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Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the seventh day of Elul, 5738, the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9. Prophetical portion, Isaiah 51:12-52:12.
Candle lighting, Friday, Sept. 8, 7:36 p.m.
VOL.-LXXIV, No. 1
Friday, September 8, 1978
Negotiating Children's Schooling
Jewish schools are in no sense different from
the civil system under which the educational
system functions. At a time when many scores
of school districts in Michigan alone continue to
function without contracts, it is not altogether
surprising that a similar situation should affect
the Jewish schogls. After all, the time of the
• "melamed" has ended and the "heder" is now
the modern school.
Nevertheless, there are' differences, and these
seriously affect the status of the community and
the Jewish child who is affected by threats to the
continuity of Jewish studies:-
It.isn't enough to constantly harp on "prior-
ity" for Jewish education. There is the vital
necessity to assure uninterruption of teaching
and the highest standards in studies. These
place responsibilities on teacher and adminis-
trator.- They cannot be resolved by strikes and
strikes must be avoided.
It is serious enough when a public school is
affected by a strike. But in an American city.
• there is a better 'chance to "make up" for lost
time. Every hour lost in the limited amount of
time allotted to Jewish studies creates obliga-
tions that can not be explained away.
The community cannot be silent to the griev-
ances expressed by the teachers. The adminis-
trators have much to explain for the delay in
reaching agreements leading up to the very
hour of the schools' resumption of their func-
Assuming that the teachers' complaints have
a basis for serious consideration, there are due
grounds to review the responses of the school
administrators, who maintain that their
budgets have been cut while costs are rising.
The duty to balance the inadequacies therefore
reverts to communal leadership which cannot
permit the schools to lose their effectiveness or
the teachers to suffer from the inflationary ills
without receiving timely, prompt and justified
consideration for a status they must retain.
It is the proper status for the community itself
that must be given an assurance of dignity in
avoiding conflict while repairing whatever
grievances may be the contention of teachers.
• While balancing of budgets is vital, the juggling
-:- of dollar signs may be the least respectful of
.—apProaches to community need's, and it is in this
;• framwork that the situation must be consid-
If the need warrants it, a community will
have to live up to its claim of giving priority to
education. But there are other factors that enter
into the discussion. There is a reduction in
enrollments of all schools and teaching. staffs
have already been reduced. The accounting ,
must, therefore, be on the basis of practical,
treatment of needs as they corelate with the
available means • for an assured, well-
functioning school system.
Basic to the entire discussion is the obligation
to assure uninterruption in providing the best
that is available in Jewish schooling for the
children. The planning for such schooling must
be conducted - in all seriousness as obligations
that involve all factions. A community must
create dignity for the teacher, the teacher must
have a duty to the community for cooperative.
sharing in making the Jewish school a model to
assure that the youth will be identified with the
elders in a spirit of dedication to historic
It is when approaches to such cooperative
agreements for action and for uninterrupted
schooling are tampered with that the estab-
lishment of unity becomes inexcusably negated.
If it is distressing to witness_public schools'
threatened with strikes because of delays in the
writing of contracts with teachers until the very
moment of the schools' opening, it is even more
-upsetting in the effects on the Jewish schools.
There is no way of forcing citizens who are in
voluntary capacities in handling such situa
tions to act promptly and with the speed that is
usually exercised in private matters. But there
is such a thing as public. duty which should
eliminate delays in actions.
There is a sanctity for Jewry in the schooling
of children that is more obligatory than any
other factor in the people's existence. Interrup-
tion of teaching of children is judged as the most
immoral of negations in Jewish traditions. It is
in adherence to this principle that communal
planning must be_ viewed by teachers and ad-
ministrators alike. The teacher is the glorified
intermediary between the child and his home
and he must have a protected role in society.
The community he represents surely merits the
respect due it.
Surely there is a road of amity between them
and if there are obstacles that obstruct it they
must be obliterated. Delays inaction, failures in
reaching accords, cannot be tolerated. There
must be the assumption that where there is
dedication to an ideal and a will to cooperate
.there will be an achieving of the basic needs
which give respect to the teachers while never
reducing the honorable s _ tatur of the well-
Hopefully, the trial balloon about an Ameri-
can military involvement in Israel has been
punctured beyond repair.
