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December 07, 1979 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-12-07

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



, -

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

12 Friday, December 7, 1979

REMEMBER

THE BLUE BOX
AND EVERYTHING IT
STANDS FOR ON EVERY
IMPORTANT OCCASION

Talmudist Urges Jewish Self-Identity
Says Peace With Arabs Still Far Away

NEW YORK (JTA) —
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, a
world famous Israeli tal-
mudist, Jewish writer-
philosopher and spiritual
guide declared in New York
that despite the peace
treaty between Israel and
Egypt, true peace with the

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Arabs is farther than ever
and that the "major threat
facing Israel today" is one of
self-identity and the. need
for inner examination.
Steinsaltz, who is known
throughout the world for his
exhaustive talmudic com-
mentary, his writings on

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Jewish mysticism and his
work of religious renewal,
particularly in bridging the
secular and religious
worlds, spoke last week be-
fore some 2,000 people at
Cong. Bnai Jeshurun.
Answering questions
from Dr. William Ber-
kowitz, rabbi of the congre-
gation, at its Dialogue '79
forum series, Steinsaltz, re-
ferring to the controversy
over Jewish settlements,
asserted that the main issue
should not be whether the
settlements are for defense
purposes which "is secon-
dary" but rather if "Jews
can live anywhere in Eretz
Yisrael."
The main issue in the
controversy, he said,
should be over whether
the territories will be
"judenein" or not. "Jews
should remain in the
areas whether they are
under Israeli, Jordanian,
Egyptian or PLO rule.
The city of Hebron has as
much holiness as the city
of Tel Aviv and is as im-
portant as Jews living in
New York," he said.
In his broad discussion of
the issues facing American
Jewry, the noted religious
thinker said that a major
problem of Judaism in
America is that "too many
people are passive partici-
pants."
Steinsaltz urged Ameri-
can Jews to become more
deeply involved in their
Jewish participation.
As for American rabbis,
.Steinsaltz said they must
challenge their congregants
and ask them continually:
"What new thing did you
find out today about being
Jewish?" At the same time
the religious thinker de-
cried segments of American
Jewry for "suffering too
much from kosher-centered
Judaism in which small
parts of Judaism are made
greater than they are."
Asserting that this kind
of Judaism cannot sur-
vive and exist for long.
Steinsaltz said that reli-
gious life preoccupied
with levels of kosher cer-
tification becomes a
"boring shell and a play-
thing" which would dis-
appear.
In his comments on the
controversial theme of
women's role in Judaism,
Steinsaltz, who said he first
"wrote on the issue 22 years
ago — long before it became
a fad," spoke of his desire to
see women involved in
Jewish areas "beyond the
kitchen."
A person, he said, partici-
pates in Judaism "not in the
number of things they do
but in the depth of how they

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do them." If women will
take a greater role in the
Jewish community, he con-
tinued, they will be leaders
in Jewish life, whether they
are called rabbis or not.
Jewish women will assume
a greater role "not by fight-
ing for it but by creating it."
As for the feminist calls
for added religious obli-
gations, Steinsaltz said
that the Jewish women's
task should be "not get-
ting new rights or com-
mandments but fulfilling
what they can already.
Are the old command-
ments so ardently kept
that women need new
ones?" he asked.
On current calls for a
Jewish mission to non-
Jews, Steinsaltz said his
"dream is to have a mission
to the Jews. If somebody
needs conversions, it is the
Jews. It is the mission
among our own people that
is needed very urgently."

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two
ditutzeto
mot;i
cietizaty,

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invitation
from...
FRANK WALD

Let's meet again

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We hope you will stop by soon.
Sincerely.

Soviet Jewry Day

ALBANY, N.Y. (JTA) —
Gov. Hugh Carey has pro-
claimed Dec. 10 as
"Women's Plea for Soviet
Jewry Day" in New York
state. The proclamation de-
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