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July 13, 2018

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PAGE 10A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 13, 2018 By Josefin Dolsten representing the original main flagpole to fall down. colonies, it grew in signifi- The Fort Sumter Flag be- (JTA)--Jewish tourists cancein1814,theyearFrancis comes "the martyr symbol of f-romNorthAmericaarelikely Scott Key wrote what became America," and was shown all to notice one big difference the national anthem, "The around the North and used when visiting synagoguesStar-Spangled Banner." He to raise money for Union war around the world. Though a composed the song after see- efforts. plethora of symbols, such as ing the American flag flying "It becomes the tangible stars of David and menorahs, defiantlyaboveFortMcHenry symbol of why they were may be displayed, national in Baltimore during the War fighting this war," Zola said. flags are rare inside the sanc- of 1812. The creation of the The Stars and Stripes were tuary, anthem ignited"the birth of carried into the battle by Meanwhile, in the Unitedflag culture," Zola said. the Union troops. Following Statesand Canada, anAmeri- "The flag then becomes President Abraham Lincoln's can or Canadian flag (and muchmorethanjustabannerassassination, flagsabounded sometimes both) are corn- foridentifyingthings,'hetold as he was mourned and his monlydisplayedonthebimah, JTA in a phone interview. "We body was transported from orritualstage, often alongside all are familiarwithAmerican Washington to his burial an Israeli flag. eagle but the American eagle place in Springfield, Illinois. - When did this uniquelydoesn't resonate with the Zola found evidence that North American Jewish cus- same kindofdeep, deep patti- some synagogues displayed tom originate and why? oticfeelingsthattheflagdoes, American flags inside the According to historian Gary and that helps you understand sanctuary as rabbis eulogized Zola, youcanthankapatriotic thetransformationthattakes the president. wave during World War I and, place as a result of the poem, Still, flags were not a per- later, the birth of Israel. and the idea that the banner manent fixture in American About a decade ago, a becomes the embodiment synagogues until World War student asked Zola about the of the American people and I, with the popularization history of flags in American nation." of the service flag, a banner synagogues. So Zola, the ex- In the following decades, that used stars to symbolize ecutive director of the Jacob the flag began to be used by family members who were RaderCenteroftheAmericanpoliticians as part of their fighting or killed in the war. Jewish Archives and a profes- political campaigns and was "These service flags, while sor of at the Hebrew Union flown over public build- they were not literally the College-Jewish Institute of ings, banks and churches. American flag, they had a ReligioninCincinnati, set out Zola found evidence of some familiarity, they had stars on to find the answer. That led to synagogues at the time being them and they were Ameri- a study of the history of the decorated with Americancan colors, and churches American flag and how it was flags, though it does not seem and synagogues began to fly viewed at different periods in to have been ubiquitous, those service flags inside the time. He is currentlyworking The Civil War was the sanctuaries as a tribute to articlesummarizinghis flag's "big transformational the soldiers and as a patriotic on an research, moment," Zola said. At the symbol," Zola said. Though the American flag Battle of Fort Sumter in This opened the gates to was officially adopted in 1777, April 1861,Confederate forces American flags being dis- when it featured only 13 stars bombed the fort, causing its played as a permanent fixture Beth Shalom Memorial Chapel Proucllj ervin Our rnrnuniL Pot Over Year inside synagogues, he said, usually flanking the bimah, the sanctuary's main stage. Photos from Jewish con- firmation ceremonies in the 1920s and 1930s show American flags in the back- ground, and by World War II the practice of displaying flags next to the bimah was "almost ubiquitous," accord- ing to Zola. Still, for some synagogues the decision to add an Ameri- can flag was triggered by quite a different event: the emergence of Zionism and creation of the state of Israel. After both the Balfour Dec- laration in 1917 and Israel's Declaration of Independence in 1948, synagogues wanted to fly the Zionist or Israeli flags. But many members felt that flying a Jewish national- ist flag without an American flag wasn't right, so they added both. In most cases, however, the flying of the American flag was not a way for Jews to prove their patriotism, but rather to participate in a defining cultural practice, Zola said. "American Jews, like in ev- erything else, want to do what Americans are doing.And just as the flag becomes a part of American culture and begins to take on the emotional ef- fect that it has over a period of time, American Jews want to participate," he said. Many synagogues didn't come lightly to the deci- sion to fly a flag. In 1954, Reform Rabbi Israel Bet- tandeclared that Old Glory may hang in an American Ady Manory American, Canadian and Israeli flags are displayed in the S.H. and Helen R. Scheuer Chapel on the Cincinnati campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish InsHtute of Religion. synagogue on the grounds other flag to the right (from that devotion to the welfare the audience's perspective). of ones's country "has long NorthAmericanJewsareso assumed the character of a usedtothepracticetodaythat religious duty." In 1957, Rabbi they may not realize that to Moshe Feinstein, the famed most Jews around the world, Orthodox authority, saidsecu- a flag seems out of place in a lar symbols like flags had no house of worship. place in the sanctuary; how- "Wearesofamiliarwiththis ever, since the display of flags in America, it's so common does not violate halacha, or whether it's a Reform syna- Jewish law, a congregation is gogue, Conservativeandeven not required to remove them. some Orthodox [synagogues] Synagogues tend to follow that we take it for granted, it's the etiquette in the U.S. Flag almost unnoticed, but when Code, which says the Stars youtraveltheworldyoubegin and Stripes should be placed to realize, 'Gee, this isn't the on the leftmost pole, and the way it is everywhere.'" Meijer and Tedje van der film about their marriage. Merlijn Doomernik Sluis during filming in Amsterdam of a 2018 documentary By Cnaan Liphshiz couple's heartwarming story Mirjam, tell the camera that has been featured in media their father cannot function AMSTERDAM(JTA)--More across the country because when his wife is ill. Mirjam than 70 years have passed it's moving, intimate and says he "becomes depressive." sinceMeijervanderSluisfirst dramatic. But its intensity When he was working, laid eyes on the love ofhis life. also personifies the collec- Meijerwould come home for He was at a home for child tive trauma of a community lunch every day--an unusual survivors of the Holocaust, that was hit worse than any habitinacountrywherelunch andheopenedthedoorforher, other in Western Europebreaks are typically brief and He still remembers her during the Holocaust, when feature room-temperature shorthaircutandexactlywhat the Nazis killed 75 percent of sandwiches at the workplace. she wore that day. Dutch Jews. But it wasn't to be with the "It was a black army coat," Throughout the hour-long children, Mirjam says. van der Sluis, 91, of Amster- film titled "Tedje & Meijer: "I think it's because they dam, recalls in a critically The Promise ofLove," the two couldn't spend an entire day acclaimed documentary that nonagenarians hug, kiss, rub apart," she says ofherparents. aired last month in the Neth- noses andjoke as they sitwith "As long as I see Tedje erlands about his wife of 65 their arms intertwined, each around I'm happy, I'm glad," years, Tedje. spouse with one palm on the Meijer says in the documen- "Ithitmehard.Ifellinlove. other's knee. They call each tary. "Tedje has made me It glowedinside me," he says of other"poepie," or"sweetie" in complete." their meeting in 1945, when Dutch, among other terms of While the couple love their both were teenagers, endearment. Seven decades later, the Their children, Ruben and Love on page 15A