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March 31, 1989 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-31

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

PURELY COMMENTARY

Vegetarianism: Haggadah And Knaidlach

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor Emeritus

I

n the generations of jubilation over
the Passover, when a habitual
absentee from family visits would
consistently rush home for the Seder,
the punning about him was:
"Er maint nit die Hagode, er maint
die kneidlah" — "he is not inclined for
the Haggadah but for the matzah
balls."
This has not been a denigration and
an intention to call him a gourmand
(fresser). On the contrary, it is a recogni-
tion of his being a gourmet, an authori-
ty on good food. Furthermore, the
Passover seder tradition encourages it.
There is no seder without food, and the
jubilation stems from the excellence of
the food for which an important func-
tion is assigned to the seder.
Because the popular knaidle — mat-
zah ball — can be prepared with dairy
qualities and need not be boiled in
chicken soup, the seder can gain the
privilege of being vegetarian. In that
fashion it can be as delicious as the
meat dishes. That's the vegetarian
claim, and the adherents to
vegetarianism prove it in a Passover
Haggadah with scores of appended
Passover recipes, and an accompanying
vegetarian volume that could claim the
status of a textbook on vegetarianism.
Ideals promulgated in advocating
vegetarianism are being conducted on
an extensive basis by the International
Jewish Vegetarian Society. The basic

principles in the extensive appeals are
parallel to the relationship
now incorporated as a traditional Hag-
Torah expects of the Jew
gadah with emphasis on vegetarianism.
towards God, because Torah en-
The Haggadah for the Liberated Lamb
shrined its ideal human not in
was edited by Roberta Kalechofsky and
the image of professor, scientist,
is filled with commentaries emphasiz-
doctor or academician, but in
ing the basic theme.
the image of the shepherd.
This Haggadah supplements the
While this is like a replica of the
earlier explanatory volume, Judaism
and Vegetariansim, which was edited by idealism of the National Association
Richard H. Schwartz, associate pro- Against Cruelty to Animals, it goes
fessor of mathematics at the College of much farther. It quotes many Jewish
Staten Island. Both works were publish-
ed by Micah Publications.
A new book makes a
The supporting data in the
vegetarian
seder a
vegetarian appeals are voluminous in
delicious
goal.
both books. A specifically appealing
declaration especially suitable for the
personalities on the subject, with em-
Passover Haggadah declares:
phasis on rabbinic lore. It commences
This Haggadah is both Hag-
with a divine admonition from Genesis
gadah and manifesto. It is osten-
1:29:

sibly for vegetarians and for
those whose knowledge of the
suffering of animal life in this
century divides them from a
public which has not addressed
itself to this problem, but it is
also for everyone concerned
with unbridled cruelty, it is for
all creatures who suffer, human
and animal, because any suffer-
ing can never not matter to the
God of Torah, because Torah
legislation and Jewish tradition
make a large accounting of
animal life which binds the Jew
in a reciprocal relationship to
the animal, based on respon-
sibilities and obligations

And God said: "Behold, I
have given you every herb
yielding seed which is upon the
face of all the earth, and every
tree, in which is the fruit of a
tree yielding seed — to you it
shall be for food?'
Such Jewish traditionalists as
Shmuel Joseph Agnon, Franz Kafka,
Isaac Bashevis Singer, I. L. Peretz and
the late Chief Rabbi Abraham Isaac
Kook, are listed among the vegetarian
adherents.
Here is the declaration of Rabbi
Kook which is quoted in the vegetarian
text in support of the ideal:
Those cruel systems of

philosophy, especially those
which in their extreme abstract-
ness have become disconnected
from human reality . . . have,
each according to its own
method, instructed mankind to
completely suffocate within
themselves any feelings of
justice or obligation toward
other living things.
They have naturally not suc-
ceeded, nor will they succeed
with all their logics and
sophistries, in changing the
natural proclivity toward the
just which man's Creator
planted within him.
And even though with
respect to animal life that feeling
remains at the moment the
sparks of a dim and flickering
ember hidden beneath a great
mound of ashes, it is still im-
possible for the philosophers to
deny the intuition in every sen-
sitive heart: that it is a general
moral failure of the human race
that they have failed to bring to
realization this right and exalted
instinct — that man must not
take the life of any living thing
for his own needs and
amusements.
There could be no better support for
vegetarianism than the numerous
recipes in The Haggadah for the
Liberated Lamb. There is no better proof
than the food delicacies provided with
Continued on Page 48

