henry Levy
of Salonica. Mr. Levy writes
of anti-Semitic propaganda
in newspapers ("DEATH TO
THE JEWS!" read a 1941 ed-
itorial), of Greek collabora-
tors like Adam Pap anaum
and Kirkor Bourbouriam, of
the Nazi confiscation of Jew-
ish property in Greece and of
the first transports to
Auschwitz.
"We are now beginning to
breathe the pure Greek fresh
air not polluted by the
scams," one newspaper pro-
claimed as the transports be-
gan. "...They (Jews)
destroyed millions of lives
with and without wars to
control the world, just for
monetary profits. Anti-Semi-
tism is a matter of cleanli-
ness, and not ideology."

ilith co-founder and editor
Aviva Cantor has a new
book, Jewish Women:
Jewish Men (Harper San
Francisco), in which she discuss-
es how Jewish patriarchy has ad-

I

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