The Canadian Jewish News, Friday, February 13,1970- Page 3
TORONTO'S RABBI KAREUTZ
This new series will iiitrbdlice our readers to the Jewish" community, Its congregations arid spiritual leaders. The order of presentation is neither alphabetical nor does it reflect the relative Importance of the respective organization pr synagogue. These In-depth profiles are being put?llshed in the order they were prepared by our reporters assigned to cover this topic.
This series will not discriminate among congregations representing different expressions of Judaism: liberal, conservative or orthodox. They all form an Integral part of the living Jewish community and as such they will be presented to the public.
Few people in Toronto are aware ttiat we have in tliis community a scion of one of the great "rabbinic families. He is Rabbi ShmarTaTiu Ka-relitz, deairand principal of Yeshivah YedodeiHatoraand nephew of theChazonlsh, one of the most illustrious Torah scholars in this century. The latter was the only rabbi ever consulted by Uavid Ben Gurion during his period as Prime Minister.
Rabbi Karelitz disclosed this fact to me during a lengthy interview witli me in his office at the Yeshivah, that unmistakable building on Lawrence Avenue with the two tablets over the center roof area.
Born in Vilna, Rabbi Karelitz left that city shortly after his bar mitzvah and settled in Palestine where he continued his rabbinic studies. During this period he was involved in the organization of the Kolel Hazon Ish, a post-graduate institution for Torah learning.
In 1947 Rabbi Karelitz emigrated to the United States and for a number of years shuttled back and forth between that country and Israel in order to organize support for the Kolel project. His work at this school also involved editing various books
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Windsor, Ontario was Rabbi Karelitz's home between 1955 and 1961. Invited tooc-cupy a pulpit in that city, he worked tirelessly in creating a sound educational program for Jewish children.
Residents of Windsor will no doubt remember the rabbi as the person responsible for organizing a school bus service to transport twenty-five youngsters every day to a Yeshivah in Detroit.
"In those days the idea of sending children to a Yeshivah," said Rabbi Karelitz, "seemed like a strange one to many of the residents of Windsor. But my work seems to have borne fruits because 1 notice that in 1969 a new day school was opened there."
Before accepting his present post in Toronto Rabbi Karelitz also served Jewish communities in Caracas, Venezuela and in Brussels, Belgium. In the latter post he served as chief rabbi for "the entire city.
In Toronto he now oversees the operations of a Yeshivah with approximately 150 children in classes from grade one through nine. There is also a pre-school program for nursery and kindergarten groups.
Replying to a question I posed about the Yeshivah's affiliation, the rabbi said that his school is independent of any political group here or in Israel and is devoted exclusively to Torah learning.
There are of course, differences of stress witliin the Yeshivah when it is compared to other Orthodox institutions.
Yesodei Hatorah does not encourage enrolling children from non-observant back-
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by URI JACOBSON
THE EDUCATION OF A YOUNG TALMUOIST.-Rabbi Shmaryahu Karelitz,- Dean and Principal of Toronto's Yeshivah Yesodei Hatorah, helping a young student to master some of the intricacies of Torah study. Over one hundred and fifty youngsters attend the'Yeshivah on Lawrence Avenue.
grounds. "The parents who send ttieir children here,"' said Habbi Karelitz, "do so because they know that here . they will find a clear "s'-vivah" (environment). When you mix children from ol)-servant lionies with those from non-tibservant homes, there is bound to be confusion, and tiiat is what we try to avoid here."
Rabbi Karelitz was quick to caution me on this point and niited that this was not to be construed as a criticism of institutions whiclido open their doors fo Jews from all backgrounds. Both serve important functions, he said.
On the question of Israel, Rabbi Karelitz was also very cautious in offering his opinions. He has a great deal of faiiiily there as well as friends and numerous correspondents. He visits there regularly and loves the country.
But when I asked him a specific question about the political aspect of Israel he replied by quoting an answer his uncle, the Hazon Ish, had given to a reporter in 1951, when asked the same question.
"A man can be very rich and own many many possessions. But despite that wealth he can still suffer from toothaches. That's the problem when I look at Israel. It has great riches, centers of learning and wonderful people. But it also has its toothaches." The toothache in question is obviously the ir-religion found among many of Israel's inhabitants.
"Do you support the Ne-turei Karta's Amram Blau when he describes Israel as a."trefa medina',' (an unclean state)?" I asked him.
"I do not share Blau's views on Israel," was the ■short \-r£pIy. Ribbi Karelitz was equally laconic in a reply to a question I asked him about Rabbi Goren'sas-cent to the Temple Mount. "I feel that Rabbi Goren
was wrong in doing that. Many rabbinic sages in Israel have said the same thing."
