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PAGE 12A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 Love and liberation By Jonathan Kirsch Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles One of the bitter ironies of history is that Hitler and the Nazis loved music but it did nothing to soothe the savage breast of Nazi Germany. A second irony is that the high culture of Western Europe, including its heritage of classical music, featured the compositions and perfor- mances of a great many Jewish musicians. The irony suffuses the romantic tale that Carol Jean Delmar tells in "Serenade: A Memoir of Music and Love From Vienna and Prague to I,os Angeles" (Willow Lane Press, $27.99). Her parents, Franz and Franziska, met and fell in love in 1927 when they danced to the strains of Delmar's book is that she allows us to enter the elegant but doomed world of Viennese Jewry that so soon would suf- fer a catastrophe. Young Franz pursued a career as an opera singer-- his first audition piece is "0 du mein holder Abendstern" from a Wagner opera. By then, the Nazis were already on the ascent in Germany and Austria. "Franz tried not to think about politics," Delmar explains. "[H]e im- mersed himself inhis music instead." In 1936, while the Nazis consolidated their power in Germany, the hand- some performer appeared on the professional opera stage in Vienna to encouraging notices: 'A first-rate Figaro in the Mozartian tradition," one critic enthused. Another comfort was of Strauss' "The Radetzky "his courtship of beautiful March" in a Viennese cafe. Franziska, a story that is told Theyweredancingontheedge in charming and sometimes of a volcano, of course, and passionate detail."Last night one of the poignant aspects" I dreamt that my heart was creeping away from me, and when I asked where it was go- ing, it said that itwas leaving me because it could not bear to be away from you," Franz had written to Franziska on her 16th birthday. "So you see, my little Franziska, my heart is forsaking me." As they grew closer, the romance offered its own little world into which they could retreat: "[W]hen Franz and Franziska were together," Delmarwrites, "they felt safe. Neither love nor music, how- ever, was sufficient to shelter these young lovers. Theater managers began to cancel the appearances of the young Jew- ish virtuoso, and the curtain calls at one performance in Prague were cut off when a few Nazi sympathizers in the audi- ence stood up and started giv- ing the Nazi salute in a gesture of rebuke to the Jewish singer on the stage: "Heil Hitler!" Prague was a place of tem- porary refuge for the young couple when the Nazis took power in Austria .in 1938. "What was Hitler going to do next?" Franziska fretted. "What was he capable of?" Franz tried to reassure her: "But Hitler must realize that he can'tjustwalk into Czecho- slovakia like he did in Austria without any opposition." Music, again was the safe subject: "Try to concentrate on your singing," Franziska ,said. "And let me do most of the worrying." In 1938, when Nazi Germa ny began the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, Franz and Franziska found themselves with German passports, "each stamped with a big red 'J' on the front page," as Delmar explains, "to label their Jew- ishness." They managed to reach Zurich, Milan and then Marseille, Panama and Cuba, where they puzzled overwhere they might be granted asylum: Shanghai? Cuba? Eventually, with the astute advice of a HIAS agent and a convenient supply of American dollars, they bribed their way out of a Cuba refugee camp and then successfully navigated their way through the treacher- ous passport formalities of both the United States and Nazi Germany. "We're always one step ahead of disaster," Franziska quipped. On Oct. 9, 1939, their ship docked at last in Miami, and Franz and Franziska were en route to their ultimate stop- ping place in Los Angeles. They were a highly cosmo- politan and well-traveled young couple, but the diner on Biscayne Boulevard posed an entirely unanticipated challenge=Franziska didn't quite know what to do when they were served a carton of cornflakes and a pitcher of cream and provided with a bowl and a spoon. "You're sup- posed to throw them into the bowl, put cream and sugar on top of them, and then eat with a spoon," Franz instructed. "Oh," Franziska replied. "So this is American food." "Serenade" reminds us that the great events of history happen to flesh-and-blood hu- man beings, a fact that Delmar understands and honors in her beautifully written and illustrated book. (Indeed, the snapshots, postcards, clip- pings and documents that adorn "Serenade" are among its greatest pleasures and most illuminating features.) She understands the