ilie Canadian Jewisli News, rriday, February 13, 1970 - I'agc 5
BOOKS OIP THE WEEK
by Dr. Arnold Ages
THl£ SPY FROM ISRAFL
by Ben Dan llartmore House 211 pp.
Several weeks ago in this column 1 had the occasion to deplore a book called Our Man In Damascus, a rather sensational account of the espionage activities of Elie Cohen. At that time I obr_ served that Cohen deserved a better monument.
Ben Dan's new version of the story of that celebrated masterspy goes a long-way to provide a better and more lasting tribute to this truly cKceptional man.
With access to sources obviously denied the previous writer, Dan explores facets of Cohen's life hitherto concealed from most of us. It was most enlightening to
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read, for example about Elie Cohen's upbringing in Alexandria, his commitment to Judaism and his brilliant studies in Hebrew school.
Before he reached the age of twenty this future agent had become an accomplished polyglot and expert not only in Jewish history but in Arab culture as well. His school friends who described him after his hanging, said that Elie Cohen was basically a loner but one who never hesitated to help a friend in need. On one occasion during an examination in his Hebrew school he circulated answers to the questions so that none of his comrades would fail.
With his deep attachment to the ancestral faith it was inevitable that Cohen would
Achdut Avodah - Poalei Zion, Friends of Pioneering Israel Labor Zionist Movement of Canada Invite you to hear
DR. JUDD TELLER
Prominent author and lecturer from Washington D.C. Coordinator of B'nai Brith International Programs who will speak on
"THE EVOLUTION OF AMERICAN JEWRY 1921 TO THE PRESENT"
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15TH, 8:30 PJVI. at HOLY BLOSSOM TEMPLE, 1950 BATHURST STREET
Evening chairman - Proifessor Dr. Ben Lappin Admission Free Everyone Welcome
Thrill to high-speed competitive snowmobile racing at Kingsway Kiwanis' SNOW-SHOW 70...
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entertaining challenge events with well-known personalities as competitors, and ... a chance to win a free snowmobile.
The ENDURO starts at 8a.m., ends at 2.p.m. Sat. Feb. 14. Official opening by Wayne and Shuster at 2.15 p.m. Sun. opening time—1 p^m.
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some day emigrate to Israel but hot before he tiad been iniplicated by Egyptian authorities in a plot allegedly enijineefed by Pinclias La-von. Fortunately for Israel, Cohen was released by the Egyptians after he succeeded in convincing them that he was uninvolved in deeds against the state.
UponHis arrival in Israel, Cohen had proUrems adjusting to the Jewish state. Curiously—enough, this gifted linguist found one of his initial problems was mastering colloquial Hebrew. Although well versed in its Biblical version, liiodemHe-brew was a closed door for him. This coupled with nostalgia for the city of his youth Alexandria, made his early days in Israel somewhat trying.
A few years later, this time as Taabes, an Argentinian-born Syrian merchant, Elie Cohen, had occasion to revisit his beloved Alexandria on the way to Damascus. Dan observes that during that stay, Elie had to exercise the greatest self-control topre-vent himself from wandering through alleys and streets of his youth, and from approaching the shopkeepers whom he knew by name.
The story of Cohen - Taabes' success in penetrating the upper reaches of the Syrian high command, is well known. What Dan brings out much better than previous accounts of the story is Cohen's emotional reactions and his personality transformations.
On a trip back to Israel to celebrate the birth of his third child, a son, Elie Cohen was ^0 ecstatic at.the event that he invited his comrades in the security department to come to the brit. This was one of the few occasions that Cohen ever really lost his cool.
The Spy From Israel deserves careful' reading because of its human analysis of the life and death of the man whoprovided Israel with the information that helped Israelis storm the Golan Heights in 1967.
RECliNT .AND RliCOMMliNDliD
With so many good books being published these days one hardly has time to pay attention to the plethora of popular '' Jewish'' books. But when Putnam recently sent me Harry Kemelman's Sunday The Rabbi Stayed Home, I couldn't resist the temptation to see whether there wasn't something interesting in it. After aU, my friends are constantly asking me if I h^ive read the "Rabbi'" books.
I am happy to report to my readers that I was genuinely surprised in reading' Sunday The Rabbi Stayed Home, not because of the quality of the mystery plot — which is amateurish and embarrassing but because of Kemelman's skiHful portrayal of a rabbi at odds with his congregation. In an age where rabbi-batmg seems to be a favorite pastime it is refreshing to read a book in which the author shows that the rabbinate is perhaps one of the mostdemand-ing of all occupations.
