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February 15, 1985 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-02-15

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, February 15, 1985

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you get complacent. So now we
have competition from science
and math and computers and
television, and we're still
teaching the same old ah, aw, eh,
bah, baw, beh. We got a bad
p.r. image and now they're not
even trying our products."
What s needed, he asserts, are
new methods, new approaches.
He promises to reveal truth and
clarity, to allow people to enjoy
the world God gave man to en-
joy. "We have to say to people,
can offer you the five steps of
pleasure,' or the secrets of
meditation. Because we got the
sizzle."
Rabbi Weinberg's approach is
based on complete faith in the
power of rational arguments to
prove God's existence, leading
the way to complete teshuva, or
repentance. For him there is
only good and evil, and we must
choose. It is clear that in his con-
fidence he loves to be chal-
lenged. "When I ;fleet someone
who tells me he is an atheist,"
he says, "I tell them I am thrilled
to meet a true atheist, because
an atheist is someone who
knows there is not God. So I ask
him for evidence. At that point
he'll usually say, 'well, actually
I'm more of an agnostic than an
atheist.' So I say, 'fine, that
means we can't know if there is
a God,' and I ask him for proof.
And he'll say, 'well, I really
don't know if there's a God or
not.' My response then is to say,
`come in, we'll educate you, we'll
give you the tools you need.
"It gives me an opening," he
explains. "I feel I can translate
our power into terminology, and
in that way I can bring people
back."
Born in New York in 1930,

Rabbi Weinberg came to Balti-
more at the age of 15 to study
at the New Israel Rabbinical
College (where his brother, Rav
Yaakov Weinberg, is now Rosh
Yeshiva) and stayed for eight
years. During that time he
decided that he wanted to
devote'his life to teaching Torah
and to bring the message of Yid-
dishkeit to assimilated Jews.
"When I was taking college
classes at Hopkins, I used to
love to engage in theological
discussions with the non-obser-
vant Jewish students," .Rabbi
Weinberg recalls. He says he
used to push too hard in those
debates — "they used to keep
away from me" — but over the
years he's learned to use less, „
threatening methods.
Rabbi Weinberg came to
Israel in the mid-sixties to start
a program for returning Jews.
He founded several yeshivas, in-
cluding Ohr Sameach and later
Aish HaTorah. Many of the
students were long-haired young
men with guitars or packs on
their backs who were approached
at the Western Wall and asked
to visit an authentic yeshiva.
The media gave a great deal of
attention to these counter-
culture kids adopting an obser-
vant lifestyle, creating an image
of the bawl teshuva yeshiva as a
refuge for "hippies." There was
suspicion among many Ortho-
dox Jews regarding the serious-
ness of the enterprise, but this
gave way to a begrudging ad-
miration as more and more
students made the difficult tran-
sition from secular to observant
lifestyle.
Rabbi Weinberg's approach
was unique in that he introduced

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Continued on next page

Rabbi Weinberg's Schedule

Rabbi Noach Weinberg will
be at a brunch this Sunday
morning sponsored by the
Machon L'Torah-Torah Center
of Metro Detroit. The program,
from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., will fea-
ture a lecture on "The Subtle
Traps of Freedom," followed by
an open forum. It will be held
at the Jewish Community
Center/JPM, 15110 W. Ten
Mile Rd. A fee will be charged.
For further information, call
968-4835 or 968-1679.
Rabbi Weinberg will also
give a lecture, for women only,

on Shabos afternoon at 3:30
p.m. at the home of Rabbi and
Mrs. Joseph Nusbaum, 15401
Burton, and he will speak at
Shalosh Seudos at the Young
Israel of Greenfield following
mincha services which begin at
5 p.m.
On Monday evening, Rabbi
Weinberg will speak at a par-
lor meeting at the home of Paul
Cohen, 16069 Sherfield in
Southfield at 8 p.m.
For further information,
contact Rabbi Alan Tolwin,
968-0179.

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