Israel is determined never to be subjected to
outside military aid and to defend herself.
Let it be recorded in the interest of fullest
understanding of the philanthropies that assist
Israel in her struggle for life that all of the
factors relevant to defense and survival are
fully dependent upon Israelis themselves. Is-
raelis provide the military hardware with the
sweat of their tax dollars, and the military aid
Israel receives stems from the U.S. foreign aid
program. Mit the contributions to the United
Jewish Appeal and other causes fro on abroad
are used primarily for the, social services in Is-
rael, for health and education. The military
force is strictly Israeli.
Thus, Israel and Israelis are self-dependent
defensively. This is part of the principles that
dominate the desire and the will also to be self-
sufficient militarily. The contrary resorted to in
the trial balloon from White House aides
emerges fully refuted.
—There- is no support for whatever may be
schemed for an Ameri.can militaryyole in Israel.
In Sanhedrin Press-Volume
Ethical Jewish Teachings
Defined by Noted Scholars
Ethical Jewish teachings lend themselves to continuous studies
and emphasize the legacies that have kept developing through the
A volume of impressive significance with a totality of definitions of
major Jewish regulations on moral and ethical problems which keep
emerging now lends itself for many purposes, for studies in Jewish
schools, for-adult education groups, for individual reading and evalu-
ation and as a guideline to the numerous problems which call for
Jewish interpretive skills.
"Contemporary Jewish Ethics" (Sanhedrin Press of Hebrew Pub-
lishing Co.), edited by Prof. C. Menahem Marc Kellner of the Univer-
sity of Virginia is replete with commentaries by Jewish scholars who
are representative of all religious elements.
It is noteworthy that the essays incorporated in this volume include
authors representative of Orthodoxy, like Dr. Norman Lamm, presi-
dent of Yeshiva University, and Dr. Emil Fackenheim of the Univer-
sity of Toronto.
Exemplary also as a participant in this collective effort is the late
Dr. Martin Buber, whose essay is on the subject "Imitatio Dei."
The two sections in the book deal with "Religion, Law and Moral-
ity" and "Issues," all dealing with the vast Variety
Dr. Lamm's essay is on "Judaism and the Modern Attitude to
Homosexuality." This is descriptive of the timeliness of the volume
which justifies its being called a "contemporary" study of JesVish
The editor of the volume, Dr. Kellner, provides an over-all analysis
of the topics under discussion as well as an evaluation of the ethical
teachings in the introductory essay, "The Structure of Jewish Ethics."
His explanatory notes to the various sections in the book prove helpful
to the lay reader and will serve asjsupplementary to the classroom
studies which will be greatly enhanced by this volume. The plans for a
study guide to accompany this volume will add encouragement in
applying this volume to the needs of students devoting themselves to
Louis Jacobs "The Relationship Between aeligion and Ethics" has a
supplement in an article by Sid Z. Leiman on the topic "Critique f
Louis Jacobs. This is an indication of thoroughness which provi
dispute as well as discussion and assures differing views as well
Dr. Fackenheim discusses the subject "The Revealed Morality of
Judaism and Modern Thought." Norbert Samuelson pursues this
topic in a related essay.
Halakha has its inevitable place in the discussions provided in this
volume. Aharon Lichtenstein's subject "Does Jewish Tradition Rec-
ognize and Ethnic Independence of Halakha?"
As a contemporary issue of interest is the essay by Rabbi Maurice
Lamm on the subject "After the War — Another Look-at Pacifism and
Selective Conscientious Objection."
The latter issue is pursued in an essay by Dr. Milton R. Konvitz on
the subject "Conscience and Civil Disobedience in Jewish Tradition."
Dr. Balfour 'Brickner's "Judaism and Abortion" and Rabbi Isaac
Klein's "Abortion and Jewish Tradition" also emphasize the contem-
porariness of the volume.
These and many other subjects indicate the significance of a volume
in which the authoritative status of the authors provides significance'
fp! a volume of immense value in pursuing Jewish studies.