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April 05, 1985 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-04-05

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•11!•H

4

Friday, April 5, 1985

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

THE JEWISH NEWS

Serving Detroit's Metropolitan Jewish Community
with distinction for four decades.

Editorial and Sales offices at 20300 Civic Center Dr.,
Suite 240, Southfield, Michigan 48076
Telephone (313) 354-6060

OP-ED

The Exodus: Most Important
Event In Civilized History

BY RABBI IRVING GREENBERG

Special to The Jewish News

PUBLISHER: Charles A. Buerger
EDITOR EMERITUS: Philip Slomovitz
EDITOR: Gary Rosenblatt
BUSINESS MANAGER: Carmi M. Slomovitz
ART DIRECTOR: Kim Muller-Thym
NEWS EDITOR: Alan Hitsky
LOCAL NEWS EDITOR: Heidi Press
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Tedd Schneider
LOCAL COLUMNIST: Danny Raskin

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES:
Lauri Biaf ore
Joseph Mason
Rick Nessel
Danny Raskin

OFFICE STAFF:
Marlene Miller
Dharlene Norris
Phyllis Tyner
Pauline Weiss
Ellen Wolfe

PRODUCTION:
Donald Cheshure
Cathy Ciccone
Curtis Deloye
Ralph Orme

1985 by The Detroit Jewish News (US PS 275-520)
Second Class postage paid at Southfield. Michigan and additional mailing offices.
Subscriptions: 1 year - $21 — 2 years - $39 — Out of State - $23 — Foreign • $35

CANDLELIGHTING AT 6:42 P.M.

VOL. LXXXVII, NO. 6

The Cup Of Redemption

Each year on Passover we celebrate — and pray for — freedom. This year
we can also give thanks for the miraculous exodus of thousands of Ethiopian
Jews who have made it to the Promised Land of Israel after years of suffering.
To mark this event, the United Jewish Appeal Rabbinic Cabinet has
published a special reading, titled "The Cup of Redemption," and asked Seder
participants everywhere to recite it prior to the blessing over the third cup of
wine.
This insert brings the drama of the Ethiopian homecoming into the
Passover celebration. We reprint it here and urge our readers to incorporate it
into their own Seders this weekend:
Leader: Let us raise our cups of wine once more and recall the third divine
promise—
As it is written:
"I will redeem you with an outstretched arm."
Redemption. The promise has been kept so many times. This Passover, it
is being fulfilled again as thousands of Ethiopian Jews taste the wine of
freedom in the land of Israel.
They have already eaten their bread of affliction — not as a symbol of
ancient slavery — but as a harsh daily ration. They have endured family
separation and walked for weeks through a dangerous drought-ravaged land.
Their courage and suffering help us understand the human reality of
the flight from Egypt. And their willingness to risk their lives for freedom
brings us closer to the meaning of Passover. Now they need our help to turn
their exodus into a homecoming.
When they arrived in Israel, our Ethiopian sisters and brothers kissed
the soil. Exhausted and barefoot, they carried only their ancient Jewish
culture, their pride and their potential.
How many hours of schooling and years of training will they need to
unlock that potential? They will need our help and support for many years.
The promise of the third cup is ours as well as God's. We will stretch out
our arms. We will help redeem our people. And in reaching out to Jews in
need, we shall earn the right to taste the wine of our own redemption.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has sanctified
us with the promise of the third cup. Blessed are You, Creator of the fruit of
the vine.
Please allow a moment of silent prayer for those Ethiopian Jews who
have not yet joined their friends and families in Israel. Their hopes and their
prolonged suffering have not been forgotten and we pray for their speedy
deliverance. May they soon see the light of Israel.

Last Peace Chance?

King Hussein of Jordan is in the limelight because of his negotiations
with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the numerous interviews he
has granted on the question of Middle East peace talks. He holds a
closely-knit line with PLO leader Arafat. In most of his current comments,
Hussein keeps declaring that this is "the last chance for peace."
In the process, Hussein keeps refusing direct negotiations with Israel.
What this means is constant postponement of peace. As long as Israel keeps
clamoring for an accord and the United States under President Reagan's
leadership emphasizes direct negotiations as a compulsion, there can be no
such thing as a last chance to end the animosities. Hussein will surely have
another chance to alter his personal pessimism.

When Jews sit down at the Seder
table,they are commemorating what is
arguably the most important event of
all time — the Exodus from Egypt. If
for no other reason than the Exodus
directly or indirectly generated many
of the important events cited by other
religious groups, this is the event of
human history. That it is a Jewish
event is eloquent tribute to the ex-
traordinary role that the Jewish
people — so minute a fragment of the
human race — has played in human
history.
The Exodus — the movement of
the Hebrews from slavery to freedom
— transformed the Jewish people and
its ethic. The Ten Commandments
open with the words, "I am the Lord
your God who took you out of the Land
of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."
The implication of this Divine, in-
volvement in history is stated right
there in the Book of Exodus. Idolatry is
rejected. Having no other God means
giving no absolute status or loyalty to
other- forms of divinity, or any human
value that demands absolute com-
mitment. Neither money nor power,
neither economic nor political system,
has the right to demand absolute loy-
alty. We are all relativized in the
presence of God. This is the key to
democracy.
Exodus morality meant giving
justice to the weak and the poor. Hon-
est weights and measures, interest-
free • loans to the poor, taking care of
the widow and the orphan, leaving
part of the crops in the field for the
stranger, the . orphan and the widow,
treating the alien stranger as a native
citizen — are all applications of the
Exodus principle to living in this
world. Thus the Exodus transformed
the Jewish people and their religion
and ethical system. This transforma-
tion is articulated at Sinai; there the

Jews covenanted to live by Exodus
values.
The influence of the Exodus goes
far beyond the Jewish people.
Prophets like Isaiah already pointed
out that the event is a model for the
entire world. Ultimately, there will be
a new Exodus in which all of humanity
will go from slavery to freedom. The
Exodus is the core of the messianic
dream, which promises universal re-
demption for all humanity. That
dream continually stimulated re-
sponses in oppressed people whenever
they came in contact with it.
In the First Century, the Exodus
model generated a messianic group
centered around the life and death of
Jesus. That view came into contradic-
tion with the death of Jesus and with

,

In modern times, the image
of redemption has proven to
be the most powerful of all.

the ongoing suffering and evil in the
world. The resolution was a transfor-
mation of the idea of Exodus into
spiritual fulfillment. "The kingdom of
God is within you." Salvation is not of
this world. Armed with this promise,
Christianity reached out all over the
civilized world. Today, more than one
billion people are shaped by Christian
values. Thus, the event of Exodus
transformed the values of a major frac-
tion of the world.
The same Exodus model — the
promise of deliverance and a God who
deeply cares for humanity — gener-
ated the religion of Islam. Islam sees
itself as a successor to Judaism and
Christianity, but it grows out of the

Continued on Page 40

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