The State Of Israel's Ethics On Human Rights For All

A

ntagonism to Israel has grown
with the intifada. Especially in
the media, there seems to be a
constant desire to accumulate ammuni-
tion against the Jewish state and na-
tion. The U.S. State Department's
"Report on Human Rights" listing
alleged abuses in Israel are utilized in
the condemnations.
Significantly, there are portions of
that report which explain and provide
the data vitally needed for fairness in
judgements. These portions should have
been used and must be given the pro-
per distribution for the widest possible
knowledge. Here is that portion of the
text that has not received the necessary
recognition:

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
(US PS 275-520) is published every Friday
with additional supplements the fourth
week of March, the fourth week of August
and the second week of November at
20300 Civic Center Drive, Southfield,
Michigan.

Second class postage paid at Southfield,
Michigan and additional mailing offices.

Postmaster: Send changes to:
DETROIT JEWISH NEWS, 20300 Civic
Center Drive, Suite 240, Southfield,
Michigan 48076

$26 per year
$33 per year out of state
60' single copy

Vol. XCV No. 5

2

March 31, 1989

FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 1989

• "Israel is a parliamentary
democracy with a multiparty
political system and free elec-
tions:'
• "Public debate on issues of
concern to Israelis is open and
lively. A vigorous free press
scrutinizes all aspects of Israeli
life and politics."
• "All citizens are assured
freedom of religion by law."
• "Israeli law and practice
guarantee against arbitrary ar-
rest or imprisonment?'
• "The right to a hearing by
an impartial tribunal with
representation by counsel is
guaranteed by law."
• "Israel is resonsive to inter-
national and non-governmental
interest in its human rights
situation. The ministries of
Foreign Affairs and Justice have
specially designated Human
Rights offices, and other
ministries have officials who
respond to human rights groups
such as the Israeli League for
Human and Civil Rights and the
Association for Civil Rights in
Israel, as well as political action
groups such as Peace Now,
operate openly and without
government interference. The
government invetigates and
responds to most inquiries by

such organizations like Amnes-
ty International?'
• "The government permits
visits to Israel and the occupied
territories by representatives of
private international human
rights groups, as well as such in-
ternational bodies as the United
Nations Economic and Social
Council, the World Health
Organization, and the Interna-
tional Labor Organization (ILO).
In 1988, Israel accommodated a
vastly increased number of
visits from organizations and
persons inquiring into human
and civil rights issues
associated with the uprising n
the occupied territories?'
• "Women's rights in Israel
protected by the Equal Oppor-
tunity Law, which forbids sex
discrimination. The government
includes a senior advisor on the
status of women. One (previous-
ly two) of 12 Supreme Court
Justices is a woman. Women are
drafted into the army but do not
fill combat-related positions?'
• "Israeli Arabs have made
substantial educational and
material progress since the
founding of Israel:'
• "Israeli workers and
employers have freely establish-
ed organizations of their own

choosing. Israel has a powerful
free trade union movement, the
General Federation of Labor in
Israel (Histadrut), and a much
smaller rival federation. About
80% of employed Israelis (in-
cluding 70% of employed Arab
Israelis) are members of
Histadrut trade unions or
covered by collective bargaining
agreements?'
• "About 100,000 Palestinian
workers living in the West Bank
and Gaza work in Israel:'
• "Israelis representing
almost any point of view are free
to assemble and associate."
Jewish critics, more destructive in
their angered misrepresentations than
their non-Jewish counterparts — note
the occurrences in Ann Arbor — will do
well to memorize this portion of the U.S.
Human Rights Report. They will help
themselves and their fellow citizens by
studying also the other parts of the
report in which the cruel tortures
revealed in many lands, notably the
Arab-ruled, are the true challenges to
those who dehumanize their fellow
beings.
Those who keep making noises that
are so damaging to Israel, especially the
negatives in the media, compel Israel's
defenders to utilize the positives in the
human rights report in compulsively
defensive programs.

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