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January 01, 1971 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1971-01-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



The Jerusalem Road

By JACK SIEGEL

Editor, Seven Arts Feature Syndicate

A semblance of the same
when you ride up the hills
on the Jerusalem road . . .
passing all the legends
en route—.
the things you think you heard
gurgling in your mother's milk • . .
they cry out at you
reach but barely
touch.
It's missing in you
until you stop
and stand alongside
The Mount of Olives,
inhale —
look down on the scene
in a shining but setting sun
That
was the Bible
berfore it became

Chapter
and

verse.

JERUSALEM ROAD: II

So now the semblance of the same
is done —
you go down the Jerusalem Road
glance back quickly, then
listen once again
to the chants of ancient temples, their
sound hopscotching brown hills beyond
to sights seen,
insights felt —
private compass boxed.
You've touched the scene
after Chapter and Verse.
Now from that yellow disc descending
another alphabet streams
past aleph and beyz.
When you reach Sof —
the end and result—
on a level with Sdom,
other faces,
among them your own,
will beckon for inner scrutiny.
But off
the Jerusalem

WINDS

Ancient counterparts
joggle on synagogue-trained
feet—
bend softly in the presence of
God,
the new green in the countryside
genuflects quietly
to the kneading winds of change —
a charred vehicle, wreathed,
the silent witness
to a modern crucible
giving ash to ash
and dust back
to destiny.

THE JETS

All the wise men have had their say
in cryptograms and sacred scrolls.
But the jets
cause a flurry of terror,
using the wind
and breaking the barriers
between us
and that space now occupied.
Next time
a minyan there.
Nearer my God
to thee?

I WEEP FOR THE CLASSICS

I weep for the classics
their shtetl is no more —
tales told by pallid scribes
I weep for the classics
they laugh no more,
their time is irrelevant
the song sans score.

Orthodoxy a British Deputies Issue

Deputies of British Jews, do not
like to change themselves. This
LONDON—The Board of Depu- reluctance to change is compound-
ed here by the stubborn refusal
of
British
Jews
is
nominally
ties
to give way on the part of an

By S. J. GOLDSMITH

(Copyright 1971, ZIA, Inc-)

a religious body, but in actual fact
it is a secular body. This is in the
great British tradition.
The board is elected by syna-
gogues, except for a few organi-
zations which also send representa-
tives to the board; 16 per cent of
the members of the board are
elected by secular organizations
and 84 per cent by synagogues.
In other words, out of 408 mem-
bers of the board, 66 do not come
from houses of prayer of one type
or another.
We have a chief rabbi, a Beth
Din, a Sephardi Haham, a liberal
movement and a reform move-
ment, and so on. The religious
needs of Anglo-Jewry are not
neglected. If anything, we have
here too many providers of reli-
gious needs and too few teachers
of Hebrew and general Jewish
knowledge.
The constitution of the board of
deputies lays it down that on all
religious matters, the board is to
consult with the ecclesiastical
authorities, which is the title given
to the chief rabbinate and the
Haham's office combined.

Lately, a move was started to
alter the relevant paragraph 43
of the board's constitution so as
to enable the board to consult
with the spiritual leaders of the
liberal and progressive move-
ments as well as the others.

And the fat was in the fire, as
they say.
Various Orthodox groups vio-
lently opposed any amendment to
this paragraph of the constitution.
And since a two-thirds majority
is required for any change in the
constitution, there was no hope of
passing this amendment. Indeed,
last time, the voting was 129 for
and '10., against—not enough.• to
change the constitution ! Since
then, negotiations are going on
between various factions for a
formula to overcome the difficulty.
The argument is spreading out-
side the confines of the board. Can
Orthodox Jews collaborate with
Reform Jews in religious matters?
For, if both sides are to be con-
sulted by the board on religious
matters—and the board has no
obligation to consult anybody on
secular matters—then there is re-
ligious cooperation. And there is
official acknowledgment of Re
form . . .
A compromise formula has been
devised by some people, who would
like to avoid a religious argument.
It is this: paragraph 43 remains
intact but a sub-paragraph is added
to the effect that the board is
required to consult the liberal
and progressive movements on
matters concerning them.

A more far-reaching, and to
most people, more appealing
proposal is this: the whole para-
graph about consulting ecclesi-
astical authorities should be re-
moved from the constitution, and
the board should thus proclaim
Itself by implication a secular
body, despite the mode of elec-
tion. This would merely regu-
larize the existing situation,
since there are hardly any prob-
lems of a religious nature on
Which the board has to consult
ecclesiastical authorities these
days.
Marriage secretaries are avail-
able in all types of synagogues for
those who want a religious mar-
riage and a civic registration at
the same time and at the same
place. The board appoints these
secretaries nominally; they are
synagogal officials-cum - qualified
registrars, and they are hired by
the synagogues concerned.
For the rest, no one here can
Imagine a situation by which the
board should have to solve a reli-
gious problem with the help of the
chief rabbi.
• • • ' • • •
British Institutions of 210 years
standing, such as the Board of

extreme Orthodox group, which
sees in such a move an attempt
to water down the Torah itself.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, January 1, 1971-27

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