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September 3, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 3, 2004

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PAGE 4 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, our nel: By Elaine Silver [Editor's note: David Bornstein is on vaca- tion for the summer. His "The Good Word" column will resume shortly. Over the summer, this space has featured a variety of special guest contributors.] I think I'm starting to get it. When I first sat down over iced coffee with John Jeyaseelan and his lovelywife to learn about the"ThirdAnnual All Florida Peace for Israel Festival," to be held in Daytona Beach on August 1, I was surely put off by his account of the personal relationship that he shared with Jesus. When I went to the festival at the Daytona Beach Ocean Center on that Sunday evening, I carried that skeptical attitudewith me--questioning the motives of all those engaged in this endeavor--search- ing for proselytizing messages lurking under the professed support and love for the State of Israel and all Jewish people. My cynical attitude grew as I saw men dressed in kippot (traditional Jewish head coverings) and taUisim, (prayer shawls) which, on closer inspection, had crosses drawn on them. People danced on stage under a hup- pah, the traditional Jewish bridal canopy. And shofarim (ram's horns) were blown from all corners of the vast hall. This appropriation of traditional Jewish symbols amidst the soft- rock style musical presentations of Jewish songs kept me scowling despite the smiles and proffers of hugs. But, when Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, began to preach--yes preach--to this congregation of Christians and Jews, then I began to disarm my cynical armor and listen. Rabbi Eckstein has, for 25 years, led the "Wings of Eagles" ministry, an International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Rabbi Eckstein comes from a long line of Rabbis; his father is the Chief Rabbi of Canada. Eckstein recently made aliyah to Israel. Rabbi Eckstein spoke movingly of life in modern Israel, under constant threat of ter- ror. "You are a different person when you send your children off to school on a bus and hope and pray that they will come back at the end of the day." By Carl Alpert Not the same old names HAIFA---Politics keeps the same names in the news, day after day, week after week. Fortunately the re are other events, some good, some bad, which propel new names into the headlines. This is the time of year when we look back over the past twelve months and review the personalities who provided some variety to the news. Once listed here, they can no longer qualify as "new." Here is this year's list, in alphabetical order. If you follow the news from Israel, how many do you remember? David Appel, a real estate developer, had a plan to promote a vacation resort on a Greek island in the late 1990s. He was charged with seeking to bribe Ariel Sharon, then foreign minister, to obtain his political intercession in advancing the project. The case made head- lines for many months and menaced Sharon's continuance, later, as Prime Minister. This year the Attorney General ruled that the evidence involving Sharon was unsubstantial, but other charges against Appel remained. Shari Arison, said to be the wealthiest person in Israel, and certainly not seeking publicity, announced that shewas leaving Israel because of press reports critical of her husband. She left for Miami, but perhaps because of the nega- tive public reaction, returned to Israel some months later, and all became quiet again. Pini Gershon, basketball coach, led Maccabi Tel Aviv to a magnificent win of the European Cup. In the last two games of the final four the team beat the strong champions of Russia and Italy with unprecedented 30 and 40 points differences. He won fame also for his colorful personality and rather frequent controversial utterances. The Israel Organization of PR and Advertising People named him "Man of the Year" for his ability constantly to capture headlines. Yosef Paritzky, a member of the Cabinet and a leader of the Shinui party, came under fire when a private investigator released a taped recording in which Paritzky was heard seek- ing to frame one of his Shinui colleagues by fabricating evidence against him. Paritzky was fired from his ministerial post in disgrace. Ze'ev Rosenstein, said by the police to be the head of one of Israel's major criminal gangs, was the subject of an assassination attempt said to have been perpetrated by a rival un- derground gang. His narrow escape focused press attention on him, and it was revealed that this was the seventh attempt to kill him in as many years. Elyakim Rubinstein. Upon his retirement as Attorney General he blasted the Israeli press for what he charged was systematic partisanship in political affairs. He named specific papers and individual journalists who, he said, with- held facts from their readers and violated the journalistic code of objectivity. Elhanan Tannenbaum was in headlines for much of the year when he was kidnapped by the Hezbollah, returned to Israel as part of a pris- oner exchange, and then underwent exhaustive investigation to ascertain if he had revealed any Israeli security information while in Arab hands. His business activity was also subjected to scrutiny on suspicion of illegality. Larissa Trembovler. A university teacher with a doctorate in medieval Jewish and Arab philosophy, she divorced her husband and fol- lowed up an acquaintanceshipwithYigalAmir, the imprisonedassassinofYitzhak Rabin.Their persistent request that they be permitted to marry made headlines. Yigal Tumarkin. Announcement that the distinguished but controversial sculptor was to receive the Israel Prize resulted in a wave of objections. The decision was reconsidered but recon- firmed, and the award was made. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, wheelchair bound spiritual leader of the terrorist organization Hamas, was killed in an Israeli missile attack in Gaza City. A wave of terrorist vengeance attacks against Israel was threatened, but few materialized. - The following are the ten names listed last year. How many do you remember? Es- ther Alon, Effie Eitan, Dalia ltzik, Ephraim Kishon, David Klein, Michael Melchior, Sari Nusseibeh, Silvan Shalom, Anna Smashnova, Tatiana Soponova. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. [ O O O O ISSN 0199-0721 CENTRAL FLORIDA'S INDEPENDENT JEWISH VOICE t O Winner of 36 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Assistant Editor Gene Starn Lyn Payne HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 0199-0721) is published weekly for $34.95 per year to Florida ad- dresses ( $41.