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September 13, 2002 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-09-13

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

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Tradition For The Future

avid Ben-Gurion once said,
"Tradition must be a
springboard into the
future."
As the founder of Israel Bonds, Ben-
Gurion might very well have been
speaking of his own creation, particu-
larly one of its most enduring tradi-
tions — the annual High Holiday
appeals. The appeals, which date back
to the earliest days of Israel Bonds, are
held at hundreds of Orthodox,
Conservative and Reform synagogues
across the United States and Canada.
The appeals are indeed, in Ben-
Gurion's words, "a springboard into the
future," as proceeds realized from the
sale of Israel Bonds are utilized to help
finance an array of key development
projects central to Israel's economic
future. Current projects include desali-
nation plants, new roads, light rail sys-
tems, expanded port facilities and

D

Doreen N. Hermelin of Bingham
Farms and Lawrence A. Wolfe of
Bloomfield Hills are co-chairs of the
Israel Bonds Metro Detroit Campaign.

housing and employment opportuni-
ties for new immigrants. Undeterred by
Palestinian violence, they continue to
arrive by the thousands.
Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime min-
ister, conceived of Israel Bonds as a
means of sustaining both an economic
and moral partnership between Israel
and the diaspora. Against the backdrop
of two years of unrelenting Palestinian
terrorism, both of these founding pre-
cepts are more essential today than at
any previous time since the first Israel
Bonds were issued in 1951.
The direct and indirect economic
consequences of the violence, combined
with a global recession and the implod-
ing high-tech sector, have had a crush-
ing impact on Israel's economy. Indi-
vidually, each factor in and of itself
would have been devastating. Together,
they have placed Israel in its most dire
economic situation in decades. Some
Israeli economists are calling it the worst
fiscal crisis in the history of the state.
The human cost of the Palestinian
violence is without precedent. The more
than 600 Israelis who have died since the

The Disappearance Of Truth

ust recently, Lubavitcher
Rabbi Isser Weisberg of
Toronto gave a lecture at the
Bais Chabad synagogue in
West Bloomfield. The lecture proved
to be, to some, a kind of awakening.
Rabbi Weisberg discussed various
passages in the Bible that addressed
the impending apocalypse that would
destroy our present society and herald
the coming of the Messiah. According
to the rabbi's interpretation of the
Bible and the Sanhedrin tractate of
the Babylonian Talmud, we are cur-
rently in a 40-year period heralding
the coming of the Messiah. The cru-
cial period began with the Gulf War
against Iraq in 1991.
What was of particular interest to
me were the passages he quoted having
to do with the disappearance of truth:
• Talmud Sanhedrin 97a:
"The truth will be lacking, as it says,
`The truth will be missing.' They [men
of truth] will form into various groups
and then completely disappear."
* Maharal (Commentary on the
Talmud called Chiddushei Aggadot):
"It doesn't mean that only the low-
est of society will be dishonest. That

Dr. Jerome S. Kaufman is a
Bloomfield Hills resident.

9/13

2002

36

would not be considered that the
truth is missing. That would mean
only that they do not seek the truth.
When it says, 'The truth will not be
found,' it means even amongst good
people. All of mankind will be false.
This is the extreme depth to which
the world will fall just prior to the
coming of Moshiach."
If the disappearance of truth is one
of the criteria for the coming of the
Messiah, then we may well be in that
period. How can one argue that truth
has not disappeared, "even among
good people" when:
• Jews, despite 1,800 years of contra-
diction, continue to believe they can still
make genuine peace with the Islamic
world. The history of contradiction
dates precisely to Mohammed's slaugh-
ter of the Jews of Medina, circa 330
C.E., because they did not acknowledge
Mohammed as a substitute for their
already 2000-year-old religion.
This Muslim slaughter of Jews has
continued throughout the centuries. It
is exemplified in modern times by the
recurring slaughter of Jews, beginning
with their return to their ancestral
homeland with the first aliyah in the
late 19th century.
More recently, the slaughters were
most evident in Hebron in 1929, and

onset of the violence rep-
Israel during the High
resent the per capita
Holiday appeals.
equivalent of more than
Israel Bonds are not
30,000 American dead.
only an investment in
A 17-year-old survivor of
the land — they are
a terrorist attack recently
also an investment in
said, "The world must
the courageous men
understand what it feels
and women who,
D 0 REEN N. LAWRENCE despite formidable
like for us to leave home
in the morning and not
HERMELIN A. WOLFE
challenge and adversi-
know dwell ever come
ty, have created one of
Community
back."
the world's greatest
Views
How do Israelis
success stories.
endure? Ein breirah — they have no
Therefore, while much of the world
choice. It is the price they must pay to
remains indifferent to Israel's plight, it
live in a Jewish state. That state is the
is useful to recall another Ben-Gurion
only country on Earth without defined
axiom: "It's not what others say — it's
borders, without recognition of its capi-
what Jews do."
tal, a state whose very right to exist is
During this year's High Holiday
challenged. It is a country where every
appeal, take a few moments to reflect
generation has gone to war since the
on what the reality of a free and inde-
nation's establishment, often more than
pendent State of Israel has meant to
once. Yet, it is also the only country with
you. Then, fold down your tab card
a Star of David proudly emblazoned on
for a bond purchase commensurate
its national flag, and the one place that
with your feelings for Israel.
the Jewish people can truly call home.
Israel is counting on us like at no
For that reason, it is incumbent upon
other time in its history, and it is imper-
each of us to demonstrate our unity with
ative that we respond from the heart. ❑

in 1935-1936 under the
its politically correct posturing
British prior to the War of
is the Jewish religion, replacing
Independence. Of course,
the basic obligations and truths
since the declaration of the
of Torah. The majority now
State of Israel in 1948, terror-
considers the Torah archaic, no
ism in one form or another
longer pertinent and certainly
has continued unabated to
far too restrictive and incon-
this very minute, culminating
venient to take seriously. -
with the abomination of the
The latest disappearance of
JERO ME S.
suicide bomber.
KAUF MAN . truth is now being foisted
Other examples of the dis-
upon us by President Bill
Comm unity
appearance of truth abound:
Clinton's personal spin guru,
Vie ws
Stanley Greenberg, and enthu-
The entire world, including
many Israelis and the unin-
siastically supported by almost
all the major Jewish fund-raising
formed Jews of the diaspora, believes
the Jews have stolen Arab land and
organizations..Never mind presenting
the irrefutable facts of Israel's right to
that there is, and was, such a thing as
a "Palestinian Arab" people and the
the land. That is not popular.
Rather, let us deal with the vagaries
current Jew is on "occupied Arab
and fickleness of public opinion. Say
land."
whatever is necessary to curry
That somehow it is okay for the
momentary favor. "Say the word
Israeli government to complacently
`peace' at least four times in every
allow Arab destruction of our most
sacred proof of the Israeli claim to the
presentation; don't be confrontational
and definitely welcome any reference
land — the Temple Mount with all its
to a two-state solution." Curry a
priceless archaeological evidence.
moment of public relations favor and
That instead of recognizing the
to hell with the long-term conse-
Israeli settlements as essential to
quences.
Israel's defense and as a landing place
Unfortunately, the list of examples
for the inevitable desperate return of
relative to the disappearance of truth is
the (Jewish) diaspora, the sacrifice of
endless. The only question is whether
these vital settlements of Judea and
or not this disappearance truly heralds
Samaria will somehow satiate the
the coming of the Messiah. And the
Arabs and, in their beneficence, these
way things are going, that seems like a
Arabs will grant the Israelis "peace."
pretty good idea. ❑
That so-called liberalism with all of

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