The same theme is carried through Albert Vor-span's My Rabbi Doesn't Mke House Calls (Double-day), a witty look at the foibles of modern Jewry. The best chapter m the book : is the one dealing with fund-raising. Vorspan discusses the various ploys whichpeo-ple adopt to outwit the fund raisers; They range from the brutally frank ; ta the sophisticated. Readers will be chagrined to learn that none work. When the Appeal boys come around it's much better to give in. It saves everyone a lot of timel
FAST FOR RUSSIAN JEWS
London (JCNS). - a;24- : hour fast for Soviet Jewry will begin after Shabbat terminates on Saturday^ February. 21, the Universities' Committee for Soviet Jewry has announced.
In addition to the fast, -which is part of a programme ^f-protest^-by the students over the trfeatment of Jews in the Soviet\ Union, there win be a march to the Soviet Embassy from Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, on Sun^ day, afternoon,! February 22.
SNOWMOBILE DEMONSTRATION TEAM.- FeaTured performers at Snow-Show '70 at Toronto's Woodbine Race Track, February 14th - 15th will be the Red Nites, a six-man snowmobile deriiohstration team. Formed primarily to demonstrate the handling characteristics of snowmobiles, the Red Nites execute precision formation manoeuvres.
THE DUKE RETURNS
Once again, Torontonians will welcome back Duke Ellington and his Orchestra.
They will appear at Massey Hall with the Toronto Symphony on Saturday, February 14th. Mr. Ellington will conduct.
The program will include such Ellington standards as Take The A Train, Harlem, New World A'Coming and
TALKING ABOUT JERUSALEM
BY JACOB GEWIRTZ
Bernard Kops, poet, playwright, novelist -- his own order of priority -- has never had it so good. His play Enter Solly Gold opened recently at the Mermaid Theater, in London, his novel By the Waters of W h i t e c h a p e 1 went into a second printing before the ink on the rave pres.s notices had had time to dry'and he has just signed a three-year contract with Seeker and Warburg to write two novels.
But Kops, one-time lather boy in a Leeds barber shop, ex-dishwasher in a crummy restaurant, lift attendant, docker and barrow boy is not intoxicated with success. It fits in with his theory that human nature doesn't change. So he still drives around in a beatup old taxi, continues to live in a shabby flat in
West llaiiip.stead and would rather be dead than caught wearing a neck-tie. (He recently turned down an invitation to an exclusive reception in honor of Nehama Lifcschitz because it called for formal attire.)
Until the age of 18 the world of Bernard Kops }vas a mile long, extending from the tenement in Stepney, wliere he was born, to Gardiner's Corner, it was a world peopled almost entirely by Jews. The Mosley experience left an indelible mark on him, Ever since, there have been for him only two kinds of people -- Jews and anti-semiles. He still talks in terms of''them" and "us".
In all things Bernard Kops considers himself a mere observer, except his Jewish-ness. It is his sole concession
Gaesarea, one of the -venues of the IsrM Music and Drama Festival.
From and Srolt foronto 1 16bG
The Knackcrli ABC
FAUST in repertory - feb. 26
-industry and your lungs.
Gome enjoy your own pace
to the emotions. At Mosley meetings he studied the faces of his brothers to absorb their feelings. He envied his brothers for being able to cry at their father's funeral. He could not. He compensated this inability to generate a visceral response by writing. It was the only way he could express himself. He still stutters occasionally, but not when he writes.
Although it features prominently in his books and plays, the East End hold no magic for him, no nostalgia. Thomas Wolfe could not go iiome again. Bernard Kops does not want to. The East End for Kops meant poverty, grime, unemployment and violence and he is glad to have seen the back of it.
Despite the intensity of his Jewishness and his complete dedication to Israel ("If Israel were wiped out, part of me would die. It would be just as if my wife Erica were to die. I could never be the same again.") He could not, lie says, live there. Kops equates living with writing, and he could never learn to write in Hebrew. Ironically then, he is a man without a country. In England he is a Jew, in Israel an Englishman. "The further I travel from England, the more English I feel," he complains.
Several years ago he spent four months in Israel as a guest of the BBC. The result was a calamity. Kops has a wild and sometimes weird sense of humor. He stayed for a while in a kibbutz and when a reporter asked him what he thought of kibbutzim, Kops replied that they should all be wrapped in one big parcel and moved to the Grand Canyon. The Israeli press, he laughs, pondered over the implications of that remark for weeks and came
to the conclusion that he was anti-Israel.
