10% SENIOR CITIZENS DISCOUNT (Except Specials)
says that being Jewish is like be-
ing a U.S. citizen. One could be
a good citizen or a bad citizen,
but citizenship is a legal status,
arbitrarily assigned either by
birth or naturalization rituals.
But for Reform, being a Jew is
more a matter of "residence," of
One Reform rabbi, though he
insists on the traditional conver-
sion requirements of circumci-
sion and immersion, pointed out
that personally, "I've always
said that a person who called
himself a Jew is a Jew."
Another member of the con-
ference said of the Orthodox
view, "They're stuck with Jews
for Jesus, who have Jewish
mothers, being defined as Jews,
whereas Shoshana Miller they
cannot accept. That's their prob-
lem. My definition ofKlal Yisrael
excludes those who are Chris-
tians and includes those who are
properly converted by Reform
rabbis — according to the stan-
dards of the Reform rabbi who
performed the conversion."
"The Orthodox refusal to ac-
cept as Jews either our patrilin-
eal offspring or our converts,"
Stern told the conference, "bears
the same logic, according to
their principles of religious
truth, as the ordination of
women and patrilineality bears
logic in ours. The task at hand
is how to walk around such dif-
ferences rather than resolve
them." He said, to loud applause,
that "any consideration of re-
scinding the resolution on patri-
lineality is entirely beyond the
realm of possibility."
Stern said that "if the Ortho-
dox, or even the Conservative,
decide to investigate the gen-
ealogy of a prospective bride or
groom and that investigation
discloses that the person in
question is Jewish according to
Reform patrilineality but not
according to traditional hal-
achah, I for one have no quarrel
with their requirement of conver-
He recommended, however,
"another approach espoused by
Jewish tradition, which is: not to
ask the question:'
He warned of the dangers of a
proposed national Bet Din
which "with all good intentions"
might seek to "reconcile what is
essentially irreconcilable and
thereby only make the battle
Expressing a view held by
many of the rabbis at the con-
ference, Stern said the Orthodox
will find ways out of the prob-
lems. The thrust for unity in
some segments of the Orthodox
community, he said, will not
allow Reform to be written off.
In the question period follow-
ing his address, Rabbi Ellenson
said he would be prepared to
argue that the halachic re-
quirements of circumcision and
immersion in a mikveh be re-
quired of Reform converts "if the
RCA were to officially repudiate
the positions of Rabbis Moshe
Feinstein and J. David Bleich."
Feinstein and Bleich state
that "halachah recognizes the
validity of a conversion only if
performed in' the presence of a
qualified Bet Din" composed of
three men who accept the divini-
ty and binding authority of the
Written and Oral Torah in its
In any potential agreement
with the Orthodox, autonomy
will be an issue. Unlike the Con-
servative Rabbinic Assembly,
which can expel members for
performing intermarriages or
recognizing patrilineal descent
or allowing conversions without
circumcision and immersion, the
CCAR has no such authority
over its members.
15600 W. 10 MILE RD.
AT GREENFIELD (New Orleans Mall)
AT BECK RD.
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Sun. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Mon.-Sat. 6-4, Sun. 7-4
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OYSTER BAR &GRILL
Formerly the Vineyards
29110 Franklin Rd. • Southfield • 357-4442
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78 875 Franklin R ad • a J Northwestern & 12 Mile
Coming August 5
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2 Blks. S. of Birmingham Theatre
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