NEW YORK (Jan. 7)
President Zalman Shazar of Israel called today on a delegation of American Zionist Federation leaders to demonstrate support for Israel’s Ashkenazik Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren and the National Religious Party which has “fallen prey to the internal politics of Israel.” Asserting that the hostility being vented against Rabbi Goren for his recent decision in the Langer case has its origin, in the United States, the 83-year-old President urged an “immediate aliya of five to ten gifted American rabbinic authorities who would lend their support to alleviate this crisis.”
At a meeting with a delegation of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations headed by its president Jacob Stein, Shazar stressed the plight of Jews in Syria and Iraq and urged the leadership delegation to mobilize support within the American Jewish community to aid their brethren in Arab lands.
GOREN’S DECISION FOLLOWS TRADITION
During his meeting with the Zionist leaders headed by AZF president Israel Miller, Shazar produced a copy of Rabbi Goren’s decision entitled “Brother and Sister,” and noted that the lengthy responsa was in the “great tradition of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century responsa and traces its conclusions through a study of similar decisions of Rabbi Bacharach, an 18th Century Talmudic scholar, and the Hazon Ish (Rabbi Isaiah Karelitz) of the 20th Century.” Shazar added that he would personally meet with Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik of Boston in the hope that he would add his prestige to the “spirit of the House of Hillel” which was noted in Talmudic times for its lenient halachic decisions.
Shazar also requested that the American Zionist movement guarantee the continued publication of “Hadoar,” the American Hebrew periodical. He also noted that Israel’s 25th anniversary coincides with the 100th birthday anniversary of Hebrew poet laureate Chaim Naham Bialik and urged awareness of this event in the U.S. In addition, Shazar lauded the old and young in Israel who play a significant role in the development of the Jewish State.