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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 30, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 32 THt irTHBRIDGt HHULD Thundoy. Hovembtr 30, 197J Thirst Cambodian soldirrs Imrrl in quench Inrir Ihirsi imid- dy walpr from mortar holes flhtnil in stiuili Phrrem FVnl', MIP rapinl. BACKGROUND Israel is still plagued by much religious strife Sip the fantastk: FEATHE1S By L'llAIiU BERMANT Chalm Bcrmanl repnils on Hie church versus state strug- gle in Israel and the personal rivalries behind it. Bcrmant, 42, author and journalist, was trained at Glasgow Rabbini- cal Collpgp, Glasgow Univer- sity, and the London Schmil of Kconomics. Three Feathers. Only Thru Feathers WemJf light four yeir oU with a inooth Mflow tight yor ttd. Join the light brigMh. PARK Your assurance of quality TEL AVJV-Mrs. Golda Meir has declared that she will not stand for election when Israel goes to the polls next year. She will be 75 in May and she feels she is old, tired and needs a rest. And Israeli politics are cer- i tainly tiring, for apart from the more familiar issues of secur- ity. economic stability and so- i cial welfare. Israel, otherwise j supremely a product of the 20lh century, is still beset with a problem which was settled in Britain in the 17lh century, and in Europe in the 19th, which has shaken one Israeli govern- I Knesset, has used strategic position to maintain laws and extract concession which are not acceptable to the mass of the Israeli public, or indeed to the mass of Mrs. Meir's own party. The NRP, which might make the most diehard English Tory seem like a moderate, are in facL moderate in Israeli terms, ior insofar as religious laws are workable they have tried to make them work. They have the Aguda on the right (wilh four which feels that a religious party has no place in a secularist coalition and has been busy calling down anathemas on all and sundry, and especially the Na- tional Parly. detail and have never explained how it would work. In 1946, the then Chief Rabbi, Dr. I. H. Hertzog, formed a rab- binical committee lo look into Jewish state according to the lialscha. And although it was concerned mainly with techni- cal problems like electricity supply, it could have formed a precedent through which wid- er and more fundamental is- sues might have been examin- ed. And it was exactly this precedent that was feared. The committee was dissolved and Hertzog's successor, Rabbi Is- ser Unterman, formerly of Liv- erpool, has never thought it ad- visable to appoint another. Unterman is a pah'i ment after another, and which as last July. And even Ihe Aguda are nol arel'al f'Sure with a silvery beard and a certain dignity to his bearing. Watching him make his slow way down a tree- Ihe lasl mird there is the in reaction, for Meturei Karta, which has no seals in the Knes- set because it believes Zionism to be a usurpation of the divine will, does not vole and does not recognize the Jewish date, but makes its feelings felt by tak- ing lo the slreels, as it did mosl lined Jerusalem street on Sabbath morning in his black coat and glossy top hat, he looks like a palpable snatch of the Sabbath himself, and one threatened to tear Mrs. Meir's I as aicl mosl' cam effective v a recent rlpm 6 snuum not to cairj own coaution apart as recently A IBI.UII ncm ullrj_n _.i.tii, u. i, K oiistratnin against a Jerusalem Ilne leat-pouiiK. lie is 5es shop. equipped for the house of It is the problem of church versus state which Is perhaps best exemplified by the ever- recurring who-is-a-Jew (or who isn't) issue. Mrs. Meir. like Lev! Eshkol before her, and Ben Gurion be- fore him, heads a secularist party which depends on the Na- tional Religious Party to stay in office. The NRP, which has hut 12 of the 120 seats in the right i It serves you Canada's finest range with up-top broiler, rotisserie and continuous-dean oven 464 WHITE Kenmore 'Classic1 range features ultra- convenient, eye-level broiler and self- basting rotisserie. Automatic off oven. Controlled variable broil. Minute minder. Second timed appliance outlet. Hi-style Shadow glass oven window. 