The discussion then turned to religious life in Canada and more particularly in Toronto. The subject of Yiddish arose when I noted that instruction was \mng carried out in that lani:iiage at the Yesiiivah.
For Habbi Karelitz, Yiddish has great' importance as an element in differentiating the sacred from the profane (lianiavdil ,ben Kodesh lechol, as he piit it). When Yiddish is used to inculcate sacred Jewish values then it, like Hebrew, becomes a holy tongue. The children in his Yeshivah are conscious of this fact because they speak English to tlieir secular teachers and Yiddish to their rebbes.
What about Yiddish as a modality of secular culture? On this point Rabbi Karelitz expressed himself quite categorically. The current' interest in Yiddish, he ar-■ gued, came mostly from older people who are looking to
recapture nostalgically the
innocence of youtli_____ It
wouldn't occur totheni tore-capture it through the observance of the sabbath or the dietary laws -- instead they latch on to Yiddish. But even tiiis is a passing phenomenon. The only legitimate use for Yiddish, according to Rabbi Karelitz, is to direct Jews towards their sacred religious vocations. For secular purposes Jews might as well employ the language of their country.
What are the things that perturb Rabbi Karelitz most in Jewish life? His answer was couched in Biblical'im-- ages.
"Remember Elijah, when he confronted the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel? He said to the Jewisli people.. then' If you wish to follow Baal, follow him; if you wish to follow God, then follow Him! The problem with the Jews today is that they are so confused they don't know whether to follow Baal or God."
, "This confusion, has l^een compounded moreover, by a breakdown in the traditional authority structure of the Jewish community. People need leaders and when leadership is lacking the community crumbles. Jews are following too many false prophets. They should follow the clear path of Toralu"
Despite i^abbi Karelitz's somewhat gbiomy estimate of modern Jewish life, one thing is certain: Yeshivah Yesodei Hatorah has a leader.
HEAD OF ORTHODOX CONGREGATION AND SCHOOL.- Samuel Roictimann president of Tdronto's Yeshivan Yesodei Hatorah.
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Tel Aviv (JCNS) - A 1927 concession granted to the Palestine Electric Corporation by the British M;inda-tory authorities finally was taken- up last W'aek, more than two years after the capture of the Gaza Strip by Israel in the Six Day War. •.
The Israel Electric Corporation, the PEC'S successor, now supplies power and light to Gaza, the town having been connected to the corporation's power lines last week. The local generators, old and unreliable, were taken out of service.
The concession never was canceled by the Egyptian authorities. Who had occupied and administered the Gaza Strip (with a short break during arid after the 1956 Sinai campaign) since 1948. . Opposition to the electrical linkup wais expressed by , Gaza council, but some industrial undertakings in the area were in favor.,
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ricity supplies for army bases and installations in the area.
SEARCH FOR OIL
Tel Aviv (JCNS) Israel is intensifying her search for oil, which has so far eluded all attempts at discovery -except for the 20.000 or so tons per annum obtained from the Heletz oil field and the natural gas wells of the southern Negev. -
Drilling started last week with the arrival of the vessel, Typhoon, which is to sink six submarine wells off Ashdod, Haifa and Netanya some ten miles from the coast.
These offshore wells are being drilled by Belco, an American firm which also holds the concession in the Yavne area inland.
Altogether, 14 test drilr lings for oil are scheduled during 1970. Most of the: $10 million required will be put up by foreign companies, according to the Minister of Development, Haim Landau.
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He was on liis wa^ back fi:qm inspecting the Jordan front with Mrs. Golda Meir,;' the Israeli Premier, when his pilot picked up ari SOS message from an Israeli-built C0mm0d0re jet aircraft, which was on its third test flight.
As soon as his helicopter -^had landed, Dayan jumped oi]it^but-fe|l. He was back in
his office in the afternoon, withia bandaged leg.
The GommodoiLe craShed-near Kfar Syrkin, north Of Tel Aviv. The pilot and copilot, and two test jpilots travelling in the .aircraft parachuted to safety-and no one was hurt.
When the wing flaps failed, the aircraft became uncontrollable, and the pilots tiad no choice but to bale out.
MONTREAL BOARD MEMBERS OF CAMP CANADA IN ISRAEL.- At the recent meeting in Moritreal are
(from left); Eddy Bogomolny, Green Acres Day Camp; Bernie Jacobson, Camp Hiawatha: Bea Jacobson. Camp Hiawatha; Ben Steinberg, resident director of Camp Canada; Bob Lazanik, Camp Pine Valley; Mrs. L. Morgenstern, Camp Pembina and Abe Rosen, Camp Canada and chairman of the Montreat board of directors. '
NEW MEMBERS OF CAMP CANADA
BY GLORIA BERLIN
At a recent iiu-etinc of Camp Canada in Israel at Montreal's Chateau Cliam-plain Hotel tlie following were welcomed as new members of the board.
