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April 18, 1986 - Image 35

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-04-18

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

35

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n n

BETCHA CAN'T BUY
JUST 1!

have always invoked the 'God of
our Fathers,' not of our
mothers," said Schindler, who
stressed Reform's view that "all
changes (in Jewish practice)
must be born of necessity and
conviction." He said the pat-
rilineal decision was a princi-
pled assertion of the equality of
men and women, and a response
to the anguish of the children
who considered themselves
Jewish but were pushed into a
no-man's land between Jews and
Christians.
Schindler issued a plea for
mutual tolerance and called for
concrete steps to improve rela-
tions between the groups, in-
cluding exchange of ideas and
pulpits, joint studies, and a reg-
ular nonbinding religious forum
where policies and possible
mutal compromises could be
explored. He concluded with a
reminder that "words like Or-
thdox, Reform, secular ... are
adjectives .. , the noun is Jew."
Ira Silverman, the president
of the Reconstructionist Rabbin-
ical College; criticized Rabbi
Lamm for not appearing on the
same platform with him. "I am
troubled that we have to speak
in a series, never appearing to-
gether," he said. "Am I not
Jewish? Am I traife? That's the
way it feels."
Asserting that no one group
has a "monopoly on the truth,"
he called for continuing
plualism in bridging the gap be-
tween tradition and modernity.
For the sake of community, he
said that he and other Recon-
structionists are prepared to
make compromises to enable
traditionalists to live with the
situation, but said that such
compromises must be a two-way
street.
He said that Reconstruc-
tionism's fundamental devotion
to equality requires a commit-
ment to patrilineal descent and
he called upon the Orthodox and
Conservative movements to con-
sider change. Criticizing the in-
equality of traditional Jewish
divorce, he said that efforts
must be made "to make Jewish
divorce a more attractive and
meaningful option."
Silverman said that "Jews
today should not adhere to the
rulings of a rabbinical elite, but
should judge themselves and re-
construct their Judaism for
themselves."
Dr. Gerson Cohen, who will
retire this summer as chancellor
of the Jewish Theological Semi-
nary, the Conservative institu-
tion, took exception with the
underlying premise of the con-
ference that Jews today were in-
•creasingly divided. He said that.
has never been as much
unity n Jewish history" as now,
ity
un
primarily because of the state of
Israel which "has done more to
unify Jews than any single phe-
nomenon."
"The present alarm," accord-
ing to Cohen, grows out of the
increasing assertiveness of Re-
form Judaism and the decision
of Orthodoxy to confront them
Continued on next pdge

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