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October 22, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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October 22, 2004

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FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 22, 2004 PAGE 5 Bardash (JTA) - Sev- a 77-year-old woman living in register to vote in elections. "she told me. worked in Demo- P.residential campaigns. us time I am voting for asked vhy, she summed it all three words: "Bush has It is a sentiment I discussing elections with ericans living I have heard of the opinions 120,000 eligible voters President George W. will win their support margin. would mark a sea years ago. of Jews' long-stand- for the Democrats ill-will Bush's father earned for his frosty toward Israel, Bush American Israel in 2000. while I have encoun- Few people here who )0, I have who do not plan to 2004. accounts for this No. 1 reason, lly Dahlia Scheindlin AVIV (JTA)---Many and Israeli W. Bush's puta- for Israel. As an I implore responsible Voters who care about record over you'll see the his leadership for John Kerry's re- from New lived in Israel years, through two and at least two masks and all. never been more for Israel's safety, Under George W. Bush. never despaired more Fing term. pres- lin . Whether we liked or and his sec- .of state, James Baker's they ether one agrees or President lWas passionately corn- yea rs history, George W. done a resounding National Secu- meeting, he de- from the conflict, disinterest shows: was presented Bush op- security fence 2003, threaten- loan guarantees, supported ,at the start goes for unilat- to call Arafat a as the Haifa woman so suc- cinctly put it, appears to be Bush's resolve in fighting the war on terror. While voters liv- ing in the United States are focused on a range of issues, their countrymen living in Israel are focused almost exclusively on the issue of terrorism. Israelis are on the front lines in the war on terror, and the Americans who live among them are no excep- tion. Here, the war on terror is not some distant fight experienced through a living room television. It is right on our doorstep. It accompanies us as we walk our children to school, board a bus, eat in a pizza shop or sit in a care. Americans living in Israel have learned the hardway that the only way to defeat terror is to fight it. We have seen how the Israeli government's deci- sion two years ago to initiate Operation Defensive Shield and thereby dramatically in- crease its military response to terror has drastically reduced the number of casualties from terror attacks. That is why Presiffent Bush's post-9/11 decision to wage an all out offensive against global terror is one that we know has made America and the entire free world safer. Perhaps Americans living on the front lines are more terrorist and insisted he re- main the negotiatingpartner; a former political officer at the Israeli Embassy in Washing- ~-ton- rioted ruefuH~that Bush is the reason Ararat is still around. Some hailed the president's "promises" to Ariel Sharon in April as a victory---yet Bush all but reneged, including re- garding the Palestinian right of return, two weeks later. Recently, atthe U.N. General Assembly, Bush called for a settlement freeze. Which is the real Bush policy regard- ing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? With the second intifada, many here felt that only strong American involvementwouid help reach a negotiated end to the misery. As president, George W. Bush hasn't even visited Israel. His policy is an irrelevant mess of contradic- tions that leaves Israel in despair. But Bush's actions in Iraq leave the country in danger. Suicide bombings and now beheadings are tearing Iraq and other countries apart---a horror we hoped no one else would ever know. Iraq is out of control, Bin Laden is free and al-Qaeda is growing. That makes Israel, and being Israeli, more dangerous. His lack of action in Iran is beyond dangerous--it is outrageous. America has known about secret nuclear facilities for more than two years, and now everyone knows about Iran's capacity to produce nuclear weapons. But Iraq has cost vital American credibility in Europe and the Arab world, and America is far weaker in facing the escalating threat. Iran is a hornet's nest of hatred, by some accounts it is the new Afghanistan, putting Israel directly in the line of fire. KORY BARDASH appreciative than others of the security afforded by the president's resolve. In contrast, there is wide- spread concern here that Sen. John Kerry will not forcefully confront terrorism. He has given ample reason for doubt, from a Senate record replete with votes against military spending to foreign policies that seem incoherent to prom- ises that he would wage a more "sensitive" war on terror. While concerns about Kerry's resolve might be expected from Republicans, I am surprised by how many Democrats have the same doubts. Time after time, I have heard Democrats lament how Kerry is not cut from the same cloth as the "Democrats of old" who helped lead the struggle against fascism and communism. The positions of the two candidates on specific matters related to Israel also play an important role in determin- ing the vote of Americans who live here. Bush's refusal to pressure Israel into making conces sions to terror when many short-sighted democratic leaders around the world were calling for just that, has earned him a deserved reputation as the strongest friend Israel has ever had in the White House. Moreover, his decision in 2001 not to send U.S. Secre- tary of State Colin Powell to the U.N.