All from Quebec, they are: Bernie and Bea Jacobson, Hiawatha; Mrs. L. Morgenstern and Abe Rosen, Pembina and Bob Lazanik, Pine Valley. They join Eddy Bogomolny and Leon Hoch-glaube. Green Acres, in forming the Montreal board of directors. Mr. Harold Nashman, executive director, served as chair man for the evening.
Mr. Colin Malaniet read i;reelings from one ol the new members, Mr. Alan Bronfman of iMontreal, who was unable to attend.
Part of Mr. Bronfman's speech read: "1 am grateful for the opportunity of greeting friends of Camp Canada on this occasion and sharing with you, a few uf my thoughts regarding this exciting project As vou are all aware.
the original concept of a Canadian private camp in Israel was born at the Economic Conference of 1968 — which I had the honor to attend as chairman of the Canadian delegation. Having observed the development of Camp Canada as it moved from an idea at the conference to a successful reality in the summer of 1969, I am especially delighted to meet with you on this occasion which marks a further milestone in the growth and expansion of the project by the addition to its board of directors of three outstanding Montreal private camps."
Prominent guest was Rabbi Shmuel Nathan, special advisor to the Israeli Minister of Tourism. He pointed out the significance of Camp David's bringing Canadian and Jewisli youth together.' 'the future of Israel depends on such a meeting of minds,'' he said. He went on: "The deep-rooted Jewish tradition of'Aliyah Laregel,' when
2,500 years ago Jerusalem became the focal point of interest to Jews in exile, has its parallel in this present day undertaking of Canadian Jewry -- a j)roject to create close iKinds for Canadian-Jewish youth with their homeland, Israel."
Rabbi Nathan continued: "It is the initiative of the Camp Canada board of directors and the support of leading Canadian Jewish personalities that further enhances identification with Israel. More than a tourist eyeview, Canadian youth are given a feeling and true understanding of Israel and its people." He ended bv extending greet-
ings on behalf of the Minister of Tourism ande.xpress-ed the hope that all present •'shall see in our day a reunion of our people in the spirit of our prophets who said rejoice in the rebuilding of Israel." Rabbi Nathan was thanked by Mr. Nash-nian.
.Mr. Stephen Narber of the Canadian-Israel Chamber of Commerce was the final speaker^ He quoted Lord Sieff, who prior to the Economic Conference in Jerusalem in 1968 stated: "No meaningful economic involvement can take place unless there is physical contact with the country,"
"JEWS SET ANEXAMPLE"
(com. from page 1)
The Prime Minister also discussed the contribution of Jewish culture to western civilization and said that Jews in Quebec have also set an example in their identification with Canada. He pointed to the fact that many Jews are able to express themselves in "our two official languages, which is a great contribution to Canadian plural-sim." Concluding in French, the Prime Minister said: "The Jewish people have taught us to Idve our neighbor and to love justice."
The appearance of the Prime Minister at a Jewish assembly, and his repeated support for the Anti-Hate Bill, has been hailed by both English and French newspapers from coast to coast. An exception is Toronto's Globe & Mail, which has editorially opposed the Anti-Hate Bill.
The report on the front page of Monday's Globe & Mail paid little attention to the historic statements by the Prime Minister, but featured an anti-Trudeau demonstration of t w e n t y - f i v e (twenty-five! ) protesters who are against the new Indian policies of the government.
The same report also made sure to call the reader's attention to the fact that the Prime Minister was "escorted through a crowd of expensively dressed members of the Montreal Jewish community." It seems the reporter assigned to cover this historic meeting, from the Jewish point of view, and from the point of view of Canadian unity, is a specialist in clothing, and knows the prices of suits and coats without even seeing the labels.
On Tuesday the Globe & Mail could not bypass this occasion without an editorial entitled "After the ball was over," a satirical piece which minimized the Prime Minister's record of humanitarian acts and concern for humanity. The Globe of course, did not endorse the Prime Minister's commitment to the Anti-Hate Bill nor his humanitarian views on coexistence among people of different religions and races.
Chairman of the banquet was Samuel Mos-kovitch, mayor of Cote St. Luc. Sidney Maislin made the introductory remarks about the challenge of the seventies and B'nai B'rjth leader Henry Blatt made the presentation to the Prime Minister. Among others on the dais were: The Honorable Herbert Gray; Mr: and Mrs. David Slo-pak; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Strom; Mrs. S. N isker; Mr. and Mrs. Steinberg; Mr. and Mrs. B. Levine; Mr. and Mrs. S.-Littman; Mr. and Mrs. M. Abbey; Mr. and Mrs. M. Simons; Mr. H. Levy; Senator and Mrs. Lazarus Phillips. r'
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