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February 09, 1990 - Image 43

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-02-09

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

amination may do well, but if
he has not worked to master
the material he will quickly
forget what he has learned.
The immigrants who came to
America from the shtetl often
had a better appreciation of
American freedom than those
who were born here, to whom
liberty was granted without a
struggle.
I have encountered converts
to Judaism, Jews by choice,
who have demonstrated pro-
found care for, and love of, the
Jewish religion to a greater
degree than some who were
born Jews, but care little and
know less about their
heritage. We value most
highly that for which we have
had to struggle.
The long, hard route
through Sinai helped the
Israelites appreciate Eretz
Yisrael, a love that has lasted
through the centuries, that
has become more intense
because of the difficulties en-
countered in returning to the
ancestral homeland. That
which is won through strug-
gle becomes more precious
than anything easily
attained.
The development of
character takes time. There is
no such thing as instant
maturity, instant education
or instant spiritual attain-
ment. Character is distilled
out of our daily confrontation
with temptation, out of our
regular response to the call of
duty. It is formed gradually as
we learn to cherish principles
and submit to self-discipline.
We need to understand Torah,
the laws of life, before we are

worthy to enter the Promised
Land.
Happiness in marriage re-
quires time and patience.
Love may come suddenly, but
true fulfillment in marriage
requires effort, tolerance and
time. There are marriages
that should end in divorce
because both parties sustain
pain and injury in the marital
bond. But I see some mar-
riages that should not have
ended in divorce because one
or both partners were too im-
patient to make the adjust-
ment that marriage requires
to develop the insight that a
good marriage entails and to
heal a relationship after it
had sustained injury. Many
people cannot wait long
enough to learn the
forbearance that marriage
demands.
Love for Judaism is not
born out of a product of an in-
stantaneous transforming
event. Love for Judaism is
nourished by devotion, study,
the observance of Sabbath
and Holy Days, striving for
moral values, the fulfillment
of mitzvot and sharing in the
welfare of the Jewish
commnity.
This appreciation of our
heritage is acquired slowly
and gradually on a founda-
tion of daily experiences and
encounters. Thus does the
Torah instruct us: "You shall
teach these words diligently
to your children, speaking of
them when you are at home
and when you are away, when
you lie down at night and
when you rise up in the mor-
ning." ❑

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William and Barbara Yoffee recently donated a copy of the first
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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

43

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