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April 13, 1979     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 13, 1979
 

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Page 2, HERITAGE, Florida Jewish News, April 13, 1979 CHINA! by DAVID C GROSS Relatt from The Jewish Week.American Examiner The U.S, decision to establish formal relations with China has wide potential repercussions for many countries, on many different levels -- political, military, economic, cultural, social, scientific. As President Carter correctly noted, China has a population equal to nearly one-fourth of the worlds population, and it b certainly logical and sensible to enter into relatlons  her.. + . +For Jews, the new development isof special interest. Of all the large countries in the world. China today is virtually Judenr, de the fact that not =o ago--beforeand during World War H-- under the previous govemmenL the Japanese occupation forces helped save thousands of Jews by making Shanghai an open city, which at one me had a + sizeable Jewish population, wth thriving synagogues, schools, and which a= a Uamit station .. +r+. tII&apos;+IP". ....... : +''' '; ............. ++" ....... . .' : Actually, there is a 4eng-Ume connection between China "" + and the Jewish people. In central China, in the province of Honan, there is atown called Kalfeng in which Jews settled in the  century. Nk)st historians believe they came from Persia or Iran, and they brought with them skills in manufacturing cotton garments, as well as know-how in dyeing fabric and even printing patterns on cotton fabric Early records indicate that a synagogue was established in Kalfeng in 1163, and was restored in 1279 following a cataclysmic flood In 1653, the synagogue, which apparently had been badly damaged again, was rebuilt thanks to the etforts of a Jewish mandann named Chao Ying.ch'en. Communi declhled From the middle of the seventeen centuly until the ddie of the nineteenth century, the small Jewish community began to shrivel in size, commitment to Judaism and knowledge of even the most rudimentary rituals and customs of Jewish life. The synagogue was permitted to deteriorate and gradually became a discarded ruin. Sketches of it show that it was constructed in typically Oriental style. Christian missionaries who journeyed through the intenor of China in the 1800s brought back ancient Hebrew books, including an illuminated manuscript of the Book of Esther replete with typically Chinese art. According to genealogical records, the small Jewish community gradually intermarried, adopted Chinese names and customs, and were lost to the 'Jewish people, :At e titttr'Wofld WaPIl,,there were an- +, ." ,", estimated 200 descendants of the Jews of Kaifeng. Imaginative novelists speculated that the Chihese Jews were descendants of the Ten Lost Tdbes, but this was never taken seriously. Early travelers to China found documentary evidence that individual Jews had journeyed to China even and the Jewish Peopl . ... , . . . ., ,. : - . .+ +. +, a sizeable Jewish community quite strong. 10,0OO Jews estimated There have years, and the vast in most of them in ._ Maw < ................. 19t7 ,origin Jews were fecced,to return to end of World War !i, " After the establishment of the Israel, in 1950, announced its recognition ......... .. _ her and Taiwan. The Chinese . ' +::-::, :' ; .,: a dous ]tert in .... L+ :+d-. ": ............ China. + " - " + Ir=ills hced to establish relons with the new government Chinese to pay a mtum visit never acted .upon. The anti-Israel 1955, compnsed of Po-Asian leaderS, campaign, propaganda, and making their clear. Ties with PLO After the Six Day War, the Chinese with representatives of the PLO a formal visit to Peking, and was received honors. During the past decade, the Chinese propaganda has generally the "imperalist" states that Whether or not the Chinese attitude change, in view of its radical U.S. remains to be seen. Israel has friendly relations with China, but has the larger potential that the Chinese as a geopolitical fact of life. In recent years, American tourists China, and among them them have been able to throw any light ancient Jewish community of Kaifeng. Moslems.' ..... Sqme years ago, an ancient Sefer. '; A decad later another decreewas issued by thd'o]:gbls .....: ""+' way' ....... to a+ synagogue" n NewMe, co: was which outlawed the ancient+ levirate custom of marriage -- - "scroll'fhat'had ;rPginally beeiihhse by practiced by Jews and Moslems =- which the Chinese The re(pert who attested to described as an abomination. And in the year1354, another threads that were used to bind Mongol decree said that all wealthy Jews and Moslems Were parchment sheets -- they were silken to serve in the army -- so that the evidence of the existence of the Chinese. Published weekly (ecept for two weeks separate Orlando, Tampa and Pinellas calendar year to Florida addresses (+1.00 U.S.) and pro-rated thereafter, b News, Inc., 711 E. Altamonte Dr., Suite FL 32701. Second-class postage paid at additional mailing offices. Postmaster & Subscribers: Send address P.O. Box 446, Altamonte Springs, GENE STARN, Editor NICK RACKOFF, EDIT Managing Editor, Tinker Sale, Barbara Coenson Roth; Editorial Contributors: Linda Amoc Geier, Anita Tritt; Photography, Eua PROIXICTION: Fran Rackoff, Laura Rot. t Wurst.