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December 02, 1988 - Image 50

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

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


An Israeli Woman
Sees Divided Future


Special to The Jewish News


Shirley Stern. Sinai 110.. ittal Physician Reti.),Ta4

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inherited the commit-
ment to fortify sover-
eignty in the land of
Israel from my parents," said
Leah Shakdiel. Her recent
discussion in Ann Arbor,
"Jewish Sovereignty in Israel:
The Challenge and Frustra-
tion," addressed the Jewish
problem of modernity.
Shakdiel stands as a
pioneer social reformer. As an
Orthodox woman, she holds a
position on the Yeroham,
Israel, religious council, a
position traditionally held by
Shakdiel described her city,
with its small population of
6,000, as a microcosm of the
bigger problem facing Jews
today. "In Yeroham there are
Indian, Moroccan, Yemenite
and Iranian Jews," she said.
The pluralistic society con-
flicts with the foundation of
Zionist thought. "As a move-
ment, Zionism is a pater-
nalistic one started by a few
people who felt they must
decide the fate of all Jews,"
Shakdiel stated.
Judaic thought, in its incep-
tion, differs from modern
theories of equality, she said.
Judaism offers a concept of
equal duties, rights which
are earned by each member of
the community. Democracy,
however, considers its
members to have inalienable
rights which they are not re-
quired to earn.
Shakdiel understands
Zionism as a westernized
form of socialism with
democracy at its core. She pro-
vided an example of a Jewish
prayer leader to point out the
differing ideas of equality.
"The Jewish prayer leader
takes on the role of
messenger. He has no
authoritative or elevated posi-
tion over others," she said. In
leading prayer, he fulfills a
duty to the community and
attains rights as an equal
The Jewish conception of a
pioneer, she said, is someone
who inherits land only when
he receives permission from
God that he has taken respon-
sibility. He must fulfill his du-
ty to his fellow man.
Shakdiel views equality in
the Jewish tradition as a
blueprint for the modern
world. In its application, she
wants to bridge the gap be-
tween ideology and the social
institutions, such as the town
Her discussion also address-

ed the Arab issue in conjunc-
tion with the conception of
Israel as an independent na-
tion. "When speaking of
Israel, we say we are
autonomous and bear no rela-
tion to the outside world. We
blame the problem on the
Arabs," she said.
Shakdiel suggested that
peace in modern times re-
quires a look back to our
heritage. "The covenant bet-
ween God and man can teach
us how to live with others,"
Shakdiel said. We can incor-
porate their relationship of

"Abraham and Lot
made a pact and
separated the
land," Shakdiel

mutual respect into our rela-
tions with the Arab people."
She sees the Bible as an
allegory of Israel's future as
a Jewish homeland.
"Abraham and Lot made a
pact and separated the land,"
Shakdiel said. Her audience
was surprised by her com-
ment, which goes against
traditional Jewish thought.
Although Leah Shakdiel
sees Israel's sovereignty as a
struggle, she addressed the
issue with a positive deter-
mination. "Currently, it is a
state of things in the mak-
ing," she said. Shakdiel con-
siders Israel's problems a
challenge we must embrace;
one we can not afford to

m""mi NEWS Im•mwm"

Research Helps
Bar-Ilan U.

Ramat Gan — Income for
research programs at Bar-
Ilan University are now
generating more than 10 per-
cent of the school's operating
Patents from processes
developed at the university
and proceeds from licenses for
the manufacture of universi-
ty discoveries have become in-
come producers in less than
six years after the university
made a special effort in this
New products developed by
Bar-Ilan researchers include
ingredients for cosmetics, a
drug that combats AIDS, an
anti-oxidant being used to
preserve fods, an anti-
allergant, kosher gelatin and
a drug that may treat
Alzheimer's disease.

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