exalting role that music played in the lives of her parents, which amount to a saga of love and survival, but she also appreci- ates that a bowl of cornflakes can be a symbol of liberation. Jonathan Kirsch is the book editor of The Jewish Journal. His latest book is "The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan" A Boy Avenger, a Nazi Diplomat, and a Murder in Paris" (W.W. Norton/Liveright), published in 2013 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Kristall- nacht. Kirsch can be reached at books@jewish journal.cOm. Scientists discover handwriting can diagnose Parkinson's ByAbigail Klein Leichman ISRAEL21c A new Israeli study com- paring the handwriting of healthy people to those with Parkinson's disease (PD) holds out the promise of provid- ing a simple diagnostic tool at the earliest stages of the progressive disorder caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain's muscle-movement control areas. As many as 10 million people worldwide suffer the tremors, impaired balance and rigidity associated with PD, which has no cure. The handwriting study is the latest in many Israeli investigations into causes, diagnosis and treatment for PD. Unfortunately, physicians can diagnose PD definitively only by observing clinical symptoms that appear at a relatively advanced stage, or by administering a test called SPECT, which uses radioactive material to image the brain. But researchers at the University of Haifa and Ram- barn Medical Center in Haifa believe their study shows how the disease can be detected sooner, noninvasively and without radiation. "Identifying the changes in handwriting could lead to an early diagnosis of the illness and neurological intervention at a critical moment," ex- plained Prof. Sara Rosenblum of the university's department of occupational therapy. She reported that publica- tion of results in the journal of the European Neurological Society aroused great interest at the International Congress of Parkinson's Dis.ease and Movement held last summer in Sydney, Australia. Near-perfect accuracy Rosenblum initiated the study, which compared hand- writing samples from 40 PD and disease-free subjects. She was building on previ- ous research that has shown unique and distinctive differ- ences between the handwrit- ing of PD patients and that of healthy people. However, most of those studies focused on motor skills (drawing spi- rals, for instance) and not on writing that involves cogni- tive abilities, such as signing a check or copying addresses. According to Rosenblum, PD patients notice a change in their cognitive abilities even before they experience a change in their motor abilities. Her handwriting research was conducted in cooperation with Dr. Ilana Schlesinger, head of the Center for Move- ment Disorders and Parkin- son's Disease at Rambam, and occupational therapists at the hospital. Half of the 40 participants were known to be in the early stages of Parkinson's disease, before obvious motor signs are visible. The subjects were in- structed to write their names and to copy addresses -- two everyday tasks that require Cognitive abilities. The writing was done on a regular piece of paper placed on an electronic tab- let, using a special pen with pressure-sensitive sensors. A computerized analysis of the results compared writ- ing form (length, width and height of the letters), time required, and the pressure Jewish Museum of Florida-FlU O CAROL FRYD: FRYD ON FIRE ! for 2 for 1 admission .' H.FJN ......... d Also see MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida, visit the Orovitz Museum Store for one-of-a-kind gifts and have a snack at Bessie's Bistro! Im I 00ewis00Museum @ of Florida 301 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach Open daily 10 a.m. ' 5 p.m. Phone: 305-672-5044 , Except Mondays, Jewish and Civil Holidays Im ,:   ...............  ................................ ps ............................ Oepa ..................... I%IN ] I ...................... r ................ n ....... e ......... : ...... nnt Y Toris I a[n "' lEnt Cunci[' the mM $neDasda C u tYi [ ' , BEACH OepartmentofCultutatAffalandtJCulturalAffelrsCounca, theMiomDadeCou tyM yo dg d fC tyC ndth Cry f k,, ,  ,* : exerted on the surface while performing the assignment. There were significant differences between the PD patierts and the healthy group, and all subjects, except one, had theirstatus correctly diagnosed (97.5 percent ac- curacy). More air time The Parkins0n's disease patients wrote their letters smaller, exerted less pressure on the writing surface and took more time to complete the task. Rosenblum said the most striking difference was the length of time the pen was in the air between the writing of each letter and each word. "This