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December 13, 1985 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-12-13

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

„TFi t 99-roij JiEWI:SH, NEWS

We're going
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Friday, December 13, 1985

Special Purchase!

1 1

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Judaism is the belief that we
are "one nation" in any more
than the most general of in-
terpretations. We are what we
believe as well as what other
people define us to be. When I
was growing up, prior to 1948,
there was discussion as to
whether Judaism was a religion,
a nation, or a peoplehood. This
discussion has not changed since
the establishment of the State of
Israel.
The reaction in your original
editorial is not surprising. Who
are these learned gentlemen
who dare to suggest that God
may not hear the prayers of
Jews who do not worship in
"approved" synagogues? They
are people who have chosen to
follow a very narrow interpreta-
tion of a belief. The majority of
Conservative and Reform Jews
who read the article are more
likely to have the feeling, "Well,
there they go again." I am sure
that the majority of your
readers did not suddenly revert
to the beliefs of their Orthodox
ancestors (which all of us have),
nor will they change their
places of worship.
The problem is much more
serious than anyone is willing to

really consider. In Israel, Rabbi
liahane raises hackles by
suggesting that, in the future,
the Arab population of Israel
may cause a problem. He cham-
pions a solution which is too
drastic for most of us. If there is
a potential problem, such rejec-
tion will not negate the issue.

The same principle applies in
our own country. There is a
growing feeling that there may
eventually be a split between
those Jews who are religiously
observant and the larger group
who follow more liberal and
Conservative beliefs. This is the
real issue. Attempts at a
dialogue are now being consid-
ered, at which time some degree
of "detente" may be reached be-
tween these two degrees of be-
lief. I doubt that any degree of
unification is likely to take
place.

This does not suggest that
either side is "right" or "wrong,"
and it is certainly preferable to
engage in this type of debate in-
stead of having to unify because,
at some time in the future (God

forbid), we may again find our-
selves in a society which prefers
no Jews.

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For the past few years there
has been a constant deluge of
articles, reports and demog-
raphics noting the survival
crises facing the Jewish com-
munities throughout the Dias-
pora. Knowledgeable Jewish so-
cial scientists armed with sub-
stantial documentation and
computerized statistical proj-
ections are increasingly alarmed
by the results of their inquiry.
Yet Jewish leadership
through its spokesmen and paid
communal professionals con-
tinue with essentially the same
planning and programming de-
spite the mounting evidence of
failure. We are told by those
who have assumed the responsi-
bility for our future that current
trends — zero population, in-
termarriage, assimilation, etc.
— regardless of how threatening
will ultimately be corrected.
They have also suggested that
our adversities only strengthen
our ability to adjust to change.
That we as a people have al-
ways endured in spite of great
peril ...
I, for one, have lost faith in
the ability of our "planners"
whose efforts on behalf of their
communities are too often predi-
cated on the gentiles' interpreta-
tion. Nor am I personally in-
terested in their yet unrevealed
plans based on the studies of
their "experts" and committee
findings.
What would be of value
though, in light of the dismal

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A short time ago, the feature
article in The Jewish News was
titled "We Are Two"...
Since the obscene ad put in
national Jewish publications by
the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of
the U.S. and Canada advising
Jews not to attend High Holy
Day services in Reform or Con-
servative synagogues, both sides
have stepped up their attack on
each other.
In the past issue of The
Jewish News, a group of stu-
dents sent a letter to the paper
charging that a Reform rabbi
misinterpreted the Torah por-
tion for the week. Immediately
following this letter, another
letter signed by an Orthodox
rabbi made uncalled-for remarks
against Rabbi Alexander Schin-
dler. ...
It seems to me that spokes-
men for the various ritual
branches of Judaism must meet
and try to come to an under-
standing. This attacking each
other must stop.

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