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February 26, 1988 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-02-26

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

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criticism of the more tradi-
tional elements in Judaism:
"It is simply not so that all
Orthodox Jews do not
recognize what I stand for!" In
fact, some of the more liberal
elements within Orthodoxy
Jewry "are our allies," Bauer
stated.
Still, Bauer and other
Humanistic Jews are not like-
ly to join forces with the likes
of such Orthodox Jews as Rab-
bi Meir Kahane or the
Lubavitcher Rebbe,
Menachem Schneerson.
Bauer is visibly incensed
when discussing the latter,
whom he claimed once
described the Holocaust in
positive terms because it
removed a "gangrenous" part
of the Jewish body. "I think
that's terrible," Bauer said.
"That's advocating
something so horrible it can't
even be expressed in words!"
(That the Rebbe made such a
comment is vehemently
denied by Rabbi Yitschak
Kagan, associate director of
the Lubavitch Foundation of
Michigan).
And as for Rabbi Kahane,
the assertion by the Kach
Party leader that he is not a
racist is an outright lie, Bauer
said. He added that what the
rabbi really intends for the

Arab population is genocide.
Bauer is reticent to discuss
another matter relating to
the Arabs — namely the
situation in the administered
territories today. "But as
Humanistic Jews, we must
recognize the rights of the
Arabs to. self-determination.
HOW will be left up to the
politicians."
The opportunity to speak to
the "Who is a Jew" issue
draws a much quicker
response. "Now that," Bauer
said, "is right up our alley!'
Determining who is Jewish
by matrilinial or patrilinial
descent is "a silly invention,"
he insisted. Bauer said he
would define who is Jewish
according to whether one
wants to be a Jew and acts
like a Jew and has a commit-
ment to Jewish life. "And I
don't need a conversion for
that. I need a Jewish educa-
tion!'

On first hearing, Bauer's
positive declarations about
the nature of man paired with
his profound interest in the
Holocaust might appear to be
at odds with one another.
After all, if human beings are
so good, why did they stand
by silently in the face of the
mass slaughter of Jews?

The professor has an
answer for that one. It's not
that human beings are
necessarily good, but rather
that they have the potential
to be good.

The Holocaust is an ex-
treme example of evil, he
said, but certainly not un-
precedented in history and
definitely not a reason to turn
to God. In fact, Bauer pointed
to "the history of mutual
murder in the name of
religion," and the "unac-
counted millions who died in
the name of God" to counter
any such suppositions.
And this is the same God
whose name is used to justify
precise guidelines as to how
one must behave as a Jew,
and that is something Bauer
simply will not tolerate.

With halachah determining
so much in Israel, "we are be-
ing forced to observe things
we don't believe in," Bauer
said. Pointing to regulations
in Israel governing, for exam-
ple, exactly how one may be
married, Bauer called a com-
parable situation in the
United States "unthinkable!'

"It's time we got organiz-
ed!" he said, "and get this
thing to stop!'

Oak Park Merchants Anxious
For Final Link of 1-696

KIMBERLY LIFTON

Staff Writer

L

yubar Ostrovsky, like
many other merchants
in Oak Park who
operate a business near the
final leg of Interstate 696, is
eagerly awaiting the grand
opening of the last 7.9-mile
highway link.
Ostrovsky, who for six years
has worked at New York
Bagel on Greenfield Road bet-
ween 10 and 11 Mile roads,
believes business will be back
to normal by then —
whenever that is.
"This morning there were
just 12 big trucks in the park-
ing lot and nobody came in,"
she said. "It's hard to do
business when nobody comes
in. We'll be okay when the
highway is open, but nobody
really knows when that will
happen!'
Ostrovsky is only one of the
many sales associates in the
plaza who said highway con-
struction has harmed the
bagel business. But in the
long run, the retailers say,
business could improve
substantially.
"The highway will make it

easier for people in West
Bloomfield to get here," said
Avram Borenstein of Borens-
tein's Book And Music Store.
"We're a bit inconvenienced
now, but the highway people
are trying to accommodate
us!"
Construction crews placed
barricades in front of the
plaza along Greenfield Road
last month to prepare the
road for completion of the
long-awaited east-west
highway that will connect
1-96 at Novi in Oakland
County with 1-94 at Roseville
in Macomb County.

MDOT officials say traffic
will be congested in the area,
where about 40,600 cars pass
through each day, until the
highway opens in late 1989.
The projeCted cost of linking
the highway, which will run
unfettered for 28 miles, is
$420 million.
An estimated 66,000
motorists pass each day along
the Southfield Road highway
corridor, which is scheduled
to be re-routed for bridge con-
struction in July. It also
should be completed by the
fall.
Construction workers

finished a seven-lane bridge
above freeway construction at
Evergreen and 11 Mile Road
in late January, allowing
vehicles to move more freely
through the intersection.
In the past, Orthodox
Jewish leaders voiced objec-
tion to 1-696, saying it
would divide the community
near Ten Mile and Greenfield
that is populated by a number
of Orthodox Jews who
regularly walk to synagogue
through the area.
State highway officials said
the religious objection is
legitimate, and agreed to
build three landscaped decks
over the freeway from West
Lincoln Road to Gardner in
Oak Park so the Orthodox can
walk freely on Shabbat. One
deck is completed, and the
other two will be ready when
the highway opens, MDOT of-
ficials said.
Meanwhile, the Southeast
Michigan Council of Govern-
ments next month will offer a
24-hour hotline service for
residents who want to know
about construction
developments and road
detours. The number is
557-7696.

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