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September 19, 1969 - Image 45

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1969-09-19

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Old Problem Explored by LocaL Rabbinate

Jewish partner) have had a posi- Hertz says he has "painfully1 Far apart as their positions home, devoid of Jewish content,
(Concluded from Page 56)
practices and commitment is re-
under i d e a I circumstances, live Jewish education, it comes learned that the rabbi's refusal were, many Orthodox, Conserva-
sponsible for the lack of under-
where 'both partners enter into into play here. In many instances, to officiate will have no bearing tive and Reform
standing that should motivate the
this venture openly and willingly, they seek to join the synagogue." on their intentions of getting mar- respondents were
selection of a marriage partner.
conversion and ensuing marriage He pointed out, with some em- ried anyway, and the image of a at one • on the
My experience has indicated that
can be a happy experience all phasis, that the rising intermar- harsh, unyielding religion sticks "whys" of inter-
no branch of Judaism, with the
marr i age. It is
around: for the couple who makes riage rate "is not among the Re- in their memories."
possible ekception of extreme
"not a cause but
that commitment, and for the Jew- form. Those coming to me are not-
have tried the sour ap- a symptom`;" said
Orthodox, IEN succeeded in estab-
ish community which benefits from Temple Israel."
proach of rejection and refusal,"
lishing such home life."
Regardless of the source, Dr. he commented. "Maybe a little Rabbi D o n n,
from that commitment.
It sounds like a simple solution.
"and a result of
Eighty per cent of all Reform Fram insists that "the calculated more honeyed understanding, a the general 'with-
But in this complex society, there
rabbis in this country who were T risk (of performing a mixed mar- , little more kindness and comp as-
are no simple solutions. Were every
polled in 1966 on the sentiments 'riage) is worth it if I can save two sion, will produce better results. real
away' liv-
Jew to vow on Yom Kippur that
of their converts to Judaism re- or three families for Judaism. We At feast we know that the fornier
his home, henceforth, will be that
- • ing even among
plied that the converts have been win much more than we lose."
method hasn't worked and hasn't t h ose
model for which every rabbi
In discussing his changing posi- stopped
stoped the flood of intermarri-
assets to Jewish life.
yearns, intermarriage would still
Dr. Donin
e s s loyalty to
- - from rising."
Yet, there are times when a tion on the question of mixed ages
Jewish causes and horror at inter- be among us. So long as children
rabbi is not in
- the position to marriage. Dr. Hertz made these
are not hermetically sealed into
Dr. Hertz concurs with the view marriage."
make demands. Most admit that comments :
"I firmly believe," wrote Rah- a totally Jewish environment, there
there are exceptional circum- . "I can tell you, some of the most of Rabbi Syme, who observed
that possibility they will one day
stances, such as pregnancy, in anguished moments I haye had as that "The time has come for Jews bi
home, and the Jewish commun. have to make a decision: to marry
which they will relax the rules on a rabbi have been with parents of . to consider the idea of taking the
or not to marry a Gentile.
intermarriage, if &illy out of con- , a Jewish boy about to marry a matter of conversion seriously. ity, were not
Intermarriage, an old bogey of
e Why be apologetic about our cultural wasteland, many of the
non-Jewish girl. I believe w
sideration for the unborn child.
problems that we now face, in- the Jewish people, won't go away
to discour- Judaism? I've found Judaism to
Rabbi Ernst J. Conrad of the sh o u ld do all we can
we close our eyes to it, of that
N ew Temple said that "Under ' age intermarriage; but when a be tremendously appealing to col-
con- far more manageable. I person- we can be sure. But if we talk
certain circumstances to be ascer- boy falls in love with a non-Jew-lege students. When I teach
the parent ve•ts, they ask why not publicize ally feel that we, as usual, are about it rationally and without
a series of premarital is h girl, or vice-versa,
the promises to raise cannot cut out of his heart his the message of Israel to the non- our own worst enemies." hysteria, we just might come to
Said Rabbi Conrad: "A Jewish some 20th Century answers.
any issue from this marriage in own child. A parent's love for his Jewish world?"
the Jewish religion suffices. Again, child is unconditional, not to be - --------
under exceptional circumstances, proffered on condition that the Lef
I have not required any promise child please his parents by the ,
choice of mate, nor is every child
or commitment." •
(Copyright 1969. JTA, Inc.)
Sixty years ago, the Central commanded to do only those
Conference of American Rabbis things that will make his parents •
Basically, the Kol Nidre Is a
Why is it required to recite the
passed a resolution
full confessional ritual in the legal formula and not a prayer as
ing rabbis from
afternoon service of the day be- many think. Legal formulas are
mixed marriages. Reaffirmed in Gentile as being lost to them is to the American Jewish commun-
not to be pronounced on the Sal,-
fore Yom Kippur?
1937, this official—but unenforce- sinful."
ity, nearly 1,000 American rabbis
one thing, it was requiredbath or on the holidays. Therefore,
able — attitude of the Reform
this formula is chanted before sun-
appear, he added, "just because
of set so as to avoid desecrating the
one enter
the extreme left with Arab props- that
rabbinate declares "mixed mar-
clean of
sin Day
with his
riage' (that of Jew to unconvert-
holiday of Yom Kippur • which
they ought to discourage inter- elsewhere is aimed at destroying record bared so that he could re- begins at sunset.
ed Gentile) is contrary to the
marriages as being contrary to the traditional bonds of friendship ceive atonement at once with the
tradition of the Jewish religion
How does one greet his fellow
the Jewish tradition."
between Israel and the nations of coming of the ,Day of Atonement.
and should therefore be discour-
Dr. Hertz agreed with Rabbi the free world.
As is the case with many Jewish Jew after the Day of
