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October 14, 1988 - Image 34

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-10-14

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We Are Moral

Continued from preceding page

mankind reaches the depths
of depravity.
One of the most difficult
questions Aristotle had to
tackle, given his notion that
God neither enters history
nor issues commands, was a
justification for ethics. In the
end his ethical structure is
based on an "if" ethic. If I
steal from you, you'll steal
from me; if I kill you, you'll
kill me. For society to func-
tion and survive, a law of
ethics is necessary.
Necessary, but neither
divine nor absolute. Thus, in
a later generation, the
Aristotelian logic hit a dead
end when it came face to face
with Nietzsche's system. An
"if' system only works with
people of equal stature, but
not when one is more power-
ful than the other. Nietzsche
understood two things: in the
world there are "superbe-
ings" who are not afraid of
others; and that a world
without God ultimately leads
to destruction. When his
madman runs around crying,

"God is dead," this figure has
gone insane precisely because
with God dead, no ethic ex-
ists; everyone can do what he
wants, or at least superman
can exploit weaklings with
absolutely nothing to fear.

Before he is given the cove-
nant of the rainbow signify-
ing that God will never
destroy the world, Noah and
the subsequent generations
are commanded to live by a
specific code of ethics. But the
bottom line of the system is
the human "created in the
image of God?' Without this
belief, floods are always
around the corner. Only when
we understand that the per-
son facing us is created in the
image of God — not just a
pawn to serve our needs — is
there a possibility of a true
ethic that can withstand the
temptation to listen to the
snake charming us with our
godlike powers.


But it must all begin with
one_ image — that man is
created in the image of God.

SYNAGOGUES l'imimum ■

Genealogist Rabbi Stern
To Speak At Beth El


Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern of
New York will be the scholar-
in-residence at the seventh
annual Rabbi Richard C.
Hertz Institute on Reform
Judaism Oct. 21-22 at Temple
Beth El. Rabbi Stern, an
historian and genealogist,

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bis: How the Colonial Jews
Observed Their Judaism?'
Rabbi Stern is a graduate of
Hebrew Union College, where
he earned his doctorate in
American Jewish History.
The former placement direc-
tor of the Central Conference
of American Rabbis where he
served from 1964 to 1980, he
became a specialist in Jewish
genealogy. Since 1950, he has
been the genealogist of the
American Jewish Archives
and is the author of
Americans of Jewish Descent.
All lectures for the seminar
will be held at Temple Beth
El. The public is invited and
there is no charge.

Kol Ami Hosts
David Linder

Rabbi Malcolm Stern

will give three lectures on the
theme, "In Search of Your
Jewish Roots?'
At 8 p.m. Oct. 21 Rabbi
Stem will speak on "How and
Why We Jews Survive: From
Abraham to Temple Beth El?'
At the Ibrah convocation at
9:30 a.m. Oct. 22, his subject
will be "You Can Trace Your
Jewish Roots!" At services
Oct. 22 Rabbi Stern will
speak on "Jews Without Rab-

Dr. David Linder, the father
of Ben Linder who was killed
last year by a Contra ambush
in Nicaragua, will be the
guest speaker tonight at Ibm-
ple Kol Ami.
Dr. Linder will discuss the
influence of Judaism on Ben's
life, focusing on social justice
issues. He also will speak
about the lawsuit the Linder
family filed against the Con-
tra leaders responsible for
Ben's death.
For information, call R-o-
seanne Dimond, 962-0466
ext. 270.

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