Religion: Inquisition

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A fine old Dutch custom (when the winter ice is firm enough) is to stage a skating race, point to point, through towns of the northern Netherlands. Last week, proud of the synagogues restored or newly built since the end of Nazi occupation, Dutch Jews staged a variant: a synagogue auto rally, point to point.

Speed was not the main object. Each of 113 driver-passenger teams drew meticulous instructions (as in the game of treasure hunt) for checking in at hard-to-spot "control" and "inquisition" points as well as visiting synagogues along the way. At each control point, teams had to perform some action correctly: waving a handkerchief, snatching a brass ring while driving at 9 m.p.h., buying a stick of candy (but drivers who sneaked a lick en route had it scored against them). At each of five inquisition points, teams had to answer a question. The questions: 1) When was the state of Israel founded? 2) Who is the President of Israel? 3 ) How many candles are there in Hanukah lights? 4) What is the difference between Kiddush and Kaddish? 5) How many keys are there on a piano?*

End of the rally was a banquet for 500 sponsored by Haarlem's Jewish Recreation Association, where the winners were announced: Driver Gerard van Praag and Passenger Max Gosschalk, in a German Volkswagen, who had only 36 points against them all day.

* r) The answers: 1) May 14, 1948; 2) Ben-Zvi; 3) nine: 4) Kiddush is a consecration of the Sabbath over wine, and Kaddish is a prayer in memory of the dead; 5) 88. Commonest error: David Ben-Gurion for Isaac Ben-Zvi.