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September 14, 1973 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1973-09-14

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Detroit Rabbis Differ on Minyan with Women

Continued from Page 1)
Rabbi Schnipper said: "I
belong to the traditional
school and I oppose counting
women into a minyan. I
adhere to tradition."
Stating that he recognizes
the existence of the women's
liberation movement and that
time brings about many
changes, he emphasized that
he adheres to the view that
congregations and their rab-
bis must act in accordance
with their principled views.
His declared viewpoint is
that "there are duties rele-
gated to men which are strict-
ly in their realm." On that
basis he will oppose following
the Rabbinical Assembly's
new position, he declared.
Rabbi Lehrman expressed
deep sympathy with the ac-
tion of the commission. He
pointed out that the ruling
has not yet reached the Rab-
binical Assembly's member-
ship but that adoption of its
recommendations is viewed
as a certainty.
"When it becomes policy,
we will not stand in the way
of such a ruling," Rabbi
Lehrman said. "There is no
reason for restrictions on
complete and total participa-
tion of women in our syna-
gogue activities and services.
Tradition is often misinter-
preted. There are precedents
even in the Talmud in sup-
port of the Rabbinical Assem-
bly commission's stand, and
only in the Middle Ages did
the restrictions become so
drastic. I will not stand in
the way of the new regula-
Rabbi Segal said he "sub-
jectively" favors the step
leading toward increased ef-
forts for women's participa-
tion in • religious activities,
including Bat Mitzva services
for girls on the Sabbath. He



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Dr. Zeitlin Explores Legal
Aspects of 'Who Is a Jew?'

In the course of his an-
alysis of the complex prob-
lems involved, the eminent
scholar discusses the recent
decision of Chief Rabbi Shlo-
mo Goren in the cause cele-
bre involving the marriages
of the Langer-Borkovsky
brother and sister.
Though recognizing the un-
usual talmudic and legal
scholarship of the Chief
Rabbi, Dr. Zeitlin neverthe-
less finds that in his decision
Rabbi Goren overlooked im-
portant aspects of the law
and, therefore, while agree-
ing with his verdict, he se-
verely questions the legal
procedure used in arriving
at the verdict.
In summation, Dr. Zeitlin


sponsibilities? Are they able f act is that Judaism demands Pavilion Is Added to Israeli Hostel
not only to participate but he separation of the sexes
JERUSALENT—The Louise ernment institutions here.
also to conduct services? at worship which in and of Waterman Wise Youth Hos-
The seminars and visits al-
Jokingly, he asked, will they itself precludes the concept tel atop Mt. Herzl sports a low Israelis who have never
also put on tefillin?
of a mixed minyan."
new pavilion through which been to their nation's capital
Rabbi Judah Nadich of 60,000 young people from '75 to have a firsthand view.
"There must be a more
serious attitude to such ques- New York, Rabbinical As- countries are expected to Arab students who attend
separate schools have an
tions," Rabbi Arm said, de- sembly president, said the pass.
claring that he questioned change recognizes the new
The hostel, a project of the opportunity to meet their
the wisdom of the step taken role that women are playing women's division of the Israeli counterparts.
to count women into a min- in Jewish communal life.
American Jewish Congress,
Rabbi Seymour Siegel,
has dormitory-style rooms to
Decision Condemned
the action taken in making accommodate 250 persons, a
by Orthodox Groups
garden and patio, a basket-
NEW YORK (JTA) — The men and women equal in re- ball court, music and arts
fors3 95
decision by the Conservative
room and a library and din-
movement to count women result of long and serious ing facilities.
equally with men for a min- discussion and emerged out
An experiment in Arab-
yan was denounced by the of papers written by Rabbi Jewish understanding began
28635 Southfield
head of an ultra-Orthodox or-
last October is the the new-
ganization and praised by the Vernon, N.Y., and Rabbi est program at the hostel. The
president of the American
Overnite Service
program brings together
Jewish Congress.
the committee did not ap- Arab and Jewish high school
Rabbi David Hollander, prove of the decision, feeling students from different parts
president of the Rabbinical that the tradition should be of Israel for four days of
Alliance of America, called maintained and that most seminars and visits to gov-
the decision "reckless, worth- synagogues were not ready
less and insulting to the for such an innovation, and
the institution of the new
Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, norm might disrupt the unity
t h e AJCongress president, of congregations.
who is also a Conservative
According to committee
rabbi, said the action is "a rules, the decision on equal-
most welcome development ity is not mandatory. Wheth-
that underscores the equali- er or not to institute the new
ty of the sexes."
ruling is in the hands of the
Rabbi Hollander explained individual rabbis and congre-
that the decision was reck- gations.
less because it came by a
"The Conservative move-
majority vote and was not ment," Rabbi Nadich said,
based on Halakha. He said it "has historically acted to
was worthless because it make Jewish law responsive
would not increase attend- to changes in society and to
ance at Conservative congre- new needs. Women have
gations "where all experi- played an important role in
ments and gimmicks have the various branches of our
proved useless."
movement . . . The latest
* * *
action furthers the positive
Rabbi Hertzberg said he actions we have taken in the
hoped the innovation "will past to enhance the role of
be adopted by other branches women in the synagogue."
of Judaism" and that it will
be "a major step toward re-
moving all other restrictions
that have for too long served
to diminish both the rights
and responsibilities of Jew-
ish women toward the faith
and practice of Judaism." He
also said he hoped that "Jew-
ish women who have long
and rightfully demanded
equal opportunity to partici-
pate in the minyan will rec-
calls for a better understand- ognize the obligation it now
ing of our historical and tra- imposes on them to come
ditional legal precepts by the regularly to the synagogue
present leaders of modern to pray."
Israel. At the same time, he
A Spectacular Event. TUNE IN. Join a cast of top stars
Rabbi Moshe Sherer, ex-
pleads for a more liberal ecutive president of Agudat
and celebrities in this nationwide effort to prove that
approach and interpretation Israel of America, said the
of talmudic law by the rab- decision "should be the final
you want to and can own a share of your country.
binical authorities of today— straw to move Orthodox
true to the spirit of our sages groups out of the Synagogue
in ancient times. "The an- Council of America, because
cient talmudic scholars at it demonstrates the failure of
that time faced more com- the contention that such in-
plex problems than their pre- terdenominational affiliation
decessors in the Biblical era contains the non - Orthodox
and therefore sought to recon- from further devotions from
cile the ancient law with the Halakha." He said the de-
more sophisticated and con-
temporary human conditions the constant erosion of Jew-
ish law and tradition perpe-
of the time."
trated by the Conservative
Prof. Zeitlin concludes that movement."
we must follow their ex-
He added, "The Jewish
ample in order to preserve
woman who is steeped in
the continuity of Jewish life, tradition does not need this
culture and ideals.
new right and the Jewish
Just as Roman law still women for whom Halakha is
serves as the basis for all meaningless will not be
modern European law, so, brought closer to our spirit-
Prof. Zeitlin argues, should ual root because of this
tlmudic law, which has been right."
the foundation of the Jewish
Rabbi Louis Bernstein,
legal system through two mil- president of the Rabbinical
lenia, remain as the very Council of America, the Or-
basis of all modern laws in thodox rabbinic body, de-
the State of Israel today and clared, "The latest Conserva-
tive act is a move of desper-
for years to come.
ation to attract new worship-
ers. Many of its earlier in-
Midrash on Usury
novations have proved total
Send your contribution to:
He who takes usury has failure, and the average Con-
no fear of God . . . God says, servative synagogue is still
P.O. Box 1974 * Washington, D. C. 20013
"He who lives on usury in fighting for its spiritual sur-
A copy of our report filed with the appropriate supervisory officer is (or will be)
this world shall not live in vival." Denouncing the Con-
available for purchase from the Superintendent of Documents, United States
the World-to-Come." — She- servative move as a breach
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.
mot Rabba.

