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December 02, 1988 - Image 11

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

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

111

fires at the winter solstice
when the sun is farthest from
the equator. However, no mat-
ter what their origin, the
Chanukah lights are a most
fitting symbol of the festival's
real message. They represent
the Temple candelabrum
which Judah and his
followers had rekindled as a
symbol of rededication.

wrought by God at this
season, and that the lights
are not to be used for any
utilitarian purpose — "they
are only to be seen."
Even though the story ap-
pears in the Book of the Mac-
cabees, the lights are not
mentioned. Some scholars
believe that they were an
adaptation of a prevailing
custom at the time of lighting

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World Zionist Press Service.

m••••"'"''''"'"mi OPINION

I

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'Who Is A Jew'

Continued from Page 7

issues, Israelis and Jews
elsewhere agree, such as op-
position to arms deals for
hostile Arab nations. On
other issues there is a divi-
sion of opinion in both places,
such as whether to build or
not build more Jewish set-
tlements in Judea and
Samaria. But on this matter
and almost this one alone,
there is a nasty polarity
whereby most Israelis accept
the need for one universally
acceptable standard and large
segments of the Diaspora
view this as an affront to
their own positions.
If it were not such a central
key to our own Jewish self-
definition, believe me, we
would drop it like a hot
potato. If we agree that there
is room for only one set of
- criteria, then it is so difficult
to accept that at least in this
instance, the standard must
be one that is acceptable to all
Jews, and not just to some (as
the Reform patrilineal ruling
which Conservative and Or-
thodox — and many Reform
Jews reject)?
It is only natural that the
citizens of Israel determine
who is a Jew in this context,
and who is entitled to
automatic as opposed to
naturalized citizenship. A
large plurality of Israelis feel
that only Orthodox conver-
sion is sufficient insofar as
the Law of Return is concern-
ed. A Knesset majority will
very soon reflect this.
We are not attacking
Reform and Conservative
Jews or rabbis, God forbid. We
want them to understand. We
are disturbed by threats to
stop United Jewish Appeal
contributions if this law is
passed, or to ban Knesset
members who support it from
Reform temples. We do not
even find it arrogant that
Jews who do not live in Israel
wish to dictate our policies to
us, through coercion as well
as persuasion. We are happy
that they care enough to want
to have impact on us.
The bottom line remains,

,

however, that we are the ones
on the front lines. Not just
against our Arab foes but also
in the battle against assimila-
tion and fragmentation. By
clarifying the Law of Return
to confirm that Jews are those
who are born of Jewish
mothers or who have become
Jews according to halachic
standards, history will record
we have taken a major step
forward in advancing Jewish
unity, not fragmenting it.

NEWS

Long-Time
Refusenik,
Tufeld, Dies

New York (JTA) —
Refusenik Isolde Tufeld, who
was allowed to leave the
Soviet Union 11 months ago
for medical treatment, died of
a brain tumor in Jerusalem
last week, according to the
Union of Councils for Soviet
Jews and the National Con-
ference on Soviet Jewry. She
was 57 years old.
After 10 years of refusing
the Moscow mathematics and
physics teacher permission to
emigrate on the basis of
"state secrecy," the Soviets
granted her a three-month
emergency medical visa to
the United States last
December.
Tufeld was operated on im-
mediately at Johns Hopkins
Medical Center in Baltimore
in a 14-hour procedure.
During that time, the
Soviets refused to allow her
husband, Vladimir, to leave.
However, in May they
relented and gave him a tem-
porary visa. The couple were
reunited in the United States
With their son, Igor, who im-
migrated to Israel in 1977.
The family left the United
States together and arrived
in Israel on May 26. Isolde
Tufeld was admitted to
Hadassah Hospital in
Jerusalem.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

11

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