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August 16, 1974 - Image 38

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-08-16

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

38—Friday, August 16, 1974


Swaying Noted as Prayer Rite

By RABBI SAMUEL J. FOX people when they received the
Torah at Mount Sinai and
(Copyright 1974, JTA, Inc.)
trembled (Exodus 20:15).
Some Jews move back and Hence, the swaying motion
forth while praying and in study would be a picture
studying a holy text.
of the Jew who feels that
A number of reasons are his Torah study is like re-
offered for this phenomenon. ceiving the Torah firsthand
Some offer a practical from the Almighty at Mount I
reason. These claim that the Sinai.
practice started at the time
The Kabalists trace the
when prayer books were
scarce and so many people tradition of swaying to the
had to share one prayer verse and proverbs 20:27
book. Hence, they had to which says that "the spirit
strain themselves by suc- of man is like the lamp of
cessively taking a look, by God." Just as the flame of
bending forward and then the oil lamp never stands
straightening up, to allow the still but always sways with
next man to take a look at vitality so-does the Jew sway
the prayer book. Thus, this back and forth with the same
motion of swaying back and vitality.
forth became a habit (Judah
Another source contends
Ha Levy, Kuzari 2:49).
that prayer or study raises
Others say that moving the the individual to a higher
body is a symbol of the level. His swaying motion
emotional fervor and sway- thus indicates that he is
ing as a fulfillment of the moving towards a higher
verse in the Psalms which spiritual dimension. It is in.
states "Ail my bones shall teresting to know that some
proclaim • . ." In this way authorities discouraged the
the Jew prays with his whole custom of moving back and
body and soul.
forth during prayer. They
Some contend that the consider it arrogant on the
swaying motion during study part of man not to stand at
is symbolic of the biblical attention when confronting
description of the Jewish the Almighty.

Aug. 8 — To Mr. and Mrs.
Aug. 7—To Mr. and Mrs.
Sheldon Zelickm an (Ronna Jerome Beale (Gail Fried-
Goldstein), 24562 Rensselaer, man), 27501 Abington, South-
Oak Park, a daughter, Lisa field, a son, Cary Michael.
Aug. 7—To Mr. and Mrs.
Aug: 8 — To Dr. and Mrs. Sanford Saltzman (Nancy
Steven Spector (Louise Sch- Nudell), 2 0 4 9 0 Roseland,
- weiger), 26637 Franklin Pts., Southfield, a daughter, Coryn
Southfield, a son, Benjamin Elyse.
(Benji) Howard.
Aug. 6 — To Mr. and
Mrs. Jerome A. Kaufman
(Jacquelynn Vaught), 29277
Rev. S.
S. Richmond
Chenwood, Farmington Hills,
Certifed Mohel _
a son, John Jay.
352-0013 or 352-0012
Endorsed by the Supervisor of Mohelim

To Mr. and Mrs.
for the state of Israel.
Barry Abramson (Mary Spen-
>=00=00•=6=•={}0Z0a*C:e=g s.
cer), 25417 aria'', Oak Park,
a son, Aaron.



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By RABBI SAMUEL J. FOX tween husband and wife.
(Copyright 1974, JTA, Inc.)
These conditions involve a
Does Jewish law permit waiting period, medical as-
the practice of artificial in- surance that pregnancy can-
not occur otherwise, the
This question is, of course, proper time in the menstrual
to be broken into two cate- cycle and the proper method
gories, i.e., artificial insem- of obtaining and injecting
ination from a husband to the sperm according to Jew-
his wife and artificial in- ish law.
When it comes to the in-
semination from a- donor who
is not the husband. General- jecting of a sperm from a
ly, but under certain re- third party, i.e., a donor,
stricted conditions, artificial Jewish authorities are op-
insemination is permitted be- posed to this practice for a

Jewish Attitude Toward Women Noted

The classical writings of
Judaism, almost exclusively
written by men and encom-
passing a period of over
2,000 years, naturally depict
a variety of views on women.
It is impossible, Encyclo-
pedia Judaica points out, to
speak of a single Jewish at-
titude to women. Opinions
were affected by different
cultural and social back-
grounds and by the personal
and individual temperaments
of the Jewish teachers.
Although ancient near-east-
ern society was essentially
male-dominated, the Bible
preserves a generally favor-
able view of woman, not only
in the framework of the fam-




Jewish Law on Artificial Insemination

Aug. 2 — To Mr. and Mrs.
David Bocan (Marsha Kap-
lan), 16310. Fairfax, South-
field, a son, Eric Marshall.
* *
Aug. 1 — To Dr. and Mrs.
David Rosenberg (Mardi
Harold), 24211 Beverly, Oak
Park, a son, Jeffrey Michael.
July 24—To Dr. and Mrs.
Norman C. Ratner (B•rbara
F. Parker), 628 S. Fox Hills,
Bloomfield Hills, a daughter
Hilary Freya.