said, however, that the ha-
lakhic and non-halakhic as-
pects need to be studied fur-
ther. He, therefore, reserved
full judgment until he could
review all of the issues that
may be involved in the reg-
ulation. His feeling is that
the kavod ha-tzibur principle
—the respect for the male
community — needs further
Rabbi Nelson said he was
"delighted," and he expressed
hope that his congregants
and his colleagues will ac-
cept the ruling. His com-
ment was: "It's great." As
the first (and only) Conserv-
ative rabbi in Detroit to have
introduced aliyot — calls to
the Torah on the Sabbath—
for women—Rabbi Nelson's
views are especially relevant.
He expressed the view that
Beth Shalom will concur in
t h e Rabbinical Assembly
commission's decision. Fur-
ther, he implied htat Detroit's
Conservative congregations
are already two decades late
in adopting the aliyot and
other rights in religious serv-
ices for women.
Rabbi Arm criticized the
action of the Rabbinical As-
sembly's commission as a
decision reached "by a few
men," members opposing the
action having been absent
from the meeting at which
the 9 to 4 vote was recorded.
Viewing the decision as
proof that Conservative Ju-
daism is "in flux," Rabbi
Arm said that "Conservative
Judaism, veering toward Re-
form, is thus endangering its
very foundation." Under the
circumstances of the new ap-
proach, he said that there is
no need for more than two
movements, Orthodox and
Rabbi Arm posed some
questions: Will women, gain-
ing rights, also assume re-

Dr. Solomon Zeitlin, dean
of Jewish historians and dis-
tinguished professor of hist-
ory and rabbinics at Dropsie
University, Philadelphia, sur-
veys in depth the various
aspects of the problem "Who
is a Jew?" in a series of
five articles in Bitzaron,
American Hebrew monthly.
Dr. Zeitlin delves at great
length into the historical and
legal interpretations, as well
as the judicial decisions, en-
comassing the questions of
mixed marriages, prosely-
tism, conversion, and illegi-
timacy (or mamzerut), with
emphasis on the crucial prob-
lem now facing the modern
State of Israel: the relation
ship between state and reli-

16—Friday, Sept. 14, 1973

Democratic National Telethon

Saturday,Sept. 15 NBC Channel 4

7:00 PM to 2:00 AM

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