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December 01, 1978 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-12-01

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26 Friday, December 1, 1918


Wine, Kahane Debate Judaism

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nothing' from history?
More than 600 persons After the Holocaust a be-
packed the Birmingham lief in God made people
Temple Monday evening to Jewish. Humanism is a
hear a debate on the future joke, a passing fad.
of Judaism between Rabbi Would it have kept
Meir Kahane, founder of the people Jewish after the
Jewish Defense League, Holocaust? Jewish
and Rabbi Sherwin, Wine, ignorance gives birth to
founder of Humanistic such places. If you only
Judaism and the Birming- knew what we once had,
and our parents and
ham Temple.
Rabbi Kahane defended grandparents threW it
true Orthodoxy, based on away.
Pick up a Jewish book.
"the only thing that makeS
Judaism unique in the Study the Bible and practice
world: the Torah." Rabbi it — real, honest, difficult
Wine advocated humanism, Judaism. Find a rabbi with
a striving for a higher, more blood in his veins, not ice
universal man based on sci- water; one who believes.
ence and intellectualism_ You can not fool children
from any source, but with - with hypocrisy and fraud.
The youngsters in Israel
nostalgic ties to Judaism.
The following are ex- with the kipot and Uzi
(submachine gun), the
cerpts of the debate:
RABBI KAHANE: settlers, are the wave of the
There is a spiritual future. Not this (the, Bir-
holocaust on every campus, mingham Temple). We have
in the synagogues, in every to be Jews in the ethics and
city. There is a destruction morals of Judaism that kept
of the young Jews — they— us alive to this day.
are Jews for Arafat, Jews
RABBI WINE: I admire
for everything, but really Rabbi Kahane's integrity.
Jews for nothing. We must He is an articulate spokes-
look at the people who made man for traditional
them so.
Judaism. I agree with him
Jewish that Judaism today is
youngsters, for the most fraudulent and pretext.
part, could not give a
The old rabbis, the
damn about being a Jew. non-scientific rabbis on
There is nothing Jewish Twelfth St., could teach
in their lives until their you for 18 years and you
parents begin to worry would learn nothing. The
about intermarriage. Bible is much more in-
Then comes the question, teresting from the scien-
"Tell me why I should be tific point of view than
Jewish?" '
from the traditional. The
But the parenti'Aidaism traditional rabbis know
is the Judaism of nostalgia the right documents that
— they remember the Sab- were used to 'compile the
bath of their youth, the can- Bible .but they know the
dles, the chdlent, They can't - wrong commentaries.
answer the question, so they
Rabbi Kahane believes in
send their son to the rabbi. a real God who consciously
And the answer to "Tell created the universe, who
me why I should be named Jews the Chosen
Jewish?" is "You have to be People and said He would
protect them.
You don't have to be Jew-
But where was God at
ish to be ethical. You don't Auschwitz? The German
have to be a humanist' to be Jews fled - after Krys-
ethical. You don't have to tallnacht but the pious
marry Jewish to be ethical.
Jews, the ones who believed
For someone to want to God would Protect them,
be Jewish, Judaism must were slaughtered.
offer something -unique.
The Torah and Talmud
There is not the slightest were designed for people
reason in the world for who never experienced the
any child to want to be urban revolution. Jews are .
Jewish. The Bar Mitzva is successful in the modern
a fraud; rabbis are frauds world because they have
and their congregations skills developed over 2,000
are even worse. -
years that make them win-
Real humanism should ners in- the urban revolu-
seek the end of Judaism. tion.
You should actively seek in-
Torah did not make
termarriage and get rid of Jews survive. Jews sur-
the ancient barriers that vived because they were
separate human beings. necessary — eco-
The thing that children see nomically useful.
through now is the fraud of
Humanistic Judaism is a
American Judaism.
passing fad. We believe we
I hope the humanist tem- can not plan a Judaism for
ple will begin making the 100 years from now. This
sacrifices it should make as Judaism may not work
humanists: How many then. Instead of goingto the
humanists have been ar- past we have to utilize the
_ rested in demonstrations for future.
Soviet Jewry? That's how
Humanistic Judaism does
you start to be Jewish.
not believe in Jewish de-
The only reason to be- stiny. Traditional Judaism
Jewish is Torah. Is there seeks the Messianic Age,
one (a Torah) here? but would keep us-separated
Frankly, if I believed that from gentiles. Humanistic
book is what you believe Judaism would work
that book is, I would burn it. toward the Messianic Age,
We are the masters of trying to bring peoples to-
our own fate? Foolish gether and not leaving that
people! Have we learned work for the Messiah alone.

We have to affirm the im-
portance of our group as a
group, but not isolated and
I believe the Jewish
people have never been
as interesting as today.
We Jews thrive as human
beings in a modern, open,
liberal society. I would
have despised living in
the Polish shtetl of 1566.
In the last two centuril
Jews have partaken -of mv` -
ern life. Do we use our
Jewishness to become
paranoid, segregated, fear-
ful? Or do we use our
Jewishness to reach out to
the world and to become a
better human being?
there is no God, why have a
Judaism? Don't risk losing
Judaism, why - not just
throw it away? Push inter-
marriage! Why have a tem-
Judaism should be a light
unto the nations, an exam-
ple. You can be a traditional
Jew and not live in Mea
Shearim. You can work for
Soviet Jewry. You don't
have to turn yourself away
from other knowledge.
But Judaism is not
knowledge. It is a religion!
Send your kids to a day
school or yeshiva for a year,
not public school, and watch
them bloom. Let them be
I don't know the reason
for the Holocaust. But
Europe was not all pious
Jews, There were tens of
thousands who did not
cling to the Torah. Why
do we only call on God
during the bad times.
What about all the good
things? Why don't we re-
member God then?
Think of all the peoples
who were around with the
Jews 2,000 years ago — the
Assyrians, Babylonians,
the Edomites. Where are
they now? The Jews are still
We thrive in a liberal
society . . . that is, we
make a lot of money. But we
lose our children.
No, I wouldn't want to
live in a shtetl in 1566. I live
in Israel in 1978. Try it. For
2,000 years we cried "Zion"
and now there is a Zion, and
I tell you, "Go home!" Let
the Christian kids be in the
minority and ask their par-
ents why they can't light
Sabbath candles.
Holocaust, should a
stroy the righteous witi,„
There are dozens of
peoples still around who
lived with the Jews 2,000
years ago — the Greeks and
Can Jews be an example
to others by saying, "We are
holier than thou?"
Israel was founded by
secularists who were fought
tooth and nail by Or-
_ thodoxy. People whO go to
Israel now expect to find a
secular, humanist state but
instead find a theocracy
dominated more and more
by Orthodoxy. And I urge
those (here) who applauded
Rabbi Kahane's statement
about going to Israel to-go.

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