2 giant 1 true-simmer and 1 speed- heat plug-out elements. But best of all, oven cleans itself as you cook and stays presentably clean, without your lifting a finger! In beautiful, decorator colours more Deluxe Kenmore range '239 While SIMPSONS VO OcdlS Automatic oven. High-speed oven pre-heat. Infinite heat, lift-out elements. Controlled variable broil. Timed appliance outlet. Minute minder. Pilot light indicator. Large oven window. Wilb continuous clean oven >279 With tolf basting ralisserle 30" itandard Kenmore ronge StnvAt Chargo it on your all-purpose account-We service what we sell, or refunded nl Simpsons-Scars you gel tho lines! guarantee tKllilacllon or money refunded ond free delivery our storo-lo-donr sorvico hrtlini wilh tho sain protects yoil ovory Inch ol tho wny Quality Costs No More at Simpsons-Sean STORE HOURS: Opun Dally V a.m. lo p.m. Thurlduy and Friday 9 a.m. la p.m. Cintn Vlllofi. lll-fll) Arbiters All the religious groups, how- ever, have this in common. They believe that the rabbis are the final arbiters on any reli- gious issue. In Israel such is- sues affect the most fundamen- tal rights of the individual, and Ihey are decided by the Chief Rabbi, who need not take any- one's advice but his own. The really hard cases, how- ever, arise out o[ divorce law. Jewish divorces are easy, ex- peditious and cheap where men are concerned. If the wo- man wants a divorce it is an- other matter. Her husband may adultery, cruelty drunkenness. He be guilty of or habitual may be insane, he may even desert her, but if he Is unwilling (or unable) to grant a divorce, she is stuck with him for life. If she obtains a civil divorce ejid remarries, her children are considered mamzerim bastards (the word as used in Hebrew refers only to cbildren of in- cestuous or adulterous tmions) and such bastards, according lo Jewish law. cannot marry "within the holy congregation'' of Israel." Such laws may Mem bad in theory. They become infinitely worse when translated into hu- man terms, as they were last year, when a brother and sis- ter, Chanocn and Miriam Lang- er. both soldiers, sought to mar- IT their lovers but were barred from doing so a rabbi ruled they were bastards. Their case became a cause celehrc, especially when the background lo Iheir tragedy be- came known. Their mother, a Polish Jewess, had married a Christian who was converted to Judaism. They were separated during the war. She eventually made her way 10 Israel and, believing him dead, maj-ried again. A few veal's later he turned up in Israel. Resentment The case caused widespread resentment and the Langers are held up as symbols of all that is wrong with the Halacha, the traditional Jewish law. But the trouble seems to be not so much with the law, as with its inter- preters, the rabbis. I spoke about this to Rabbi Zerach Warhaftig, Israel's min- ister of religion. Warhaf- lig, a smell man wilh a care- lined face, sits behind a large j desk, with the Talmud lo Ihe j Icfl of him. a bejewelled Bible ol Ihe righl of him, and this world before him in Ihe form of a slack of official papers so high as almost to him j from view. He was saddened hy the plight of the Langers. but, as he pointed out, in England, too, laws ran give nsc to hard rases. But where the cases Ire- come impossible. I said, the law is changed. Can the flala- cha he changed? It is a living thing, he snirl, evolving nil the time, but HKSC matters can- nol be rushed. One left his office with the perfect certainty lhat they would not be. His prcde- civsor. Ihe laic Itnbbi Maimini, once lamented: "For two we've prayed for a Jew- ish Slalc, and it had to come in my lime." Though (his was spoken in jest ho hnd reason to bo rueful. In the Diaspora, Jews lived within an established poliUco- legnl frnmowork and had mere- ly lo ndapL Ilicmsclves lo In Israel Ihey had lo form Ihe framework themselves. The Iradilionnlisls have insisted Mini I ho nccc.ssnry blueprint Is Ifl to found In the Ilnlacha, but Ihcy never defined It In study than the council cham- ber, is not given to startling ini- tiativts, or, indeed, to action at all, and seems to believe that there are few problems which cannot be solved through pretending that they do not exist. Thus, he remained inert over the Langer case, though Rabbi Goren, of whom more later, has argued that according to the Halacha they are not in fact bastards and that there is nothing to prevent them from marrying "according to the laws of Moses and Israel." In- action may gain him the odium of the Left, but action can bring down the anathemas of the Right, and he is morlally afraid of the Right. Chief Rabbis are appointed by an electoral college brought to- gether by the minister of reli- gion, fief of the National Re- ligious Party, so the post is largely in the keeping of the NRP. When Rabhi