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February 22, 1980 - Image 41

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-02-22

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

42 Friday, February 22, 1980

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

National Council of Churches to Tour M.E.

NEW YORK — A group
of National Council of
Churches officers will de-
part for a two-week "fact-
f-mding" tour of the Middle

East on Monday.
The special panel is de-
veloping a new NCC policy
statement on the region.
The tour will include
stops in Beirut, Lebanon;
Cairo, Egypt; Damascus,
Syria; Amman, Jordan; and
Jerusalem.

The NCC governing
board will see the new
policy statement on the

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"Special People's"

Readers Forum

Middle East for the first
time in May. The state-
ment, which is being
written by members of
the NCC's Middle East,
International Concerns
and Christian-Jewish Re-
lations committees, will
come up for a final vote in
November.

Materials submitted to the Readers Forum must be brief. The writer's name will be

withheld from publication upon request. No unsigned letters will be published. Materials
will not be returned unless a stamped, self-addressed envelope is enclosed.

Several Jewish Abortion Views

Editor, The Jewish News:
Your Feb. 1 edition con-
tained an article by Rabbi
Samuel Fox entitled: "Bi-
ble, Talmud Tell Jewish
Prohibition Against Abor-
tion." The article seeks to
show the biblical and tal-
inudic justification for pro-
hibiting abortion among
Jews. However, the article
is misleading in that it pre-
sents the position of Jewish
law as being against abor-
tion; the law is not as obvi-
ous as the article would lead
one to believe.
Exodus 21:12 reads: "He
who fatally strikes a man
shall be put to death." How-
ever, this verse was not
applied to an aborted fetus,
as it was not considered a
viable human being.
Exodus 21:22-23 states:
"When men fight and one of
them pushes a pregnant
woman and a miscarraige
results, but no other dam-
age ensues the one respon-
sible shall be fined ... but if
other damage ensues (the
woman dies), the penalty
shall be life for life."
We are all well aware of
the high value the Bible
places on human life, yet
this example clearly shows
that the legal status of the
fetus is different than that
of the mother.

On Feb. 6 and 13 the NCC
Middle East Panel held
open hearings on the Middle
East. Seventeen Jewish
groups boycotted the hear-
ings, charging that the NCC
was prejudicial against Is-
rael.

Church, State
Separation Topic
of New Volume

A strong appeal for
adherence to the principle of
Separation of Church and
State and for enforcement of
freedom of religions is con-
tained in "Can Persecution
Arise in America," a recent
release of the Review and
Herald Publishing Associa-
tion for the Religious Lib-
erty Association.
In his preface to the book,
author S.A. Kaplan warns
the reader.:
"The sun may well be
about to set on minority
rights in America. The di-
viding line between Church
and State is becoming in-
creasingly blurred ... We
are confident that the
reader perusing these pages
will sense that we care, and
that he will seriously reflect
on the warnings given, ever
remembering that ostrich-
like smugness and undue
optimism can be perilous
and can end in catastrophe."
A free copy of the book can
be obtained by writing to
Document, Rt. One, Box
493, Roanoke, Va., 24012.

The medieval commen-
tator Rashi says that
until a fetus has emerged
into the world, it is not a
life at all. This view is best
illustrated by the case of
a difficult birth, wherein
the fetus may be extra-
cted limb by limb in order
to save the life of the
mother. A fetus does not
acquire the status of a

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Jewish law does not
explicitly prohibit nor con-
done abortion. It is a dif-
ficult issue, one which gen-
The Talmud speaks of the erations of sages have
fetus as the thigh of its grappled with without
mother, not a living entity reaching a definitive ruling.
unto itself. Until 40 days, it
For those people in-
is referred to as a bag of terested in a more extensive
waters. Rabbinic literature look at what the Jewish tra-
is filled with many more dition says concerning abor-
statements of this sort. It is tion, I would suggest con-
safe to say that a very sulting David Feldman's
strong case can be made for "Birth Control in Jewish
abortion, prior to the 15th- Law" (pp. 251-294) and
17th week of pregnancy, in "The Second Jewish
Jewish law.
Catalog" (pp. 140-147).
I do not wish to present a Thank you for the opportu-
one-sided picture. While nity to put this sensitive
these cases are to be found issue in its proper Jewish
in the literature, so are perspective.
those mentioned by Rabbi
Daniel Pernick,
rabbinic student,
Fox. My concern in writing
Hebrew Union College
this letter is to show that

human being until is has
passed more than half-
way out of the birth
canal.

•* •

Black History Effort Lauded,
Similar Jewish Project Urged

Editor, The Jewish News:
It is of the utmost impor-
tance that we know what
our neighbors are doing to
commemorate their heroes
and historic personages.
Thus, in recent years, the
Detroit black community
has been establishing
shrines, naming streets and
schools in honor of out-
standing blacks. The Black
Historic Sites Committee,
among other memorials,
erected an impressive
monument at Riopell and
Macomb in memory of Fan-
nie M. Richards, Detroit's
first black public school
teacher, who taught at the
Barstow School in the
1860s.
The blacks, moreover,
under the able and idealis-
tic leadership of Dr. Charles

GOP Considers
Jewish Issues

WASHINGTON — The
Republican National Com-
mittee has scheduled a
series of 10 hearings
throughout the U.S. in
preparation for developing
the 1980 Republican Plat-
form at the national GOP
convention in Detroit this
summer.
During the first three
hearings, in Washington,
Los Angeles and St.
Petersburg, Fla., the Middle
East and Soviet human
rights violations_ were dis-
cussed.

Among Jewish organ-
izations planning to tes-
tify at later hearings are
the America Israel Public
Affairs Committee, the
National Conference on
Soviet Jewry and the
Zionist Organization of
America.

The remaining hearings
are scheduled for In-
dianapolis, Philadelphia,
St. Louis, Davenport, Iowa,
Seattle, Chicago and New
York.

H. Wright, a former
member of the Jewish His-
torical Society of Michigan,
have established the
nationally-famous Afro-
American Museum of De-
troit that portrays the his-
tory and achievements of
Detroit blacks.
Like the ancient Romans,
I too maintain, "dum spiro,
spero" ("while I breathe, I
hope"). I hope that we also
will remember and honor
the Jewish builders of our
cultural heritage and take
pride in their achievements.
Allen A. Warsen

U.S. Frowns on
Settlement Plan

WASHINGTON (JTA) —
The Carter Administration
has hinted to the Israeli
government to drop its
plans to allocate IL 50 mil-
lion (about $1.5 million) for
settlements on the West
Bank. The State Depart-
ment's chief spokesman,
Hodding Carter, said that
"such activity is contrary to
international law, pre-
judges the outcome of
negotiations and is an obs-
tacle to the peace process."
He added, "Therefore, we
are obviously against any
steps by the Knesset that
are calculated to support
the Israeli settlement pol-
icy."
Carter was alluding to
the move by Israel's Knes-
set Finance Committee in
appropriating the money for
the purchase-df land in the
occupied territories from
private Arab owners for
Jewish settlement.
Israel TV reported that
Ariel Sharon, the Agricul-
ture Minister, told the
Committee that land pur-
theses in the West Bank
last year totalled 75 acres.

To manage men one
ought to have a sharp mind
in a velvet sheath.

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