For those old enough to follow events through the newspapers, Detroit Free Press staff writer Sam Petok opened his article with the following:
A mournful bray of resolution from Detroit’s Jewry was sounded Sunday and hurled across the seas to the bloodstained soil of a newborn state.
The Shofar, the ram’s horn blown only at sacred holidays, sent its sonorous notes floating into the cloud-flecked skies.
In a hushed moment, 2,000 years of wanderings through the world, of being pilloried, of turning the cheek and of national ignominy flashed through the minds of the throng.
Israel, the Jewish state, had been proclaimed.
A front-page story byWallace R. Duell in the Detroit News provided a sobering reminder of what was ahead:
After almost 2,000 years of aspiration and striving, the new state was being prematurely born. It was not ready for life. Its contours were not yet complete as they had been hoped for and designed. Its organs were not yet fully functioning. Yet it must spring to arms, in the very moment of its birth, for the millions of surrounding Arabs were implacable and would destroy it if they could.
The new Israel was a cartographer’s – and a defending general staff’s – nightmare. It was three almost entirely separate territories, rather than one each touching only one of the others and only at one small point: a narrow coastal strip; a wedge inland in the north at the Sea of Galilee; and a rough triangular shard of a piece of desert in the south pointing to Akaba.
Immediately at hand were the more than 30 million Arabs of seven adjacent states.
Chaim says this is the year the Cubs will be in the World Series because they have a good team – not because it’s exactly a hundred years since they won a Series. By the way, the team the Cubs beat in 1908 was Ty Cobb’s Tigers.
Irwin Cohen, the author of seven books, headed a national baseball publication for five years before earning a World Series ring working as a department head in a major league front office. His Baseball Insider column appears the second week of each month in The Jewish Press. Cohen, president of the Detroit area’s Agudah shul, may be reached in his dugout at email@example.com.
About the Author: Author, columnist, and public speaker Irwin Cohen headed a national baseball publication for five years and worked for a major league team, becoming the first Orthodox Jew to earn a World Series ring. His column appears the second week of each month. He can be reached in his suburban Detroit area dugout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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