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by H ERITAGE Central Florida Jewish News, inc 207 O'Brien Road, Suite 101, Fern Park, FL 32730. Periodicals postage paid at Fern Park and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes and other correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. Box 300742, Contributing Columnists Fern Park, FL 32730. Jim Shipley Carl Alpert Michael Gamson MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER Tim Boxer David Bornstein Gaff Simons P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 Production Department email: David Lehman Teri Marks Jessi Meyers Society Editor Bookkeeping Gloria Yousha Elaine Schooping Account Executives Barbara do Carmo Marci Gaeser He linked the Holocaust, where "we lost one- third of us" to the resurrection of the Jewish people in Jerusalem and Israel. He spoke of the fearful resurgence of anti-Semitism around the world. In this global atmosphere of hate, how can we not embrace those Christians who profess their love of Israel and the Jew- ish people, he asked. Rabbi Eckstein described Christianity as branches of a tree of Judaism. "The Jewish roots support the branches." The Rabbi offered a Talmudic story to suggest that we can only know our friends if we know what causes them pain, why they hurt. The Rabbi invoked the teachings of Jesus: you must love G-d, and you must love your neighbor as yourself. You cannot do one with- out the other. For 2000 years, Rabbit Eckstein says, Jews and Christians haven't done so well in the "loving one's neighbor" department. It's time, he says, to try something else. As for the problem of the coming of the Mes- siah, Rabbi Eckstein, in his lovely and gently humorous way, has a solution for that as well. When the Messiah comes, he says, "We'll ask him, Sir, is this your first or second coming? And his response will be, 'No comment.'" Rabbi Eckstein does not ignore the problem of proselytizing. He writes, in What Christians Should Know About Jews and Judaism, "When directed at Jews, however, Christian missions conflict with and even jeopardize the central ethic guiding Jewish life today--Jewish survival. While Christians have sought to convert Jews to Christianity for almost two millennia, after the Holocaust those attempts are regarded as especially pernicious threats to Jewish sur- vival-indeed, a form of spiritual genocide." Citing a survey conducted on behalf of his or- ganization by the Tarrance Group, Eckstein says the strongest source of support for Israel in the United States, apart from Jews, is conservative Christians, who make up one-third of the U.S. adult population. Two-thirds of conservative Christians queried in the poll said they shared the same or similar perspective as Jews when it comes to the issue of "Israel and its current struggle against Palestifie," percent of the "The bottom line is tiansareatremc and friendship with the are strategic allies of us in our battle a at a time when we des These Christians believe that all mankind and do not cast t literature, liturgy or beliefs on! Rabbi Eckstein. And for those who are bottom line: according to the $30,000 cost of the evening donations. Sixteen thousand "lected in an offering sum went to the transmittal to victims Just as we learn during and Yom Kippur that our accepted by G-d until we ness for our wrongdoing from may have offended, so I our Christian brethren for all I they do in support of Israel, what they may believe the Messiah. Reverend Jeyaseelan and Christian groups are County Jewish Federation mission to Israel They hope to have Central Florida j Israel, celebrate Jerusalem and launch the Peace for Gloria Max at Volusia and ish Federation, 386-67250294. Elaine Silver, Esq. attorney, tern, tage." She co-chairs the JewiSh mittee, Day in the CHICAGO--A wall has two sides. Has an For starters, it tells us impact on those on either side. Israel is now in Israel, even in our well into the process of constructing a wall not safe. That is not through much of the country, and more believe it. I'm not here to get into the absurd debate Jewstoda) over whether to call it a security barrier or a more powerful. Never had fence or a wail. yet, we have never been more That's the kind of thing inept Israeli spokes- We men expend way too much energy on in their by all our freedom and feeble attempts at what they laughingly refer friendsand to as public relations, excuse to believe it ain't so. ' I'malsonotheretogetintowhetherit'sgoodor been in a more bad, right or wrong to be putting up the security the world's mightiest barrier/fence/wall. A lot of it is up, the rest will militaries, one of the soon be a fait accompli, or, as they like to say in stockpiles, and the Middle East, a fact on the ground. Jewish people, have never What I am here to get into is how fitting for Israel. symbolicallythewailis, howmuchitsaysabout Putting up a wall only Israel and about the entire Jewish world, baseless fears, only makes The wall may, indeed, be designed to keep less scare. Says to~s that even Palestinian terrorists out, but what it does at be afraid. We may not like the same time is surround the Jewish people we are in Israel. thing Jews need to fear, it A wall has two sides. As an Israeli analyst of fear itself. recently noted, what Israel is now constructing is the biggest ghetto in Jewish history. That Israel isn't even tr' As in Jewish ghetto. As in Jews living behind of its neighborhood, a wall, cut off from their neighbors, out to kill us and so there Of course, this time it's us putting up the to live with them as nei wall, this time the wall is designed to save it can to make it Jewish lives, protect Jewish lives, this time harder and joifi we have the power, tions, cutting And yet. symbolically buildin~ And yet, after dreaming about and working of the world it actually forourowncountryformorethan2,000years, feels comfortable bein now that we have it, now that we are free, now The wall also is a that we are a sovereign nation living in our the Jewish world has become- ancient homeland, we live on the other side of of separations, a Wall, a wall telling us where we can go and people, that, in truth, is no where we cannot, with whom we can live and people. with whom we cannot. We are, instead, the Jewisla 1 Back to the future, Jewish style. Cut off from each other, While almost all the talk about the wall each other, seeing has been its political or military significance having nothing in common, and effect, what interests me far more is its of the same whole, but psychological significance and effect, which I believe will be profound, defines being Jewish.'~ For the wall sends some very powerful mes- sages to our Jewish psyches. See "Aaron" on ~i~