-sponsored confer- ence against racism in Dur- ban, South Africa, as a pro- test against the anti-Semitic circus that took place there has also won him the support of many who appreciate the president's moral clarity. In contrast, Kerry is seen as constantly changing his positions on even the most important issues. An example was his recent flip-flop on the defensive barrier Israel is erecting to protect its civilians from suicide bombers. At fi 'st, See Bush on page 13 DAHLIA SCltEINDI, IN Isolation and resentment of America spills over onto Israel. Conspiracy theories affect business, social and cul- tural relations. When Mikos Theodorakis, the legendary Greek composer, railed on the Israeli-American control over the world, he sounded only partly anti-Semitic. In part, he was just expressing beliefs that are tragically prevalent in once-benign neighboring countries. A generation of moderate Muslims is turning radical, learning to hate America-- and with it, Israel--because of the mangled Iraq wareffort. Who is the closer target for their rage, America or Israel? AI-Qaedais threateninglsrae- lis around the world, and the Mombasa incident, the ter- rorist attack at a Kenya hotel frequented by lsraelis, shows its capabilities. In Israel, the world's resent- ment, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and Islamic extrem- ism are bad enough. Under Bush, these problems have gotten worse and he shows little commitment toaddress- ing them. I'm not even sure he understands them. John Kerry understands. He has supported Israel in every vote for 20 years; that's way before the electoral campaign started. Kerry un- derstood how to fight terror- ism long before Bush was ignoring intelligence reports See Kerry on page 13 HERITAGE wdcomes and encourages let- ters to the editor, but they must be typed or printed and include name and phone number. We will withhold your name if you so request. Please limit letters to 250 words. Due to space limitations, we reserve the right to edit letters. Send letters to P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. Or e-mail to A smart reader knows where to get her news Dear Friends at the Heri- tage, I was very stupid to cancel my subscription last year--I missed a lot of important things. So, please take me back. Enclosed is my check for $34.95 forayear's subscription. Thanks. SUSAN KLEMPNER Altamonte Springs VVANNA FLU VACCINE? ww.m fflmm .um The yeshivah world By Rabbi R.J. Adler The New Year and the new calendar for the yeshivah world began after Simchat Torah, when the students could begin their Torah studies uninterrupted by any Jewish holidays. A yeshivah is a school or institution where Torah is studied day and night by students who aspire to become rabbis, who are attracted by the reputation of the Rosh Yeshivah (Head of the Yeshivah) or the Torah institution. The major study is Talmud and the goal of the students is to acquire enough knowledge to handle any Tal- mudic text independently. It normally would take several years. I spent my youth in the yeshivah world. The early history of the yeshivah goes back all the way to the Torah teachers of Palestine and Babylonia at the end of the Second Temple. From there, it moved to Egypt, Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Eastern Europe. Names of great scholars were Rashi, Maimonides and the Vilner Gaon; important yeshi- rot were in Kovno, Volozhin, Telshe, Mir, Siobodka and oth- ers. The Nazis destroyed most of them, but some managed to regroup in the State of Israel and the U.S. As in the past, the course of study is Bible and Talmud, piety, good char- acter and being Jewish role models. The Rosh Yeshivah was a master of the Talmud who would lecture one to two hours every morning, while the students would prepare the lessons in advance and review in groups after the lectures. The yeshivah was recognized as the foremost place of Torah, and the Rosh Yeshivah as the final word of halacha, Jewish law and direc- tive. The institution was held in greatest esteem by all and supported by the community in every way. The average student mas- tered half a dozen Talmudic tractates in a few years, together with the two major .commentaries, Rashi and Tosafot, and each yeshi- vah had favorite tractates, some for beginners, others for advanced students. The better Talmidim (students) would memorize large por- tions of the texts and come to the attention of the Rosh Yeshivah and receive their rewards. Most yeshivah graduates would be called by communities to function as their rabbis or as Torah teachers in various schools throughout the land. The yeshivah world was a tight- ly-knit group who lived more in the Talmudic environment than in the real world. I believe that the former yeshivahworid is looked upon todaywith nostalgia; because it is less visible, less influen- tial and endangered on the one hand, but, on the other, it is still reveredand recognized. as the source of serious To- rah study, absolutely required for the cultural and religious survival of our people. As in the past, the yeshivah world has a few problems and is divided as to the solutions. One consideration has to do with modernization; should the yeshivah include secu- lar studies or not? The more traditional worry that i't may weaken the Torah-Talmud study, while the progressives consider it a must for the fu- ture. The other touchy sub- ject is the inclusion of women in yeshivah study, where we find a similar difference of opinion. Some leaders will oppose the admittance of women both on ideological grounds and halacha, as well as the fact that we have no practical experience as to their accommodation. The more modern wing insists that halacha is on their side, and the women themselves are working on the practical side of yeshivah life. Does it not say God created both Man and Woman?