finding is particularly important because while the patient holds the pen in the air, his mind isplanning his next action in the writing process, and the need for more time reflects the subject's reduced cognitive ability. Changes in handwriting can occur years before a clinical diagnosis and therefore can be an early signal of the approaching disease," she said. Validating these findings in a broader study could pave the way for this method to be used for a preliminary diagnosis of the disease in a safe and non- invasive fashion. "This study is a breakthrough toward an objective diagnosis of the disease," said Schlesinger, noting that this method would reduce the load on the health system, because the test can be performed by a professional other than a doctor. The researchers are cur- rently applying the same method in a new experiment, using handwriting analysis to evaluate the degree of functional improvement in: PD patients who have received brain-implanted pacemakers. Searching for the messiah By Rabbi Rachel Esserman The Reporter, Vestal, NY When someone asks me Judaism's position on a.par- ticular subject, I usually an- swer, "Which Jewish tradition do you want to hear?" I'm not just talking about the differ- ences between contemporary religious movements, but the fact that Judaism--from biblical times to the present day--offers contradictory ideas about a variety of topics. For example, as Rabbi Elaine Rose Glickman notes in "The Messiah and the Jews: Three Thousand Years of Tradition, Belief and Hope" (Jewish Lights Publishing), there is no one idea concerning the Jewish messiah. The word itself comes from the Hebrew root mem-shin-chet, which means "anointed." Anointing played a role in biblical times for priests, recovering lepers and kings, but, as Glickman writes, it simply meant that "oil [was] poured onto a per- son's head." Glickman's interest in the topic comes from her belief that "the conviction that the Messiah is coming is Juda- ism's greatest giftto the world. It is a promise of meaning. It is a source of consolation. It is a wellspring of creativity. It is a reconciliation between what is and what should be. And it is perhaps our most powerful statementoffaith-- in God, in humanity, and in ourselves." However, she also believes that many people don't understand the Jewish messianic concept or realize the many different represen- tations of the messiah that have occurred throughout the centuries. The author clearly notes that while the messiah is revered, he is not a divine be- ing: "For all of the Messiah's singular acts, he does not share in the divinity of God and, like all of God's creations, must yield his place--and his glory--before the Most High." Jewish tradition generally ac- cepts that the messiah will be a descendent of King David; however, his nature and his expected accomplishments are open for debate. For ex- ample, will the messiah be constrained by the physical realities of the world or will he have the ability to abridge natural law? Many stories treat the messiah as a kind of super hero, who will--as the prophet Isaiah suggests-:- make the wolf and lamb live together in peace. One debate centers on whether or not the messiah's miracles will be re- stricted to the people of Israel; by the time of the Babylonian exile, writers suggest that while God's main focus will be on the chosen people, the rest of the world will not be ignored. There are similar discus- sions aboutwhether or not the Messianic Age will be preceded by a time of war and destruc- tion. Those who prescribe to this idea see the messiah as a warrior. Apocalyptic literature focuses on the battles the messiah will have to fight, for example, with mighty chieftains and primordial creatures. Since the idea of a warrior messiah clashes with the image of a peaceful messi- anic reign, a second messianic figure came into being: known as. Messiah ben Joseph, he is said to be a descendent from Jacob's son Joseph, as opposed to the patriarch's son Judah (the ancestor of King David and, therefore, the second messianic figure now known as the Messiah ben David). In one variation of this tale, the Messiah ben Joseph will lead an uprising, only to be cut down by his enemies. After 40 days, the Messiah ben David will arrive and lead the Israel- ites to their final redemption. Other traditions focus on a different typ e of messiah, the poor beggar who waits patiently for the world to be ready for redemption--a redemption that will only take place when all Jews per- form a particular mitzvah, for example, celebrating the Shabbat at the same time. That raises the question of whether or not one can force the messiah to come. Some groups--including several mystical ones--believe that Messiah on pae 15A