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April 04, 1986 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-04-04

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

22 Friday, April 4, 1986

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

LOCAL NEWS

,? •

M.

NDREW

LAWRENCE KRUGEL, M.D.

Who Is A Jew?

,

Continued from Page 1

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Rabbis Kirshner and Roman.

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questioning that children of Zionists on a kibbutz in Israel,
that they are not Jewish?"
these marriages were Jews."
Many people, he said, believe
Rabbi Kirshner recounted the
long development of Jewish the question of conversion and
Who is a Jew are problems for
written and oral law over the
the rabbis to solve. "But we
past 2,000 years which codified
won't be able to solve it by our-
the tradition of matrilineal des-
selves," he said. "There are too
cent in Judaism, whereby chil-
dren are considered Jewish if many egos involved."
Reaching the heart of his
their mother is Jewish. "But in
argument, Rabbi Roman looked
the 1980's, our Reform brethren
at the audience of 175 persons
ask us to end what we deem
and said it included some indi-
holy," he said.
viduals that he personally had
Quoting Maimonides -- the
converted to Judaism. "Can I
authority for talmudic law is in
say to theni now that their con-
its ultimate acceptance through-
version was invalid?"
out the world -- Rabbi Kirshner
He said modern life in North
said the Reform movement
"suggests that we return to our. America "challenges us to deal
with the quality of Jewish life,
biblical roots" and reject the
not quantity. The question is
tradition of the last 2,000 years.
not Who is a Jew but What is a
"We will have mixed marriages,
which is what our Reform Jew." Open identification with
Judaism, he said, is a valid
brethren are*trying to do open-
"statement of conversion" for a
ly. Reform granted their rabbis
years ago the right to inter- "Jew by Choice?' "This is differ-
ent than the Judaism of my
marry if they chose to do so. But
the children are mamzerim -- grandparents, but they did not
born of a forbidden relation- have to deal with this melting
pot," he said.
ship."
"The number of mixed mar-
"We are not hearing a request
(from Reform) to return to pat- riages are increasing in horrible
rilineal descent," Rabbi Kir-
shner said, "but a request for
either/or, in which either way is

Part II
OK." He said this policy will
lead to even deeper divisiveness
On
Monday
within the Jewish community
and more open debate over Who
The three-part series on
is a Jew. "No one will know if
"Unity Within Diversity,"
their daughter or son is marry-
will continue at 7:30 p.m.
ing a Jew" under the Reform
Monday at United Hebrew
policy, Kirshner said.
Schools main building. Rabbi
He advocated a return to the
Elimelech'Goldberg of Young
accepted policy of matrilineal
Israel of Southfield and Rabbi
descent and supervision of the
David Nelson of Cong. Beth
conversion process. He also ad-
Shalom will discuss "The
monished the audience that
Woman's Role in Synagogue
Jews have a sacred obligation to
Life." Series co-chairman
treat converts kindly, with a
Matilda Rubin will serve as
sense of devotion and respect,
moderator.
and with a sacred obligation to
On April 14, the series will
never remind them of their
conclude with "How Do We
former status.
Bridge the Gap Between the
Rabbi Roman refused to re-
Traditional and Non-
peat or challenge Rabbi Kir-
Traditional Communities?"
shner's analysis of Jewish law
Rabbi Haskell Lookstein,
and history on matrilineal des-
president of the New York
•cent and conversion. He chose,
Board of Rabbis, and Rabbi
instead, "to respond on an emo-
Daniel Syme, former De-
tional level."
troiter and vice president of
Pointing to a picture of a pen-
the Union of American He-
sive David Ben-Gurion on the
brew Congregations,' will be
walls of the United Hebrew
the speakers. Rabbi Efryi
Schools' auditorium, he told how
Spectre of Adat Shalom
Ben-Gurion's son had married a
Synagogue will serve as mod-
non-Jew who never converted.
erator. • \
The family lives on a Kibbutz in
The programs are open to
Israel. "Who would dare say to
the public at no charge.
Ben-Gurion's grandchildren,"
Rabbi' Milian- Wilted; niviage 'as
"
...61.1..11aadia.thhad•E'


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