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December 14, 1990 - Image 85

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-12-14

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

Retirement Sale!

1° 06

V500 5

Lillian Solomon, owner of the Added Touch, is retiring after
20 years. This spectacular sale is her gift to you .. .

30%•75%

a

. lia n4 3\•OWer

na- V1F
ret F
ail prices

chi) (\se\ 3

SHOWER
YOUR
CHILDREN

Dealers Welcome • Even the Fixtures On Sale

cosmological world. This
idea is based on knowledge
lodged in the Jewish faith."
Because it has been so
highly influenced by Ameri-
can society, Dr. Shokek said
this country's Jewish com-
munity "cannot be a messi-
anic community, but a
pragmatic one, not
apocalyptic, but materialis-
tic. The great paradox is
that this community has a
great spiritual thirst. It is in
search of itself."
Ultimately, said Dr.
Shokek, it is this alienation
from "authentic" Judaism,
this never-ending search for
what it means to be Jewish
rather than a life lived with-
in Judaism, that has defined
the American Jew. And this,
he said, has produced sec-
ond-rate Judaic Studies
programs in America.
But despite Dr. Shokek's
harsh criticism of Judaic
Studies, he did not dispute
its legitimacy, since it re-
flects the condition of Juda-
ism in the United States,
just as Reform Judaism
mirrors the condition of A-
merican Jews.
"If the great teachers of
Halachah and the Talmud
could have imagined the Re-
form movement, they would
have rolled over in their
graves. As I understand it,
the meaning of Judaism is
that each Jew is not allowed
to make the Shulchan Aruch
[the code of Jewish law] for
himself."
Dr. Shokek attributes
"authentic" Judaism to
generations suffering from
insecurities and crises in
foreign, inhospitable lands.
American Jews, living in a
generally accepting, tolerant
America, he said, lack these
perils. It is Israeli Jews, he
said, who "continue the
struggle of Exile today in
their homeland. Israel, sur-
rounded by 21 hostile coun-
tries, is a place of struggle
for survival every day of
your life. This promotes
such philosophical inquiries
as, 'Who am I as a Jew?' and
`What are my relations to -
other Jews?' To non-
Jews?' "
Judaic scholarship and
"authenticity" cannot pros-
per in America, predicted
Dr. Shokek, until American
Jews suffer fears similar to
those that plagued Jews for
millenia. Only then, he said,
will Jewish roots and Jewish
scholarship be firmly
planted on these shores. ❑

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

85

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