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December 02, 1988 - Image 6

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

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Not Forgetting

December 6 marks the first anniversary of one of the proudest
moments in the long struggle on behalf of Soviet Jewry — the historic
national rally in Washington attended by several hundred thousand
American Jews.
Despite the improvements of glasnost, emigration is still a mere
trickle compared to a decade ago, when several hundred thousand
Jews were able to leave the Soviet Union. There are still large
numbers of refuseniks, who have been denied permission to leave,
and there is widespread repression in the Soviet Union against Jews
who wish to practice their religion openly.
One of the lessons that has been learned over the years is that
public and media attention on the issue of Soviet Jewry does mat-
ter to the Kremlin. So our task is clear. We must raise the issue again
and again with congressional and other public leaders, and we must
join together to make our voices heard in support of our brothers
and sisters in the Soviet Union. This community did more than its
share when called upon last year; this year the crisis remains and
we can do no less.

tical result of their efforts may be a major rift within the Jewish
community. If the Law of Return is amended as proposed, the ma-
jority of the Jews in the world will feel religiously disenfranchised.
lbday, when there is still much hatred in the world toward Israel
and the Jewish people, we have wasted too much energy and anger
attacking each other, our fellow Jews. Too many non-Orthodox Jews
are busy Orthodox-bashing, and too many Orthodox Jews are insen-
sitive to the feelings of their brethren.
The miracle we must all strive for this Chanukah, is to believe
in ourselves as a people and to have faith in our unity, despite the
current bitterness. Perhaps when Jews all over the world, Orthodox,
Conservative, and Reform, light that first Chanukah candle Satur-
day evening, they will sense the common bond that links us to one
another. Perhaps the candles' glow will help us realize that all we
have is each other and that there are too few of us, and we are too
precious, to risk a split.
We need to have the faith to transcend our differences and to
light the menorah, together.
Happy Chanukah.

Chanukah Prayer


We all like to think of Chanukah, which begins tomorrow even-
ing, as a time of mitzvot and miracles, a festival commemorating
the victory of the small over the many, the pure over the impure,
light over darkness.
What we do not like to acknowledge is that Chanukah also marks
the victory of zealots — for the victorious Maccabees were zealots
of the first order — seeking to preserve religious tradition in the face
of overwhelming opposition.
There are those who would draw the analogy to the current con-
troversy over the Who Is A Jew issue. They might assert that the
small band of Orthodox leaders advocating the amendment to the
Law of Return, in the face of nearly universal opposition, are modern-
day Maccabees. After all, they are seeking to maintain tradition
against overwhelming odds.
But one could also suggest that though these Orthodox leaders
may truly be fighting for Jewish unity, in seeking to maintain
Halachah as the common denominator for religious issues, the prac-



Cartoon, Editorial
Missed The Point
The cartoon that appears on
the editorial page of your Nov.
18 issue is reminiscent of
those that appeared 45 years
ago in Der Steurmer.
It seems that the liberal
media elite is all for
democracy unless, of course,
the benighted Israeli elec-
torate should choose can-
didates that this elite disap-
proves of.
Your editorial that is on the
same page speaks of an im-
plied recognition of Israel in
the recent declarations
emanating from Algiers. Ap-
parently, George Habash and
Yassir Arafat disagree. In
separate interviews on Nov.
15 they both deny any such
implied recognition of Israel.
Mr. Peres has described this



document as deliberately
vague and meaningless.
The same week that this
declaration was made, Israel
apprehended seven terrorists
from the Popular Democratic
Front For the Liberation of
Palestine, headed by Naif
Hawatme, who also sits on
the Palestine National Coun-
cil. They were attempting to
infiltrate into northern Israel
in order to take hostages and
wreak havoc.
Who then shall we believe?

Dr. Herschel Schlussel

A Solution For
Who Is A Jew
No one is questioning the
authenticity or the
Jewishness of members of the
Jewish faith who are of the
Conservative or Reform per-
suasion! They are all Jews,

and we are one people! The
problem has to do with the
State of Israel, not with
America or any other part of
the world .. .
The problem arises with
Jews of the Diaspora who
wish to make aliyah. Some of
these may be Conservative or
Reform converts and would
therefore have difficulty get-
ting into Israel. There is a
simple solution to this
Various aspects of Jewish
religious life are relinquished
by the Conservative and
Reform movements to the Or-
thodox — kashruth for exam-
ple. Why not leave conversion
to the Orthodox as well? If so-
meone approaches a Conser-
vative or Reform rabbi and ex-
presses a desire to convert to
Judaism, why doesn't that
rabbi convene an Orthodox

beth din (court) and ask them
to handle this matter?
The beth din could circum-
cise the candidate for conver-
sion, give him instructions,
etc., and bring hiT/her into
the Jewish faith. Then, he/she
would be acceptable by all, he
or she could marry any Jew in
the world, and if they wish,
they could make aliyah with
no problems! .. .
Of course, there is a strong
likelihood that the convert in-
structed by the Orthodox
might opt for Orthodoxy
himself? .. .

Rabbi Jack Goldman
West Bloomfield

Questions Remain
In Pollard Case
lb its credit, The Jewish
News continues to keep its
readers updated with infor-
mation on developments in

the Pollard case, most recent-
ly in a Nov. 18 article by
David Holzel on Bernard
Henderson's appearance at
the Jewish Community
Center Book Fair. Despite all
that has been written and
said, perplexing and disturb-
ing questions remain .. .
Commenting negatively on
the objectivity of The Jewish
News, with respect to an arti-
cle by Emanuel Winston as

Continued on Page 12

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