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March 7, 1980     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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March 7, 1980
 

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Paoe 4, HERITAGE, Florida Jewish News. March 7, 1980 Editor's Desk I wul rewve memortes.ofhorror y Gene Btarn, Bdllor & l.tblisher | Rabbi Saul Hyman tears a camps during the Second " I " " I " " " II I I II |crudely-drawn swastika World W, , ..... -   syna o u ' bur,jd.-out wdl raise fearful mem " The Tragedy... and Faith 0000ound ,n h,s .... 00randtheswastka ] g . e wdl revlv- bnter "Whoeve ' ' orles. Of a Jewish Community of 00oow ,... I a-Ipslorsomeofhiscon,,.o ,,: vuum cause us ' '- concern ab I gabon. . . out anh-Semitism Edmonton is a town of about 600,000 people [ The swastika was found on ny using that symbol,"hesaid. I a classroom black board Fhere was only one poorly- in the western Canadian province of Alberta. It is I following a fire wh ch caused drawn swastika and, because likened to our own middle'Florida growth cities I $1"milliondamagetolheBeth of other evidence, ther because people are moving there in droves. Here I Shalom Synagogue at 11916 wouldn't an,ear ,_  e I Jasper Ave. delib ...... ,v .-, ne a atelv anti-Semitic | Arson investigators say the motive behind the fire," said it is sunshine that brings them. in Edmonton, it is  " . one fire department officer. the recent discovery of oil and gas fields, fire was deliberately set but the fire department and city who 'preferred to remain Edmonton has a "typical" Jewish community, police played down the anonymous. much like ours. It has two synagogues, a Jewish center, a family services agency, a Hebrew day school. In fact, last month the Pinellas county Jewish Federation selected the executive director of the Edmonton Jewish Community Council -- 47-year-old Gerry Rubin--to take over a similar position in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area next July. Just a few days after I had talked to him about his impending move to Florida, tragedy struck the Jewish community in Edmonton. One night last month, someone broke into Beth Shalom Synagogue, set several fires, burned and desecrated the Holy Ark and destroyed six Sifre Torah. Newspaper accounts from the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Sun tell much of the story. o Beth Shalom estimatedat $1 m erate' manu- when the fire burned through Priceless religious the 30-year-old synagogue's scripts were destroyed when a $1-million fire ripped through sanctuary area. destroying the a synagogue in Edmonton's west side early today. Investigators say the blaze was deliberately set. More than 60 firemen battled thick smoke and flames for nearly two hours to contain the 2 a.m. blaze at the Beth Shalom building. Six sheepskin Torah scrolls--one more than 150 years old --were consumed Holy Ark and silver ornaments. Investigators believe the building had been broken into a few hours earlier and the fire had burned for some ttme before the alarm was raised. The building suffered structural damage. Valuable stained glass windows were melted by the heat. possibility of anti-Semitic Likewise, Rabbi Hyman motives be'hind the blaze at said the crudity and Beth Shalom. backwards drawing ol the However, Rabbi Hyman Nazi emblem suggests "a sick said some of his congregation mind"rather than a motivated are survivors of Nazi death anti-Semite. There were follow-up stories. Offers of assistance from the religious community of Edmonton -- both Jewish and non-Jewish -- helped ease the shock. And there was a bizarre twist when it was learned that Edmonton firemen had received a letter from a strange religious cult bearing a swastika symbol just days before the synagogue fire. It was sent by an Ontario man--Hugh De Cruz--who said he sends his religious material to fire departments "because firemen have nothing to do all day but read stuff." Reacting angrily to questions about the fire, De Cruz told reporters, "What is this country coming to -- full of Jews or something -- that you can't send people things in the mail?" He denied any connection with the fire. But from Gerry Rubin came the deep-felt shock and disallusionment of the entire Jewish community. He wrote ... Little did I know at the time of our conversation that we comfortable and proud Canadians would witness such heartbreaking acts of no logic and wanton disregard for the basic fibre of human life. This last week has seen an arrow pierce the heart of our Jewish community. Pudm, which we just celebrated, is a very joyous Jewish holiday. On other days a Jew may be miserable to his heart's content, but on Purim, it is forbidden. It is a time for feasting and drinking Bring on the Hamantashen. A couple of thousand years back, the Jews were the victims. Today, Americans. It is the same story fundamentally of injustice and oppression in the same old country. The Jewish sages of old predicted that at some future time when all holidays are abolished, the one holiday that will remain will be Purim. It is a holiday which marks the conquest of prejudice, the basic cause of people's oppression of one another. The Book of Esther which tells the Punm story is of interest because it deals' 'Champ' Says World Zionist-Controlled WASHINGTON (JTA)--Forrn heavyweight boxing champion Mohammed All charged zioniets "contror' America and the world, according to an interview reported in a leading p ucation in India, the text of which  JTA obtained. In the bi-weeldy, "india