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October 26, 1990 - Image 64

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-10-26

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

I TORAH PORTION I

Temple Emanu-El

Temple Emanu-El

in cooperation with

Wayne State University

The Cohn-Haddow
Center for Judaic Studies,

Wayne State University

••
•••
•••

THE C01111AbbOW
CENT E R FOR

presents

VISITING ARTIST SERIES

A CONVERSATION WITH
ANTON SHAMMAS

Israeli Novelist
Author of ARABESQUES

Sunday, October 28, 1990 10-11:30 a.m.

Temple Emanu-El

14450 W. Ten Mile, Oak Park

Brunch Provided
No Charge

Open to the Community

Inquiries: 976-4020

The Center is a cooperative effort of the University
and the United Jewish Charities of the
Jewish Welfare Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.

LAS VEGAS NIGHT

• Black Jack • Roulette • Craps
• Over and Under • Beat the Dealer

sponsored by

CONGREGATION B'NAI ISRAEL

4200 Walnut Lake Rd., W. Bloomfield
(1 block W. of Orchard Lake Rd.)

Saturday, October 27, 1990, 8:00

a.m.

Donation $5.00

Door Prize Drawing
COLOR. TELEVISION

For further information, call
the synagogue office 681-5353

64

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26, 1990

M1700863R

Morality Enjoins

Continued from preceding page

Abraham retorted, "If they
cannot speak, or move, or
understand, then why do peo-
ple bow down to them, why do
we traffic in idols? Let your
own ears hear the words that
your lips have spoken."
Abraham did not hesitate
to challenge the idols wor-
shiped by other gods. He
was the first iconoclast, the
first smasher of idols. He had
the courage of his convictions.
The fact that, in his civiliza-
tion, everyone worshiped
these symbols of the deity did
not deter him from revealing
their impotence.
The Jewish people are the
seed of Abraham. If we are to
be true to the great heritage
which our forefathers granted
to us, we must accept the
challenge of rejecting the
paganism of our time. This is
our destiny.
What forms of paganism
persist in a society that has
moved so far beyond the
Sumerian culture in which
Abraham lived and traveled?
The idols of the ninth decade
of the 20th century are not
crude images; instead, they
are ideas and principles so
universally accepted that
they are rarely questioned
and hardly resisted. They are
such a familiar part of our
social landscape that few of us
have ever rejected their claim
upon our lives.
One of the most pernicious
idolatries of our time is the
seduction of following the ma-
jority, sometimes worshiped
as "everyone is doing it."
We have come to rationalize
and justify immoral or repug-
nant behavior by believing
that it reflects current trends
and expresses current prac-
tice. But truth and morality
are not determined by opi-
nion polls. They are
discovered by the geniuses of
the human spirit, validated
by the experience of countless
generations and confirmed by
the highest vision of man and
God.
As Jews, we were never im-
pressed with majorities. We
defied Pharaoh; we challeng-
ed the Greeks; we fought the
Romans; we preserved our
separateness in the midst of
Catholic Europe. No one
could persuade us, as a peo-
ple, that "everyone is doing
it" is a moral argument.
There is a great deal wrong
in American culture. One
sees a decadent streak in
American life that spews
forth pornography, drug
abuse and depravity.
Sometimes these are justified
on grounds that they are legal
or, if they are not, they are so
widespread they are no longer
considered objectionable.
Parents of teen-age

youngsters confront these
questions in a very intense
way. Young people point to
the flagrant use of illegal
drugs and alcohol by their
contemporaries and, indeed,
by many adults, and question
the validity of the rules and
restrictions that they are ask-
ed to accept. What do we say
to those who argue — "That's
the temper of our time" or
Everybody's doing it."
We dare not bow down to
this idol. To be a Jew is to be
a separatist. It is to stand
apart from, and then to
elevate the society in which
he lives. We stand apart to be
reminded of the values of our
heritage, to be renewed in
Judaism's high sense of what
life ought to be. We need to

Lech Lecha:
Genesis 12:1-17:27,
Isaiah 40:27-41:16.

tell our children that morali-
ty sometimes requires that
we stand alone. But in so do-
ing, we achieve the gift of self-
respect that is our most
precious and enduring posses-
sion. We need to tell ourselves
that to be Jewish is to be dif-
ferent, distinct and unique.
The Jewish way of life as
defined by our heritage is
more compassionate, rational,
ethical, sensitive and just
than the way most people
around us live.
If we permit ourselves to be
condemned to live by majori-
ty rule, we descend to the
lowest level in American
society.
Not the world, but we,
should determine what is best
for ourselves. And when
necessary, we should over-
throw the idols to which so
many bow down. 0

INN•I

SYNAGOGUES Im•••

Temple Women
Host Bazaar

Temple Beth El Sisterhood
will host their 7th annual
Holiday Bazaar 10 a.m. - 5
p.m. Nov. 5. Over 50 vendors
will be selling educational
toys, infants' clothing,
Judaica, jewelry, art and
leather goods.
Proceeds from the bazaar
will enable the Sisterhood to
meet special needs of the con-
gregation. Funds raised from
this bazaar will complete the
purchase of a specially
designed chuppah commis-
sioned from a Toronto artist.
There is a charge and a
light lunch will be available.
For information, call the tem-
ple, 851-1100.

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