A short time after he told a meeting of Westerners on aliya thatlsraelwasthedust-bin 'Of diaspora Jewry collecting the misfits, and failures of the Anglo-Saxon Jewish community. The Americans, he said, took the chiding in good grace. The English were furious.
"When 1 returned to England to broadcast a report of my trip for Christopher Sykes on the BBC, people were surprised how pro-Israel 1 was. Because I was critical there they expected me to pan Israel here."
If he had to live in Israel, he says, he would choose Jerusalem. But his Jerusalem, he hastens to add, is not the city of earth and stone. It is Yerushalayim shel maala. The Jerusalem of Blake, of poetry. The Jerusalem that is always one-step beyond man's reach. For Bernard Kops it will always be Next year in Jerusalem.
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STUDIO LAB THEATRE
Studio Lab Theatre pre-senteda special student matinee of its production of Dionysus In '69 for Thursday, February 5th. For this performance, Pauline Carey played tlie role of the god Dionysus and artistic director Ernest J. Schwartz interpreted tlie role of Pen-theus the king. ■
The casts of Hair, Spring Thaw, The Front Page and Theatre Passe-Muraille also were invited to this special performance.
Dionysus in '69 is entering the third month of continuous performances and is now scheduled to continue into March.
The semi-finals of the Great Lakes District Metropolitan Opera Auditions will be held in the MacMillan Theatre, Edward Johnson Building on on Saturday, February 14th.
The two semi-final winners will travel to Cleveland, Ohio on March 1st to compete in the Regional Auditions, winners of wliich in turn will reach the finals in the Metropolitan Opera House, New York City in the fall.
Tliis year, the young competitors come from Rochester, Montreal, Buffalo and Toronto.
Also at the Edward Johnson Building Lorand Fenvves and Anton Kuerti, the Faculty of Music's leading violin and piano masters join together once more to present the ten sonatas by Beethoven on the three consecutive Sundays of February 15th, 22nd and March 1st.
AL FATAH ~MISS€S TARGET.- Assaf Dayan, actor son of Moshe Oayan, was on an El Al bus at the Munlcn, Airport Tuesday ^hcn Arab terrorists ttirew grenades at passengers.
One passenger died inoi. mediately and several were reported injured but Assaf escaped untiarmed.
12 ALEXANDER STREET
byCAROL BOLT Tickets $4. Fri. & Saf.$4.50. Student Rates available. Plays Tues. thru Sun. 8:30
Tickets «viiilsb!e ailMcLons tic^<;t of-ticc £jton's Collrpe SI. Phone 364-E4t7
NOW PLAYING YOUNG ^
Written and directed by Marigold Charlesworfh
SAT. & SUN. 1:30 & 3:00 Children $1.00 AdulU$2.00
aOfh CENTURY THEATRES
j February 13th to February 19th
Shirley Stoler, Tony Le Bianco
THE HONEYMOON KILLERS
; Senta Berger in
• 70 COMMIT A MURDER
TOMGi DUNOAS ]W 3300
HIGHWAT 27.DK0N K). (77-3M1
« Yves Montand and Irene Papas . • /
:j>i TCIICE->aNOI RD UI-IIO(/
* "Best picture of the year! "-National Board of Review.
• "Best actress of the year - Jane Fonda" - New York Film Critics
: THEY SHOOT HORSES, :DOHTTHEY?><is^
:Jane Fonda & Michael Sarrazin
She's got everything a woman could want. She's still missing ,o«« « noon . hmhj
THE HAPPY ENDING
Jean Simmons, John Forsythe, Shirley Jones
I AM CURIOUS
M/VRLO THOMAS & ALAN ALDA
tMorpiNC CENTKt ni - nil
Steve McQueen in
BONNIE and CLYDE
^WUMBIJT ■ nZdlD UWORTM MFE SUIW/ir •U( 722l lllioudilt •liuin
"MUCH. MOCH BETTER THAN GOODBYE COLUMBUS."
- L. A. Examiner
"ENCHANTING AS FIDDLER ON THE ROOFI "
-Don Mayerson, Villager
A SURPRISE FROM^^ CLAUDE BERRI THE MAKER A' OF ' ■
•THE TWO OF ,US" \l ^^^fl
MaitS Me! '/V^^/
STARTS FR I.JAN. 3Qth