Events around date of publication of this item.
Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years
: Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand YearsBy
: Israel Shahak Gore Vidal
(foreword) Date of issue
074530818X Topic(s) addressed
: People/entities mentioned in this item:
Commentary (by JB) Abstract
The incident mentioned in the Gore Vidal foreword is a garbled version of the account which Abe Feinberg relates about himself in this interview
This book, although written in English and addressed to people living outside the State of Israel, is, in a way, a continuation of my political activities as an Israeli Jew. Those activities began in 1965-6 with a protest which caused a considerable scandal at the time: I had personally witnessed an ultra-religious Jew refuse to allow his phone to be used on the Sabbath in order to call an ambulance for a non-Jew who happened to have collapsed in his Jerusalem neighbourhood. Instead of simply publishing the incident in the press, I asked for a meeting which is composed of rabbis nominated by the State of Israel. I asked them whether such behavior was consistent with their interpretation of the Jewish religion. They answered that the Jew in question had behaved correctly, indeed piously, and backed their statement by referring me to a passage in an authoritative compendium of Talmudic laws, written in this century. I reported the incident to the main Hebrew daily, Ha'aretz, whose publication of the story caused a media scandal.