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February 12, 1988 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-02-12

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

OPINION

For Service After The Sale
Come Buy a Car From My DAD!

LARRY KAPLAN

See
New Cars - Trucks • Used Cars - Leasing

Religious Identity

Continued from Page 7

(313) 355-6414

(313) 355-1000

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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1988

Without the substance of
some ritual, synagogue life,
education, philanthropic or
organizational ties, Judaism
has nothing to offer the next
generation, or the next one.
Even if we still call ourselves
Jews, nothing is what we will
become.

UP FRONT

Swastikas

Continued from Page 5

anti-Semitic vandalism this
year in reaction to the Palesti-
nian rioting in Israel and the
territories. But he cautions
Jewish institutions to avoid a
siege mentality. "The only
thing Jewish institutions can
do is to tighten security and
staff training. But the risk
factor does not justify making
our institutions into for-
tresses."
ADL publishes a booklet
with security suggestions,
and advocates increased out-
door lighting, security guards

if necessary and increased
police surveillance. Lobenthal
suggests that security can
also be increased by teaching
staff to be more watchful and
with the inexpensive installa-
tion of mirrors, door buzzers
and limiting access to one or
two doors.

Although Michigan record-
ed fewer anti-Semitic in-
cidents in 1987 than in 1986,
Lobenthal believes there is a
potential for more incidents
this year.

East Berlin Court
Sentences 'Skinheads'

*Plus tax, title, destination, offer expires February 29, 1988.



a way of life may do for them,
but may not suffice for their
children or their grand-
children. Religion without
substance cannot be very sus-
taining for long.
How much religion is
"enough?" Enough to make it
distinctive, to provide a moral
and ethical framework for
everyday life, to provide some
spiritual structure in our civil
lives. It has to be enough to
make it tangible and
understandable. A six-year-
old or 16-year-old must be
able to distinguish Judaism
from other religious
frameworks. Judaism is not
likely to disappear, but it can
become more meaningless. If
someone calls themselves
Jewish, but behaves in ways
that are indistinguishable
from everyone else, what does
it mean?

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than Protestants and
Catholics, in the formal sense
of observance. But the ethnic
ties of family and
neighborhood and tradition
still bonded Jews as a group.
Jews could take themselves
and their religion for granted,
and still be Jews. Today, some
Jews are becoming more
observant, and more
religiously invovled. But they
are a minority. The drift re-
mains in the opposite
direction.
Judaism, if it is to survive
today, must be more than an
aging ethnic group tied by old
world memories that become
more dim with each passing
generation. The less distinc-
tive and vibrant Judaism
becomes as a religion, the less
attractiveness and meaning it
will have. Judaism can
develop a self-perpetuating
and self-fulfilling cycle of
disintegration.
The Gallup poll must con-
cern us. The data are consis-
tent over time. Some may
delude themselves into
believing that being "just
Jewish" or an "ethnic" Jew
alone may satisfy their
religious needs. Perhaps such

Berlin — An East Berlin
court sentenced eight mem-
bers of a "skinheads" group to
jail terms of up to more than
three years for attacking rock
music fans and yelling Nazi
slogans at a church concert.
The official East German
news agency ADN reported
last week that the eight had
used brutal force and injured
many people "with blows and
kicks" when they attacked
the fans at East Berlin's Zion-
skirche (Church of Zion).

The sentences ranged from
three years and nine months
to one year and three months.
Four other "skinheads"
already have been jailed for
up to four years for their part
in the attack.
The "skinheads" are a
loosely formed group of young
toughs who wear Nazi-style
clothing and engage in
violent, often anti-Semitic
behavior. They have been ac-
tive in many Western coun-
tries.

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