* *

July 21—To Mr. and Mrs.
Leonard Singer (Carol Wool),
14411 LaBelle, Oak Park, a
son, Daniel Stuart:
* *
July 16—To Mr. and Mrs.
Robert Roether (Barbara
Yellen), 14050 Vernon, Oak
Park, a son, Andrew Wins-

* *

July 6—To Mr. and Mrs.
Heinz Seiferheld (V i v i a n
Guttman), 4140 Pinehurst,
West Bloomfield, a daughter,
Amy Danielle.

June 26 — To Dr. and Mrs.
Martin Pearlman (Elaine
Friedman), former Detroit-
ers of East Lansing, a daugh-
ter, Julie Beth.

0 4 A


(Copyright 1974, JTA, Inc.)

The Hebrew word for eve-
ning is "erev." Thus, the
evening prayer is called by
the word from the same root.
Hence, the- name "Maariv"
is the name for the evening
prayer. The word "erev"
comes from a root meaning
"to mix." When the sun
passes the midpoint of the
meridian it begins to decline
going westward and the day
begins to contain shadows.
Thus the day "mixes" with
the night until the night takes
over. Some like to interpret
this word "erev" as symbol-
izing a state of comparative
"confusion." The mixture of
life and shadow in a sense
creates some confusion. The
increase in darkness devel-
ops a certain feeling of in-
security in the human being
who observes the light fading
into the dark horizon. Such
an experience surely calls
for a certain degree of faith
and reassurance to be ex-
pressed in prayer to the Al-
The morning star is re-
ferred to as "Shahar." This
expression comes from a root
meaning "clear," ,"bright,"
etc. In contradistinction to
the evening shadows of con-
fusion the morning engend-
ers a progressive degree of
clarity and light. Therefore,
the morning pr a y e r s are
called "Shaharit" because
they are recited in a period
where the light is increasing.
At such a stage, prayer is
in order. First of all, man
should take advantage of the
clarity to search for the Al-
mighty and to understand
Him. Furthermore, man is
sometimes dazzled by bright-
ness which can often blur his
vision of truth. At such a
time he certainly needs to
be helped by the Almighty.
Man often needs God during
the light of success as much
as in the shadow of failure.

ily but also in the religious
life of Israel. While polygamy
was sanctioned, the Adam
and Eve narrative implies
that monogamy is the ideal.
The woman's status as a
human being is recognized
in legislation, and within the
covenant women had the
same moral responsibility as
men. Nevertheless, there
were certain laws that reveal
an inferior status assigned
to women in Israelite society,
and woman's role in organ-
ized worship was limited to
secondary functions. There
appear, however, remark-
able women in Israelite he-
roic tradition.
A variety of attitudes is
found in rabbinic literature,
and the working of the bene-
diction recited each day in
which a man praises God for
not having made him a wo-
man. has even today not yet
been removed from orthodox
prayer books. Few women
were scholars since they
were exempt from the rule
of studying the Torah. Wo-
men were feared as a source
of temptation. On the other
hand it is said that a man
without a wife lives without
joy, blessing and good, and
that a man should love his
wife as himself and respect
her more than himself.
In modern times both the
Jewish Haskala in Russia
and the Reform movement
sought to improve the legal
position of the woman. In the
U. S., t h e Conservative
branch decided to count wo-
men among the "minyan,"
and the Reform movement
ordained the first female
- In the state of Israel, the
Encyclopedia Judaica states,
thanks to the women's equal
rights law and the equal
pay for equal work law,
the emancipation of women
is a legal reality though the
women of the Oriental and of
the ultra-Orthodox ,communi-
ties may not as yet enjoy the
equality and freedom which
the women of the occidental
and less observant communi-
ties take for granted.

number of reasons. Some
contend that this is prohibit-
ed because the paternity and
geneology of the child would
be confused, especially when
there would be no absolute
assurance as to whether it
is the donor or the husband
who actually impregnated
the wife.
A second reason advanced
is that the child, not knowing
the identity of the donor,
might eventually marry its
sister or brother who might
be born from the sperm of
the same donor by other
artificial insemination or by
his marriage to some other
A third reason is the con-
tention that the child, not
being from the husband's
seed might seek the inheri-
tance of the husband after
his death to which he is not
technically entitled and thus
if there are other natural
born children from this same
father, this child would
"steal" inheritance from the
others which is not rightfully
Also, the child might be
entitled to an inheritance in
the estate of the donor and
the donor's natural children
might be "stealing" his in-
heritance not knowing the
identity of the product of his
Some also add that the
prohibition not to have an

affair with one's neighbor's
wife (Leviticus 18:20) in-
cludes the condition of arti-
ficial insemination from a
Some late authorities add
the contention that artificial
insemination from a donor
would be considered a
"hideous act" and might lead
to an air of promiscuity and
something that might be
considered like "human stud
farming." It is to be noted,
however, that many authori-
ties do not consider the off-
spring of a donor's artificial
insemination as an illegiti-
mate child.



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