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October 03, 1986 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-10-03

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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 48076-4138
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 275-520)

Second Class postage paid at Southfield. Michigan and additional mailing offices

Subscriptions: 1 year - 521 — 2 years - S39 — Out of State - $23 — Foreign - 535


VOL. XC, NO. 6

Freedom And Renewal

With the passionate sound of the shofar this Rosh Hashanah, our
ears — and our souls — will be attuned toward God, toward that
indefinable, yet pervasive Presence that has infused the Jewish
Experience for millennia.
There have been many interpretations of the blowing of the shofar.
One is that since the ram's horn was blown as a war alarm when the
Temple was destroyed, it reminds us to abandon the errors of our ways
lest we, too, succumb to disaster. Another is that since the horn will be
blown when the Messiah revives the dead, the sound of the shofar revives
our faith in the final victory of life and freedom over death, the ultimate
There have been many reminders of oppression this past year.
Despite his Nazi past, Kurt Waldheim was elected president of Austria.
Despite the threat of sanctions from the West and of civil insurrection,
South Africa has shown no inclination to dismantle its repulsive system
of apartheid. And despite the threat of more U.S. reprisals against those
nations that sponsor terrorism, there has been a resurgence in Europe in
the last few weeks of this most anonymous — and fearsome — form of
And yet, the spirit of freedom has not been cowed. The glorious July
Fourth tribute to the Statute of Liberty reminded us and the world
of our heritage and our legacy. Israel's continued quest for a
rapprochement with its neighbors has reminded us of democracy's ability
to survive in a hostile environment. And Anatoly Shcharansky's release
from the Soviet Gulag was a resounding triumph of the human spirit over
tyranny and injustice.
With the sound of the shofar this Rosh Hashanah, let us resolve that
freedom will be even more abundant in the year 5747, that the tyranny of
despots will be vanquished and our quest for spiritual fulfillment will
continue unabated and undeterred.
L'Shanah Touah.

A Year Of Reason

The year 5746 has seen numerous disputes within the Jewish
community, both locally and globally. None have been any more fractious
or protracted than the continuing problems surrounding the kosher meat
industry in Detroit.
The Jewish News has devoted many columns in recent months to
charges and counter-charges, the filing of a law suit, opinion pieces and
letters to the editor concerning two of Detroit's 13 kosher butchers. The
problems, despite the exposure and debate, have not gone away and may
be no closer to resolution.
Now it is time, with the New Year before us, to work even harder for
a solution to a nagging issue which affects vast numbers in the Jewish
community. It is time to tone down the rhetoric. The trust of the kosher
consumer must be increased, not shattered. Hopefully, a year from now
when we look back on the year 5747, we will find that a decades-old
problem has been eliminated for the betterment of the entire Jewish


Community Must Address
The Questions Of Bioethics


e Jews pride ourselves on
being highly informed
about all the important is-
sues that affect us as a community.
But some of the most crucial deci-
sions of our lives are being made
without adequate preparation or in-
I refer to such bioethical ques-
tions as the determination of death;
when, if ever, it is appropriate to
withhold or withdraw life support
systems; the ethics and economics of
organ transplants; and the right of a
terminally ill patient to refuse a
highly invasive resuscitation proce-
dure in a hospital.
My membership in the New
York State Task Force on Life and
the Law during the past two years
has forced me to confront the "last
frontier" of life: death and dying. I
strongly believe we Jews are ab-
dicating our responsibilities by fail-
ing to meet these extraordinary
medical and moral challenges.
Clearly, modern medical
technology is rapidly outrunning
many of our basic premises about
death and dying, and about medical
treatment in general. Although our
people's traditional toast is L'chaim,
to life, the truth is that we are be-
coming bewildered and depressed by
the awesome medical decisions we
are called upon to make for our-
selves and our dear ones.
Judaism commands us to pro-
long life, but does it also command
us to prolong the process of dying?
While we cannot hasten death in
any way, must we force a terminally
ill patient to live longer? The case of
the late William Schroeder, the arti-


Rabbi A. James Rudin, interreligious
affairs director of the American Jewish
Committee, is a co-author of the recently
published book on bioethics, Why Me?
Why Anyone?"

ficial heart recipient, is a haunting
reminder of the tragic human price
that is extracted in artificially ex-
tending life. When a medical cure is
no longer possible, should we stop
medical treatment and just try to
provide loving care, making the
patient's last days as comfortable as
The Jewish community is only
now beginning to discuss the estab-
lishment of hospices, centers of care
for the terminally ill. The Roman

Judaism commands us to
prolong life, but does it
command us to prolong
the process of dying?

Catholic community is far ahead of
us in this area of human compas-
Once we were certain what
death was — the cessation of brea-
thing and heartbeat. But today,
patients can be mechanically venti-
lated and respirated even following
irreversible brain stem destruction.
Is this truly life, or has medical
technology created an ominous new
category: the neo mort?
For too long, physicians and
other health care providers made all
the crucial decisions for a patient.
But today, many of us believe that
patients' rights, especially those in-
volving resuscitation procedures and
"living wills," must be respected.
Questions of fairness and justice
confront us daily. Is it fair for some-
one who seeks a heart, liver or kid-
ney transplant to jump out of the
national waiting line and appear on
television to solicit the aid of the
President's wife in order to obtain a
needed organ? How can we judge
that one person's life is more valu-
able than another's?
Is it fair to invest large sums of

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