Friday, December 21, 1984 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
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World Jewry's major family and
social problem, that of mixed
marriages, is tackled in interest-
ing analyses in Jews and Non-
Jews: Getting Married, a new
Union of American Hebrew Con-
gregations publication. Its author
is Rabbi Sanford Seltzer, who
previously dealt with Jewish-
Gentile relationships in the
acclaimed volume entitled Fal-
ling in Love.
This new guide takes into ac-
count the many problems relating
to intermarriage. Rabbi Seltzer is
factual and he does not shield or
condemn. He confronts the matter
with regard to family involve-
ments and his emphasis is on the
urgency of constructing a tradi-
tionally strong Jewish home
influence, always retaining the
legacy with dignity.
While acknowledging the prob-
lem and its effects, Rabbi Seltzer
is not pessimistic. He sees some
positive results from the inter-
The conclusion reached in the
new study is interesting, even if
the controversial aspects remain.
Rabbi Seltzer asserts:
"Judaism continues to attract
substantial numbers of men and
women. A growing minority of
these Jews by Choice consists of
persons whose initial exposure to
Judaism has come from their own
investigations and are not a con-
sequence of an involvement with
a born Jew.
"No less significant is the in-
tensificatino of programs of out-
reach to couples in an interfaith
marriage who have chosen to link
themselves to the Jewish commu-
nity and rear their children as
"The high rate of interfaith
marriage involving Jews is rela-
tively recent and must therefore
be evaluated accordingly. It is far
from certain what the next 50
years will bring in the way of
Jewish marital patterns. What
ever the degree of assimilation
into the mainstream of American
life, it is clear that Jewish identity
and a sense of pride in the Jewish
people run deeper than most
"Predictions of the demie of the
American Jewish community be-
cause of interfaith marriage are
premature and unfounded.
Simplistic solutions merely com-
plicate an already difficult prob-
"Interfaith marriage is hardly a
new phenomenon in the history of
the Jewish people. References re-
garding it are found in the Bible
and in the rabbinic literature.
Judaism has always met this
threat to its survival wisely and
"It is not incidental that Jews
have been called the eternal
people. Jewish survival has defied
logic and confounded reasoned
explanations. In 1934, on the eve
of the Holocaust, the Jewish
philosopher, Martin Buber, deliv-
ered an address in the city of
Frankfort in Germany. In it he
cautioned against arbitrary de-
signations of Jews and of Judaism
and the application of sociological
labels by social scientists and
political thinkers. It was, he said,
Israel's covenant with God that
provided the Jewish people with a
`vocation of uniqueness, a com-
munity which exercises history
and revelation as one phenom-
enon, history as revelation and
revelation as history.'
"Jews and non-Jews:
Getting Married" by
"Generations of Jews, past and
present, in joy and in sorrow, in
moments of celebration and mo-
ments of despair, have reaffirmed
that covenant and reconsecrated
themselves to that vocation of
uniqueness. Jews have always
risen above the crises of the mo-
ment. There is no doubt that this
generation will do the same."
Such is the positive Reform
Jewish approach to the challeng-
ing issue. The increasing rate of
intermarriage compels serious
concern with the manner in which
a Reform rabbi tackles the issue.
Therefore, Rabbi Seltzer's new
paperback cannot be ignored.
Tel Aviv (JTA) — The IDF last
week carried out a large-scale op-
eration on a number of Shi'ite
Moslem villages east of Tyre in
southern Lebanon, arresting 30
people suspected on having at-
tacked Israeli forces.
In the course of the operation
one man described by the IDF as
an "unknown terrorist" was shot
and killed, reportedly while at-
tempting to escape.
The United Nations spokesman
at Nakoura said that two other
people were also killed, but
amended an earlier statement at-
tributing their deaths to the IDF.
Four other villagers were brought
to the UNIFIL headquarters with
wounds, the reports said.
The IDF troops were met by
angry villagers as they carried
out their house-to-house search
operations which turned up sev-
eral arms caches, propaganda of
the Amal Shi'ite organization and
military-style medical supplies.
The IDF spokesman said the
searches and arrests were carried
out "in the framework of the pol-
icy which has been clarified also
at the Nakoura talks, whereby
the security of Israel's troops in
southern Lebanon takes precen-
dence over any other considera-
Several Shiite villages in the
area of Tyre, south Lebanon, were
placed under curfew Dec. 12 after
two Israeli soldiers were slightly
wounded in a small arms attack
on their convoy east of Tyre. An-
other attack on an IDF truck near
Tyre caused no casualties.