THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
The danger of freedom
Some words, like some people,
are frequently misunderstood.
Consider the word freedom. Most
people, on hearing the word free-
dom, usually think in terms of
freedom from: freedom from slav-
ery; freedom from oppression;
freedom from dictatorship.
The Torah portion for this Sab-
bath provides us with a new and
marvelous insight into the word
freedom. In Exodus 9:1 we read:
"The Lord said to Moses: Go to
Pharoah and tell him: Let My
people go — that they may wor-
Notice the wording! The Israel-
ites were to go free, but their free-
dom was for a distinct purpose. It
was not freedom from, but rather
freedom for — for the purpose of
When you read the pages of
Jewish history, you find that al-
though freedom bestowed
blessings, it also brought burdens:
The Jews were slaves in Egypt for
400 years. They were isolated
from Egyptian society. Through it
all, they preserved their heritage
and their identity. Yet, the mo-
ment they were liberated, the
Torah tells us that they were
joined by "a mixed multitude."
Apply that to Poland of the Middle
Ages. When Jews lived in a
ghetto, they were isolated from
society, but they were insulated
against society. The moment their
isolation ended, they were joined
by a mixed multitude of mixed
From time to time parents will
call to tell me that their children
is about to marry a non-Jew. Dur-
13831 W. 9 Mile Rd., Oak Park 543-7092
GLATT KOSHER MEATS
Cong. Beth Shalom will observe
The Prayer for the Congrega-
Sisterhood Shabbat at services 9 tion will be read by Heidi Press.
Ann Barth will read the Prayer
Participants include: Jeannette for Our Country and Betty Berg,
Tilchin, Shacharit; Ingeborg Jor- 'Prayer for Israel.
dan, responsive reading; Ola Beck
Ronna Widenbaum will lead
and Frieda Davidorf, Ark open-
the Ashrei. Ruth Selvan will lead
ing. Midge Appel will carry the
the responsive reading.
Elinor Blumberg, Rose Gordon
Torah readers include Debbie
and Linda Lublin will participate
Appel, Debbie Chinitz, Marla Col-
in the service for returning the
lins, Amy Emmer, Kelly Emmer,
Torah to the Ark.
Shiri Greenbaum, Amy Lavetter,
Sara Lefton, Reva Nelson, Sara
Jeannette Sklarchyk will recite
Voight and Amy Widenbaum.
the Prayer Before the Open Ark.
Receiving aliyot are: Dr. Barbara
Helen Moss will lead a responsive
Goodman, Vivian Honig, Alicia
reading and Sisterhood President
Nelson, Marcie Tanzman and Lil-
Naomi Zietz will give the D'var
The duties of Hagbah and
Gelilah were accepted by Mona
Barbara Aronow will lead the
Greenbaum and Barbara Lefton,
Musaf and the Ark opening will
respectively. The Haftorah will be
be done by Ethel Lurie and Mari-
chanted by Fay Isackson and
lyn Ash. Carolyn Sklarchyk will
recite the kiddush.
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Beth Shalom Sisterhood
to lead Shabbat service
(at reasonable prices)
ing the course of our discussion,
they will invariably ask me why
intermarriage is on the increase.
Why wasn't there as much inter-
marriage in the past?
The answer is obvious. In the
past, Jews lived alone — away
from non-Jews. Thus, Jewish boys
met and married Jewish girls. To-
day, however, in an open society
or on college campuses, Jews meet
people of other religions or races
and frequently marriage is the re-
If you were to ask me how to
stop this flood of mixed marriages,
I could give you a guaranteed
solution. All we have to do is
create a ghetto and thereby iso-
late ourselves. Then Jewish boys
would meet only Jewish girls and
the problem would end.
I doubt whether that solution
would be popular with many. We
Jews have worked too long for
freedom. It would be folly to with-
draw to a self-imposed ghetto.
Then what is the solution? Let
me point out that the more two
people have in common the more
chance they have for happiness.
Marriage is difficult enough
without bringing in differing reli-
gious traditions which act as bar-
riers rather than bridges.
If, however, two people of
different religions are deeply in
love, and are determined to
marry, then we must make every
attempt to encourage the non-
Jewish partner to become part of
the Jewish family and the Jewish
faith. Simultaneously, we must
see to it that the Jewish partner is
serious about Judaism. It is a
travesty to ask a non-Jew to give
up his or her religion for a religion
that the Jewish partner does not
Yes, freedom is desirable, but
freedom has its dangers. As Jews,
we have withstood the dangers of
oppression. Can we survive the
danger of freedom?
STRICTLY KOSHER MEAT MARKET
BY RABBI M. ROBERT SYME
Special to The Jewish News
Friday, January 18, 1985
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9 A.M. TO 6 P.M.