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August 21, 1987 - Image 42

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-08-21

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

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COLONY
MITEIRIORS

TEMPLE ISRAEL

A Congregation of Liberal Judaism
Invites You to Our Membership Open House
Sunday Afternoon, August 23rd, from 1 to 5 P.M.

Learn about our Religious School (Sunday) Classes; our Weekday
Hebrew School Program; our Nursery School and Weekday Enrich-
ment Classes; and our Newly-Opening Kindergarten Class.
Temple Israel has one of America's largest and best run school pro-
grams . . . clergy who are knowledgeable, sympathetic, caring and
concerned . . . lay leadership who are supportive of our Rabbis and
who themselves further Jewish needs in the synagogue and the
Jewish community.
Temple Israel is led by:

Rabbi M. Robert Syme Rabbi Harold S. Loss Rabbi Paul M. Yedwab

Cantor Harold Orbach

Joseph Poisson
Educational Director

For Information on Temple and Affiliate Group Programs and Ac-
tivities; for an Idea of Our Religious Philosophy; for Information on
Our Forthcoming Events and Programs, Stop in on Sunday, August
23rd, or Call

Frank L. Simons or Eva Shapiro 661-5700

TEMPLE ISRAEL

5725 Walnut Lake Road Just East of Drake Road

d2 FRIDAY. AUG. 21, 1987

Can Judaism Respond
To Feminist Criticism?

JANE R. LITMAN

Special to The Jewish News

I

was troubled to see an
article about me in your
May 29th issue ("Can A
Reconstructionist Rabbi Go
lb° Far?"). Although your ar-
ticle seems to imply that the
substance of this controversy
is the question of limits, I
believe it is rather whether
organized Judaism can fully
respond to feminist criticism
regarding the Jewish tradi-
tion's historical discrimina-
tion against women. It is im-
portant that liberal Judaism
integrate women not only in-
to its organization structure
as rabbis, cantors, and lay
leaders;but that it also accept
women's visions and ex-
perience into its histor-
iography and theology.
In terms of historiography,
this means that women of the
past — talmud scholars, folk
healers, moneylenders,
mystics, and midwives must
be given their place in history
alongside their male counter-
parts. In terms of theology, it
means that women's images
of the Deity must be given the
same credence as men's.
Of course most liberal Jews
accept that images of God are
psycho-social symbols, not
descriptions of any tangible
reality, and that they thus
reflect the values of our
culture. When such
masculine imagery for God as
"King" "Lord of Hosts," and
"Man of War," is considered
normative, but the introduc-
tion of the ancient Hebrew
feminine terms for the Deity
such as "Queen of Heaven" or
"Mother of all living things,"
is met with charges of "Ca-
naanite idol making" or
"statue worship," there is a
problem.

Although I see the goal of
modern Jewish theology as
moving beyond gendered im-
ages, male or female, the
hostility and hysteria with
which ancient Israelite
feminine God-images have
been denounced, and the per-
sonal attacks on me for using
such images in an experimen-
tal liturgical context, has
been a shocking experience. I
had hoped we as a people
were rather more
sophisticated than that.
I am pleased, however, to

Jane Litman is a rabbinical
student at the Reconstructionist
Rabbinical College.

Jane Litman

point out that the Reconstruc-
tionist Movement has been at
the forefront of women's
rights including its introduc-
tion of the bat mitzvah
ceremony, its ordination of
women as rabbis from the in-
ception of its rabbinical col-
lege, and the election of a
woman as head of its rab-
binical association. The
Reconstructionist Movement
continues to respond boldly to
the challenge of integrating
authentic Jewish tradition
and contemporary thought
and values. I have every faith
in the ability of Reconstruc-
tionism to deal respectfully
and thoughtfully with the
aspirations and goals of the
modern Jewish woman,
despite pressure from the
name-callers who seek to halt
the forward march of social
justice.

NEWS

I'm

Retrial Set
For Revisionist

Ibronto (JTA) — The second
trial of revisionist Ernst
Zundel, previously convicted
of deliberately publishing lies
about the Holocaust, will
commence Jan. 4, 1988.
A Canadian court in March
1985 convicted Zundel, a Ger-
man native living in Canada,
of one count of wilfully
publishing false information
likely to cause racial or social
intolerance.
Zundel published a number
of books and pamphlets, in-
cluding "Did Six Million
Really Die?" which claimed
that Zionists invented the
hoax of a Holocaust to extort
reparations from post-war
Germany. He also claimed
nobody had seen Jews being
gassed to death.

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