aged by the American rabbin-
Syme that most Jewish partners in . The rabbis made this observ -a- holidays the preparatory stages of is over in the synagogue?
ate "l
The French grammarian, Rabbi
Most Detroit area Reform rah. an intermarriage "have come from ' tion in a call to the American getting ready for the holiday are
bis concur with that position. Two Orthodox and Conservative back- Jewish community to join the often more important and more David Kimhi, mentions an old cus-
—Rablois Syme and Leon Frain. grounds and," Dr. Hertz added, Zionist Organization of America critical than the actual day of ob-
servance itself. He who has torn where each Jew would greet
both 4f Temple Israel—openly de- ; "have turned to a Reform rabbi during this tense period of crisis
dared their disagreement, along because of the greater severity in the Middle East and to support cleansed himself of sin by repent- his fellow Jew by some expression
with several hundred o t b e r s imposed by the rejection of their ZOA's services to the progress of ance and charity before the Day of which would offer a blessing to the
Israel and a creative future for Atonement can properly observe effect that he wishes him that his
throughout the country. At least l denominations."
the Day of Atonement in a state of
one other—Dr. Richard C. Hertz I In advising the temple board of American Jewry.
of Temple Beth El—admits that trustees of his desire to modify
The rabbis who signed their purity and seeming angelic perfec-
tion. It is also claimed that the ed. The 13th Century Italian scho-
"I think the time has come when his position on mixed marriages, names to the appeal said that
rabbis prefer to have the confes- lar and physician, Rabbi Zedekialt
I must modify my own stand." Dr. Hertz said he has "discover- "The ZOA deserves the mass
On the one hand, there is the ed that many couples have more support of the Jewish commun- sion made before the final meal is mentioned a similar blessing. As a
eaten before the Day of Atone- matter of fact, some scholars feel
opinion expressed by Rabbi Ber- of a psychological problem than a ity and the strength of organ-
ment. If the confession was made that this kind of blessing was an
kowitz: "Statistically, mixed mar- theological one in accepting con- ized large numbers backed by
riages are disastrous. In good version before marriage. Many adequate resources."
after the -final meal, the worship- exchange between worshipers
In their message, the rabbis per might become drowsy or intoxi- after every prayer service in the
conscience, I couldn't say certain couples don't become ready for
things in the ceremony, things Judaism until some time after the warned that Israel is threatened cated from his meal or drink, thus synagogue. For some reason or
like 'a life hallowed by the faith wedding, often not until children, by terrorist bands and that "an unable to concentrate properly on other, in many Occidental syna-
this greeting seellis to have
I enduring peace is still far away." the confession (Talmud Yoma gogues
of Israel,' or in the case of the arrive.
fallen into disuse, probably be-
ring ceremony, 'according to the ' "To set a standard for non-Jews They continued: "Israel's quest 87B).
the worshipers are in such a
law of God and the faith of Israel.' to study Judaism before a rabbi for direct negotiations with the
hurry to get home to eat. Many
If a couple comes to me and won't , will officiate, without holding the Arab countries is not helped by
Why is the Kol Nidre chanted Oriental-type synagogues still use
convert, I can't marry them just same standard for the Jewish the political efforts of outside
on Yom Kippur eve before sun- this greeting after Yom Kippur is
to please the family. I refer such partner is somewhat hypocritical." forces driving to impose a settle-
Over in the synagogue.
set instead of after sunset? .
said Dr. Hertz. "Why should a n ment "
er ra
a couple to snot her
"Another rabbi:' is either Dr. illiterate Jew, because of the ac-
Fram or Rabbi . Syme, both of cident of Jewish birth by a Jewish
whom will perform mixed mar- mother, have a greater priority on
riages in given circumstances. the rabbi than the non-Jewish
"When a couple comes to me," partner? This suggests a double
said Rabbi Syme, "I try to deter- standard."
In the past, Dr. Hertz has turn-
mine what their very individual
feelings are. If their religious ed over those couples who do not
to premarital conversion to
differences are too great—if she
says, for example, 'I don't know a justice of the peace. Now, how-
if I can give up Christ'—I cannot ever, he is willing to officiate A
perform such a marriage, even if the couple will study Judaism and
she is willing to convert. I send consider conversion some time after

t-Ara b Alli
Warned by Rabbis
in Call to Jewry

Yom Kippur Quiz

Keep the Jewish Family Linked to Our

Traditions .. .
Assure Identification for Youth with
the Family and the People .. .

them to a justice of the peace." As the wedding; if
a marriage counselor, he stresses the couple—even
that "The more two people have in without pre-mar-
common, the greater chance they ital conversion—
have for happiness." promises that
Rabbi Fram can recount num. children of will
erou instances of young couples
be raised in the
who came to him not out of any
particular Jewish feeling but Jewish faith

out of the desire to be married
in a house of God. "If we don't
marry them, who will? If they
want a rabbi to marry them,
there is at least a `foot in the
door.' If they are sent away, they
may be lost for good."
Rabbi Syme added: "Very often.
the non-Jewish partner isn't ready
to convert until later, although
they're willing to be married in a
synagogue. After marriage, people
• Whereas the marriage
may have been out of defiance to-
wardi their parents, once children
comet, they change. IS they (the





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the couple, w ill
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The Jewish News

Dr. Hertz
her respective

He stressed, however, that
"where the couple indicates that
they will not raise their children
in the Jewish faith, I will not
While he is still opposed to the
marriage of mixed couples, Dr.

Friday, September 19, 1969-45


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