THE JEWISH NEWS
Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with the issue of July 20, 1951
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Editor and Publisher
CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Associate News Editor
Sabbath- Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the 12th day of Nisan, 5743,
the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Leviticus 6:1-8:36.
Prophetical portion, Malachi 3:4-24.
Monday, Fast of the Firstborn and First Passover Seder
Tuesday, First Day of Passover and Second Seder.
Pentateuchal portion, Exodus 12:21-51, Numbers 28:16-25.
Prophetical portion, Joshua 5:2-6:1, 27.
Wednesday, Second Day of Passover
Pentateuchal portion, Leviticus 22:26-23:44, Numbers 28:16-25.
Prophetical portion, II Kings 23:1-19, 21-25.
Hol Hamoed Passover
ThurSday, Exodus 13:1-16, Numbers 28:19-25.
April 1, Exodus 22:24-23:19, Numbers 28:19-25.
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Candlelighting, Friday, March 25, 6:33 p.m.
VOL. LXXXIII, No. 4
Friday, March 25, 1983
Passover is a legacy for mankind. It is one of the rites that is kept nourished
by Christianity. It is cherished spiritually and is respectfully observed in the
Easter of the major branches inherited from Judaism.
At the same time, Passover may well be considered the guide to the liber-
tarianism that spells freedom for mankind. The festival gave birth to Jewish
nationhood and it continues to symbolize the liberties craved for by all peoples
under all climates of human struggles to eradicate suffering and oppression.
Therefore the experiences that have marked the attainment of the just
rights are among the basic teachings being re-learned constantly, with the
emphasis on the Feast of Freedom, the Passover that is Jewish and its branches
that are being dignified in the non-Jewish world.
It is this idealism that must be acclaim-ed at this time. In an era when it is
believed that anti-Semitism is increasing, that prejudices are rampant, that
hatreds are finding their own roots and are therefore poisoning those that have
been planted as civilization, there' is a heartening note that overshadows the
negatives in life.
* * *
In matters involving Israel's right to live and to prosper, obstacles have
been strewn everywhere. The poison of the bigoted was seen wherever one
turned. It was in the media, it polluted the press, it darkened the minds of
intellectuals whose judgments were thus depraved.
Tragically, in such an era of struggle for the glorification of the ethical codes
that give leadership to spokesmen for the Jewish people, there also were the
Jewish sinners. In Switzerland, a demented young Jew paints swastikas. In the
American press, there is the frequent letter-writer, also a Jew, who has dipped
his pen in an inkwell of poison.
These are not representative of the American ideal of fair play. In recent
weeks expressively and effectively, the defenders of justice for all, of decency
among all peoples, of the recognition of the civic and religious liberties, became
apparent in ecumenical approaches.
Several demonstrations of ecumenical devotions, in which all faiths par-
ticipated, are especially in_evidence in Michigan circles. Impressive planning in
Ann Arbor, functions in Detroit and environs, in the church as well as intimate
group levels, the firmness of the local Ecumenical Institute for Jewish-Christian
Studies under the direction of Rev. James Lyons, all serve as encouragement
to the hopes that prejudices can and are being averted and that aims for goodwill
are not idle gestures.
* * *
This does not imply over-confidence in the ecumeny of the faiths. The
moment the thoroughly American and humane plans for the strengthening of
goodwill were announced there was, again, a spate of hatred, the poison letter-
writing to the newspapers in the environs of the University of Michigan. But it
remains an evidence that the hatemongers are a minority and that the Ameri-
can spirit prevails.
The emphasis again is on freedom — the liberties taken to speak, to write, to
assert the basic views, and in that freedom there emerges an evidence that
common sense prevails.
Disputes which often arise in communal deliberations may cause doubts
over this outlined theme of Christian-Jewish relations. When dealing with the
ecumenical the concern- is with the rational and the faithful, dealing with facts
and not with fiction. In this realm it is the noble spirit that survives and
. predominates, and not the destructive.
Such is one of the lessons of a great festival that admonishes to have faith
and always strive for the freedoms that are vital for mankind, and never to panic
when there are threats to such freedoms. That's the American way and the
Jewish inspirations, all rooted in the Passover ideal. It is the prevailing cheer-
fulness with which Jews everywhere turn to the Seder environs.
The precious memories abound.
They are the legacies that have no interruptions, and their roots are im-
It is with such a sense of pride in a great historic symbol that Jews
everywhere assemble for the Passover observance.
Perhaps it needs to be said now, more than ever before, that the Seder
ceremony proclaims a unity that has both purpose as well as continuity. The -
emphasis upon this purposeful meaning of a great festival is necessary at a time
when there was threat to the peoplehood that is based on unified dedications.
The Seder re-affirms- the unity because such indivisibility commences with the
family and continues into the ranks of the entire people.
Surely there were threats through the ages. There was never total security.
Because the destructive elements were always defied, the very survivalism has
always been an adherence to faith and confidence that the genius of striving for
the highest ideals in life was more powerful than the evil that sought to
undermine it. This is what has created the unity that is symbolized repeatedly,
uninterruptedly, in all climes, regardless of dangers.
This was the experience in the eras of the Inquisition when Jews had to go
underground as hunted and defiled "Marranos," under a Haman in the ancient
legends, under Chmielnicki and again under Hitler. Even under Nazism, and
also under the Stalinist Communism, if it was necessary to have the Seder in
secret it was thus observed.
That is how the unity was perpetuated, and the defiance was always
spiritual, always the ethically coded.
It is this way again, and from the Seder tables, the assemblies that mark a
great festival, the message is as much to the people itself as to the entire world
whose tastes of freedom stem from what had been attained by the Jewish
self-liberation which gave substance to Jewish peoplehood and the birth of the
Jewish nation in that ancient period when the Passover had its beginnings.
The lessons derived from history may be even more awesome now. At a time
when Jews have the joy of erasing homelessness and the creation of statehood
and national sovereignty, the obstacles kept multiplying. Agonies of the past
echoed and re-echoed to an extent that the enemy ranks often included deluded
fellow Jews. The ultimate is in an achievement of self-respect and of dignity that
combines in the unity that is so vital for dignified existence. This is the defini-
tion for Passover, the festival of freedom, and the Seder as the solidifying force in
It all spells self-respect and dignity in achieving self-liberation, spiritually
as a people among the nations of the world. In their totality, these ideals
combine to spell out the unity that is Israel's, the Jewish people's, in the pride
expressed in the precious memories with which Passover greetings and hand-
shakes reach out to Jewish communities wherever they may be.