Unlerman was first elected in 1964 it was said in his favor that as a form- er Rabbi of Liverpool he might bring some Western ideas to his office, and that as he was al- ready 78 he would not have lo be suffered for long if he proved to be the wrong man. Faulty Both prognostications faulty. Rabbi Unterman was born and brought up in Poland and anyone who spent his boy- ders and massive chest, every inch the major-general and feels that if a bus went into him the bus would get the worse of the encounter. Number two As Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv he is number two in the hierarchy. As chief chaplain of the Armed Forces he was supreme in his own domain and banished from the army at least, an indispen- sable institution of Orthodox Jewish life, the Shabbos goy. The Shabbos goy is entirely i product of exile. When Jew in Wai-saw, or Indeed Whlte- chapel, found himself freezing on a Sabbath morning he would invite a gentile a Shabbos goy lo lighl a fire for him or perform some similar ser- vice. The institution has been transferred intact to Israel ex- cept that there, of course, Sabbath goy is Jewish, go that power-stations, for example, are operated on the Sabbath and festivals by non-observant Jem. Goren thinks this is wrong in principle. If it is necessary lo operate power-stations round the clock and no one has suggested that it is not then the most observant Jew Is per- mitted, indeed he is obliged to work in them. "To do he said, "yon do not have to change the Hal- acha. The Halacha cannot be changed and must not be chang- ed, it is eternal, but it lays down broad principles to guide hood in an East European shtell can withstand a lifetime of Western influences. There is also a law in Israel, exempli- fied by the once-ailing but now- blooming Mrs. Golda Meir, that those who are not killed by high office are sustained by it. Rabbi Unterman survived one term of office, was elected for a second and is now. at 87, running for a third The Na- tional Religious Party, hoping that a timely visit from the Angel of Death might take some of the bitterness out of the dispute, postponed the election from one dale to an- other, but now lhat the Rabbi Unterman has shown signs of living on forever, the con- test is now finally being held. Rabbi Unterman has the back- ing of the Right, not because they love him some of them opposed him at previous elec- tions but because they hate the alternative now being of- fered, Sclllomo Goren. Goren, who is 56, has been Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv for the pnsl two years, but made his name as chief chaplain of Ibc armed forces. lie is still in the reserves with (lie rank of major- general, and although his heard is silvery at Ihe edges and of proper patriarchal lenglh, it is rough and metallic In texture, and his bearing is mar- tial rather than Rabbinical. He looks taller than he is, with head Ihrown back, broad shoul- us, and on the matter of elec- tricity and power, for example, we have the principle of piku- ach nefesh." This principle refers to mat- ters of fife and death a sud- den failure of electricity supply could, of course, endanger a great many people and he has applied it broadly in the army so that all troops, reli- gious and non-religious, may perform the Game dutlea are subject to the same pro- hibitions. As such he has, BD to speak, incorporated the Hala- cha into the Queen'i Regula- tions. This Shabbos goy approach sums up the essential differ- ence between Goren and tin religious establishment sur- rounding Unlerman, The latter seeks to perpetuate an attitude and outlook born of the ghetto and designed for it, while Goren feels that the realities of state- hood require not merely i broader outlook, but an entire- ly new approach. The religious were I establishment regard the cre- ation of Israel in so far u they regard it favorably at all (there is a strong anti-Zionist element in the Rabbinate) as i step towards the Millen- nium. Goren regards it M part of the millennium. SKI WEEKS AT LAKE LOUISE The Big Friendly Giant of Canadian Skiing Special Ski WORK Pnckagrs sl.irl al 580 00 prr pnrsor? nnd inrliitfr? nccommodniion and hll hckcis. Lake Louise oilers you: Ovnr miles ol wnll groomnd liailft lor every sknnq cnpnbilily pontlc lor iho rhnlionginri for ihn expert. Ono gondola lilt, Ihroh chnir lifla, iwo pomn lills nnd ono AccommndRlion lor 400 skinr.i. Fni Ol mnn inlormnllon write LAKE LOUISE SKI AREA, LAKE LOUISE, ALBERTA ;