Today," dated Feb. 1-15, All spoke of Zionists when asked about the"mil- itant rval" in Islam in Iran, and the holding of "your countrymen hostage," AJi, saying that "those people in Iran are fanatics," and that "the other Moslems in the world have condemned their action," declared "religion ain't bad; it's people who are bad. You know the entire power structure is Zionist., i The Story of Purim Repeats Itself with Iran or Persia as it was earlier known, but there are other reasons. For one thing. it begins with a tale of terrorism, which seems to show that it was as prevalent in earlier days as today. The Jew Mordecai learns of a terrorist plot against the King and thanks to him, the King is saved. Then the King decides to hold a big feast. It is to be an extra special event.You might think someone would suggest bringing Bob Hope or some famous band. No, the advisors instead suggest that the Queen appear in the nude. They will sell many more tickets that way. The King approves the idea but the Queen puts her foot down. She will have nothing to do with these "nude-niks," she says. Her refusal stirs up a storm. The King's advisors tell His Majesty that the refusal of the Queen must not be treated lightly. The moral structure of the whole country is at stake, as women everywhere will defy their husbands. So the King has no alternative but to remove the Queen from her job. Now the King needs another Queen and d national beauty contest is arranged, the winner to become Queen. Mordecai tells F_,mher to enter the con- test, but don't say anything about being Jesh, he tells her. She enters the con- test and wins. She is now the Queen. She moves to the palace. Well, it's better than typewriting all day. About the same time, the King names a new Prime Minister, the Honorable Win. J. Haman. One bright morning, Haman walks down the street and who passes him? None other than Mordecai, who does not tip his hat. According to the Midrash, Haman, before becoming Prime Minister, had been a barber and naturally.a barber doesn't like it when he is not tipped. Haman vows in revenge to destroy the entire Jewish people. Mordecai grabs a cab and goes to see Esther in the palace. You must intervene, he tells her. Esther points to the status of women. Even the Queen, she points out, cannot visit her husband unless invited by him. Nevertheless, she realizes her moral obligation. She arranges a dinner to which she invites two guests--the King and the Prime Minister. Just after Haman finishes one of her Hamantashen, she spills the beans on Haman and his plot against the Jews The Jews are saved. Such are "the broad outlines. It is apparent that not much has changed in Iran from the days of old. There is the same terrorism, the same denial of women's rights; the only right a woman has is that of covering her face. There is the same oppression of Jews. Ayatollah Khomeini has publicly said that he regards his enemies as the United Slates and Zionism. Not much seems to change in that neck of the woods. We are reminded of a little "true story', told by  Eban. Henry Kissinger once meeting him. told him he had been puzzled reading a speech by Eban to note that he had quoted the same passage about peace he (Kissinger) had quoted in a speech of his own. He wondered at the fact that the two had selected the same passage about peace from the Koran. Eban smiled. "The answer is simple. We were both looking for some passage endorsing peace in the Koran and that is the only passage about peace there." They don't go in for liberal ideas very much. It is ironic that only a few days discussing the erection in Edmonton monument to the Six Million who hands of other madmen. I recall someone saying, "It is time we forgot.,' anti-semites tell us not to forget. I George Bernard Shaw who said, "In heart there is a cold spot for the The Congregation Beth Shalom B good Jewish folk, and I thank God thatl burned at Beth Shalom can be that nobody was hurl Last Friday, with no sanctuary in gather and pray, we joined with synagogue, the Beth Israel. The congregants sent a silent arsonist by bringing their children the services. Our message was clear: afraid and we will rebuild for our are our most prized possessions. No will throw our Jewish community into for if we permit this, we will voluntarily what the monster Hitler by killing six million Jews. "" Maybe the total impact of what best explained by my own son, Gidon,: attends the local Talmud who, that the Sifre Torah had been be buried, asked, "Does that mean No amount of explanation could otherwise. The Torah and Aron always been a source of mystique to at our family's Friday night kiddish, wife said the barucha over the candle  the barucha for the wine, I saw that her comforted and the sparkle returned Ironic, isn't it, that the value and of our traditions and religion is never evident than in times of stress? Dry Bones EDITOR'S NOTE: According to Judaica. the name "Palestine" adjective derived from the Hebrew first mentioned by Herodotus as proper noun. Influencing 55,000 Jewish readers each week editions for the greater Orlando and Published by Heritage Central Florida Jewish O'Bden Rd., Fern Park at Fern Park, FL and additional mailing office. Subscriptions: $11,00 ($1.00 more to the rest of the U.S.) and thereafter. /lng Address: P,O. Box 742, Fern Park FL:: GENE STARJ, Editor and Tinker Sale; Correspondent, Geier. PRODUCTION: Elaine Starn, Sharleen ADVERTISING: (Orlando), Gary Winder, (Pinellas), Anita Solar. ISmMIN PHONES: Orlando (305) Members: "." Religious news Services