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September 05, 1986 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-09-05

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

Editorial and Sales offices at 20300 Civic Center Dr.,
Suite 240, Southfield, Michigan 48076-4136
Telephone (313, 354-6060

PUBLISHER: Charles A. Buerger
EDITOR EMERITUS: Philip Slomovitz
EDITOR: Gary Rosenblatt
CONSULTANT: Carmi M. Slomovitz
ART DIRECTOR: Kim Muller-Thym
NEWS EDITOR: Alan Hitsky
STAFF WRITER: David Holzel

Lynn Fields
Percy Kaplan
Pauline Max
Marlene Miller
Dharlene Norris
Phyllis Tyner
Mary Lou Weiss
Pauline Weiss
Ellen Wolfe

Lauri Biafore
Randy Marcuson
Judi Monblatt
Rick Nessel
Danny Raskin

Donald Cheshure
Cathy Ciccone
Curtis Deloye
Joy Gardin
Ralph Orme

C 1986 by The Detroit Jewish News (US PS 275-5201

Second Class postage paid al Southfield Michigan and additional mailing offices

Subscriptions t year - S21 — 2 years - S39 — Out of State - S23 — Foreign - S35


VOL. XC, NO. 2

Apartheid Action

The Jewish community has long prided itself, and rightly so, for its
leadership on issues of human rights and freedom. On the matter of
apartheid, an issue that demands a forceful, moral stand, we are proud
that the American Jewish Congress, the Union of American Hebrew
Congregations, the National Council of Jewish Women and the Jewish
Federation Council of Los Angeles are among the organizations that have
voted to divest themselves of holdings in companies that do business with
South Africa.
In Detroit, the limited South African holdings in the endowment
funds of the United Jewish Charities have not been debated.
Certainly divestiture is not a simple issue and there are compelling
arguments against such a move. Some say that economic sanctions would
be ineffective and may hurt blacks more than the Pretoria government.
Others worry about the effects of such a boycott on the 120,000 Jews
living in South Africa.
But the very fact that Jews in South Africa are, in a sense, held
hostage, underscores a lesson we should have learned 40 years ago: When
one group is vulnerable — marked, segregated, without legal protection
— everyone is vulnerable. Or as Elie Wiesel noted in his August 22
column for The Jewish News, "once set loose, hate cannot be contained
. . . Pushed to its limit, hate undermines and destroys not only its chosen
adversary, but those who practice it. Hate kills humanity in man before
it kills him."
In looking back on the horrors of the Holocaust, the Jewish
community has condemned not only the Nazi perpetrators but also the
majority of nations that remained passive. The argument that economic
sanctions against the German government would only harm European
Jewry would be viewed as superficial at best. Today, we have an
opportunity to act, to show our personal and collective support for
sanctions to bring pressure on the South African government and to end
the inhuman practices of apartheid.

Bold Strokes

It has been nearly ten years since Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt stunned
the world by making his visit to Israel. It was the ultimate gesture of his
career, and ultimately it cost him his life.
Shimort Peres attempted a similar gesture this summer with his trip
to Morocco. Peres has pledged to maintain his effort for peace, even after
he leaves the pinnacle of Israeli power next month when he and Yitzhak
Shamir are scheduled to change positions in the coalition government.
However, the bold efforts also must come from the other side. King
Hassan of Morocco invited Peres and was roundly criticized in the Arab
world. King Hussein of Jordan has moved cautiously, and has stayed
alive. The status quo will continue in the Middle East until the Arab
world stops using Israel as a means of hiding, or ignoring, internal
problems and peace is seen as a mutual benefit.


Factions Not A Threat
To Jewish Continuity


n recent months we have been
warned of the imminent demise
of the Jewish community due to
the increased number of factions in
our midst. We are told that Jewish
unity is at stake and that unless we
can erase our differences we are
doomed to the fall of the divided.
Of course, as a Jew and rabbi, I
am very concerned about the future
of the Jewish community. I. do - not
believe, however, that our future de-
pends on limiting the number of
Jewish groups that exist. European
Jewry, prior to the Holocaust, was as
divided a community as we have
known. Hassidim opposed Mitnag-
dim, both opposed Maskilim, reli-
gious Zionists opposed secular
Zionists, the neo-Orthodox opposed
the Reform and so on. The halakhic
authority of the leader of one reli-
gious community was rejected by
another. Yet with all this, the future
of European Jewry was not felt to be
threatened until pure evil gained as-
cension in the dominant society and
physical destruction began.
Why, then, do we fear for the fu-
ture of our modern Jewish commu-
nity? The answer lies in a thread of
the Jewish fabric which nowadays is
sadly wearing thin. Tradition
teaches that the fringes of every tal-
lit must include a thread of blue,
tehelet, but in thg course of time the
source of tehelet was lost. Our pre-
sent situation demands that the tal-
lit of every Jewish group include a
thread of ahavat yisrael, love of the
people Israel, but today we stand in
danger of losing this precious thread.
A tallit without tehelet is still a tal-
lit. A Jewish community without


Rabbi Price is executive director of the
Union for Traditional Conservative
Judaism in New York.

ahavat Yisrael, however, will dis-
The well-known midrash on the
destruction of the Second Temple in
Jerusalem does not say that it was
the number of factions among the
Jewish people that caused the
calamity. Rather, it was sin'at
hinam, groundless hatred among
Jews, that was to blame.
Strong beliefs are all too rare in
our day. We live in a democratic,

It was not factionalism
that caused the Second
Temple's destruction,
rather groundless hatred
among Jews.

non-ideological, secular society.
Nothing could be -more wonderful
than to see Jews passionately com-
mitted to their Judaism, be it Has-
sidic, Orthodox, Conservative, Re-
form, Reconstructioniat, or Havurah.
Contrary to popular logic, this would
be a sign of health, not sickness. It
would indicate that our Jewish
community is indeed pluralistic. No
one group need accept the actions of
another if this would require a
breach of its own principles. Ahavat
Yisrael demands, however, that
every group accept the right of
others to exist, even if their beliefs
conflict. It is the dangerous dismis-
sal of others which threatens us, not
the number of committed groups
amongst us.
We must deal with this problem
in our hearts and in the groups to
which we are committed. We must
take steps to open dialogue with
those who differ with us. We may
not agree in many areas, but the
contact with one another will in it-
self be of value. Agreeing to disagree
is as important as convincing an-
other to accept one's own position.
The doors must be opened between

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