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June 01, 1990 - Image 53

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-06-01

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

A WORKSHOP FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS

MIDRAS11A-COLLEGE OF JEWISH STUDIES

with

presents

DR. PETER MACHINIST

MIDRASHA SUMMER INSTITUTE

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF BIBLICAL AND ANCIENT
STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

THE SANCTITY OF THE LAND OF ISRAEL:
WHEREIN LIES THE HOLINESS OF THE HOLY LAND
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"ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE SETTLEMENT OF ISRAEL or
DID JOSHUA AND THE ISRAELITES REALLY CONQUER THE LAND?"

SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 1990

obedience to Jewish law,
Jews "should certainly say
or do nothing which could
even imply that we regard
public pornography or public
blasphemy to be either
morally acceptable or moral-
ly neutral."
He agreed there is little
dispute as to what con-
stitutes blasphemy. He said
Halachah forbids public
degradation of the doctrines,
symbols and rights of non-
idolatrous religions, a
classification which rabbinic
sages have long applied to
Christianity.
In regard to pornography,
he said, Jews should look to
Jewish elders they respect
for guidance in specific
situations, or to the civil
courts.
Asked how Jews should
react if a court found a
specific item did not con-
stitute pornography, Novak

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He agreed there is
little dispute as to
what constitutes
blasphemy.

maintained that Jews
should abide by Halachah
anyway. According to
Halachah, any sexually ex-
plicit material is por-
nographic.
Novak also rejected as "a
fundamental error" the
belief that the most liberal
social standards are ipso fac-
to Jewish. If the liberals de-
fend Mapplethorpe's explicit
photographs as art, Jews do
not have to follow their ex-
ample in the name of the
battle against censorship, he
said.
For many such Jews,
Novak declared, "art has
become their religion."
Novak, who describes
himself as a traditional
rabbi, severed his ties with
the Rabbinical Assembly,
the organization of Conser-
vative rabbis. He is now co-
ordinator of the Panel on
Halachic Inquiry of the
Union for Traditional Con-
servative Judaism, an in-
dependent organization that
began as a response by some
Conservative rabbis and
scholars to what they con-
sidered a theological left-
ward drift in the Conser-
vative movement. ❑

Instructor:
Rabbi Rod Glogower, Rabbi of the Hillel Or-
thodox Union and Adjunct Lecturer in Judaic
Studies, University of Michigan.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

53

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