- " < ADVERTISING: Coordinator: Susa G oldet/g.. ...... "MAILING'ADD'_SS: P.O. Box 446, PHONES: (305) 834-8787, 834.8277. How would you like to wnte 200 books? Think how much time it would save your You wouldn't have to go to the library. Benjamin Disraeli, who was Prime Minister of England, was asked if he did much reading of the books of his' day. No, he said, when he wanted to read, he wrote his own book. Disraeli wrote some very good works, but his record does not compare to Isaac Asimov, whose autobiography, which has just now appeared, is his 202nd book. As almost everyone knows, isaac Asimov is America's top writer of science fiction. If you want to know anything about interplanetary travel or things like that, his books will tell you. He was born in Russia and came to America as a child of three. He worked in his father's candy store in Brooklyn and reading the magazines which were sold in the store he first became interested in science fiction. But how does he writeso many books? A newspaper reporter asked him that question and he answered, "1 like to type." What could be simpler? If you like to type and if you cover X number of pages, some of it at least is bound to have some value. It is like the old Yiddish.saying: "what you need to be a scholar is not so much a good mind, as a good read" -- to be able to sit and study, But after all, one must have ideas to write. How does he get his ideas? The answer to this mystery too, according to Asimov is very simple, "1 just think and think," he says, "until something turns up." A good many people would try writing a book if they knew how to begin. There is the old German proverb, "'Alle anfange zind schwer." (All beginnings are difficult.) But, Asimov has a simple solution for that. He says, "If you don't know how to begin your story, start in the middle." It seems it's a good deal like eating. Does it really make a difference if you have coffee first, then your cereal and egg? Asimov seems + to take things good- naturedly and that may be a help. He does' not strain at his writing. That is self- defeating. He likes to enjoy it. He is proud of his record as a writer. '3 never learned," he says, "to develop that lovable quality called modesty." He may Iave something there, if you are one of the modest people, you say to yourself, "Am I Shakespeare or b.dgar Allen Poe? what am I doing writing, I should be shining shoes," so you don't write 200 books. It's best if you want to write books to postpone if possible this business of being modesL Asimov doesn't exactly say he is immodest -- he ways he has a "cheerful appreciation of himself." Isaac Asimov reminds one of another: Isaac Bashevis Singer, the recent Nobel Prize winner, who was also born in Poland and in different ways both do the same thing. Singer writes of the demons and dybbuks -- the mysteries of this lower world -- while Asimov writes of the mysteries of the upper world. Both know their Yiddish and I think both are helped by their Yiddish backgrounds. For the book of popular appeal Yiddish is a good background. Writing in Yiddish is a sort of heart to heart talk. Yiddish is the language of the common people. Anyway. it is plain that writing hooks is easier than most People think All you have to do is v/ork in a candy store and learn to typewrite and Pike it:, So you won't write 200 books maybe. If you write 50, is that bad? byYltzhakRabi the Security Council UNITED NATIONS commission set .up to (JTA)--Yehuda Blum,. investigate Israeli settle- Israers UN Ambassador,+ ments in the occupied ' has informed the President" territories. of the Security Council, Algard announced last Ambassador Ole Algard of week the appointment of Norway, that Israel would Bolivia, Portugal and not permit the entry and Zambia to the three- would not cooperate with member commission Israel Refuses UN Commission in Occupied Lands opposes the commission because it was set up"witb . te aim of subvertil9 the- on-going peace process m . the Mideast." . ++ Israel's position was also motivated, Blum declared, by the sobering experience it had with previous "fact- finding" commissions in the Mideast. which was established by a Security Council resolu- tion on March 22 "to examine the situation relating to the settlements in the occupied Arab territories since |967, including Jerusalem." Blum told the Council President that Israel READING THE TORAH IN CHINESE SYNAGOGUE ls the sulect of a drawing by an 18th century Jesuit missionary In Kalfeng. He described the bimah as "the chair of Moses." co=t= Enc'do Judalca before the eighth century. Onesuch piece of evidence wasa Jewish prayer, inscribed in square Hebrew letters, found on a single sheet of paper, and apparently the possession of an adventurous explorer who had carried the prayer with him. " when Marco Polo make his famous expedition to China toward the end of the 13th century, he reported that Jews, Christians and Moslems were debating the respective advantages of their religions before the Mongol leaders and their aides. A Mongol decree of the 14th century specified that equal taxation should be levied on "Jews, Christians and P/tse/eh The Temple of Dendur, dating B.C, is now the only complete Western hemispher having been of the new Sackler Wing of the NeU) Museum of Art. The grand prize HEriTAGE :subscPipl:ion Matand, FJ0rida, couple . B'n ' ' r , . ' : " : q'hey'will soon be enjoying weekend at; t;he excit;ing Resort Communit;y of Lake an elegant;ly appoint;ed exploring both The Village Kingdom as our guest;s. Oui-t;hanks I;o all who entered the swee a winner wit;h a subscript;ion 1;o WINNE