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January 11, 1991 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-01-11

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

EDITORIAL

Trouble In School

Akiva Hebrew Day School has had to re-
vise its land contract with the Southfield
Public Schools . . . again. (See Page 14.)
Yavneh Academy is estimated to be more
than $30,000 behind in its rent to the Jew-
ish Community Center. In the not-too-
distant past, Yeshiva Beth Yehudah staff
experienced payless pay days and ad-
ministrator Rabbi E.B. Freedman says the
school is now $500,000 in debt.
Contributing to the day schools' financial
woes are the special services being provid-
ed to Soviet Jewish emigre children. As
discussed in our Close-Up article Dec. 21,
the Yeshiva estimates it will spend
$66,000-$80,000 this academic year on 28
Soviet students enrolled in its Academy for
New Americans. That still leaves $420,000
in other financial problems for the school.
The Soviet Jewish students are exacer-
bating the difficult financial condition of
Detroit's Jewish educational system. But
the Soviet influx is not the problem.
The Detroit Jewish community has yet to
decide what to do about its educational
programs. Seventy-one years after the
United Hebrew Schools were consolidated,
the community is still debating funding for
community-sponsored educational pro-
grams, the day schools and the indepen-
dent synagogue and temple schools.
The Jewish Welfare Federation's edu-
cation task force studied the problem of ed-

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ucational delivery and educational funding
for three years and now the Federation will
hire a consultant for further study. It
sounds like politics entering the picture as
various groups protect their areas of inter-
est:
Should Sinai Hospital be sold and the
proceeds be used to upgrade local Jewish
education and solve all the community's
short-term financial ills? Do the growing
numbers of Reform Jews in Detroit give
less to the Allied Jewish Campaign than
their Conservative and Orthodox counter-
parts because their temple schools receive
no funding from the Campaign? Should the
Agency for Jewish Education — with lim-
ited enrollment in United Hebrew Schools
and the Midrasha College of Jewish
Studies — receive $900,000 of the $1.6
million allocated to education from the
1990 Allied Jewish Campaign? Is the
AJE's role in helping other schools and in
teacher education being ignored?

Butzel Article
Was Appreciated

The easiest path, the one that bypasses
the tough questions and all the politics, is
the status quo. But the status quo is par-
tially to blame for the alarming trends of
assimilation, intermarriage, and lack of af-
filiation with the Jewish community.
Remember those boring days at Hebrew
school? Your children do. But will your
grandchildren?

Thanks for printing that
stirring story, "And So It
Was," (Dec. 21) by that sterl-
ing personality, Leonard
Simons.
I hear that Mr. Slomovitz
has retired. I can't believe it.
He may have poor sight, but
he remains a man of great vi-
sion and insights.

74,

_Sr

&itita°0

LETTERS

Rabbi Samuel M. Silver
Delray Beach, Fla.

The Day
Of Judgement

As Jan. 15 approaches, the world grows
increasingly anxious and fearful. Will
there be a war in the Mideast, or will there
be a diplomatic resolution to the Persian
Gulf crisis that began with Saddam Hus-
sein's invasion of Kuwait in August?
More perplexing, is one who believes that
there will be no war an optimist or a pes-
simist? Certainly, no decent person wants
to see the bloodshed that will result from a
Mideast military conflict. But there are
many who believe that if a diplomatic solu-
tion is found that allows for Saddam Hus-
sein to remain in power, then war will have
only been postponed, not avoided. And that
war, when it comes, will be even more
destructive because Saddam will have de-
veloped nuclear weapons.
There are many supporters of Israel who
feel that a war now, as horrible as it may
be, is preferable to a war later. Now, the
United States and most nations of the
world are united in their opposition to Iraq.
And Baghdad does not yet have nuclear
arms.
The fear is that if Saddam outlasts the
United Nations' Jan. 15 deadline —
whether or not he removes his troops from
Kuwait — he will be the hero of the Arab
world, having stood up to the mighty
United States and championed the cause of
the Palestinian people. And he will have

6

FRIDAY, JANUARY 11, 1991

Rabbi Schach And
Holocaust Blame

time to develop the nuclear capabilities to
wield untold destruction in the region.
What can we do besides wait and worry?
One age-old Jewish response to danger is
prayer, whether it be on an individual or
collective level. The Council of Orthodox
Rabbis sponsored communal prayers last
Shabbat, finding comfort in the Psalms.
Consider the words of Psalm 71: "For mine
enemies speak concerning me, and they
that watch for my soul take counsel
together, saying, 'God hath forsaken him;
pursue and take him, for there is none to
deliver.'
"0 God, be not far from me. 0 my God,
make haste to help me. Let them be
ashamed and consumed- that are adver-
saries to my soul."
Whatever our level of faith, it is instruc-
tive to reflect on the psalmist's, and
Judaism's, recurring theme: though our
enemies seek our destruction, the God of
Israel will protect His people.
The day of judgement is near. Now is not
the time to seek secret solutions with our
enemy or to link the Palestinian conflict to
his aggression in Kuwait. The world has
given an ultimatum to Saddam and must
be prepared to back its words with action, if
necessary. If Saddam is not stopped now,
the danger and destruction he represents
will only increase.

Man takes it upon himself
to interpret the word of God,
and when he sees the fear he
instills in the minds of other
men, he takes it a step fur-
ther and enpowers himself to
actually "speak for God." This
kind of behavior is offensive
to one's soul!
A good account of this is
found in the recent
newspaper articles regarding
the furor over Rabbi Eliezer
Schach's remarks concerning
the Holocaust. To some weak
soul, statements made by
Rabbi Schach would have
them believe they actually
are responsible for their own
fate, and that it was not the
fault of Hitler; it was not the
fault of the Nazi army; it was
not the fault of a world that
failed to recognize the power
behind the destruction of the
Jews.
Rabbi Schach writes, and I
quote, "The Almighty keeps
a balance sheet of the world
and when the sins become too
many, He brings destruction.
We don't know how long His
patience holds out."
And now, Rabbi Schach has
brought one more plight upon
the Jews . . . It seems to me
that the Almighty has a bet-

ter way of expressing "love"
for mankind .. .
They call it a "quirk of the
electoral system" that Rabbi
Schach also is the kingmaker
of Israeli governments. Does
Rabbi Schach have this power
at all? Does Rabbi Schach
have the power to judge
mankind? Does Rabbi
Schach, in his self-fulfilling
prophecy, have the power to
violate the spirit of the
Jewish people and does he
have more power than God
Himself? .. .
We as Jews have been
fighting for freedom of
religion. According to Rabbi
Schach's statement, there is
no freedom of religion. I am a
Jew; I am a man; I am free to
choose; and I myself choose
my heart's desire, freedom!

Phil Ash
Southfield

The Slomovitz
By-Line Is Needed

Turning the front page of

The Jewish News and glanc-

ing at Page 2 leaves us with
an uncomfortable, eerie feel-
ing. No longer will we see
Philip Slomovitz's by-line.
Nor will we be able to read his
articles, so full of insight, of
Jewish history and of Jewish
pride.
Our best wishes go out to
Mr. Slomovitz and his family.
May he be able to continue
his service to the Detroit com-
munity, to the Jews in this
country, in Israel, and all over
the world — until the prover-
bial ah hoondred and

tzvantzig.

Sally and Morton Horwitz
New Haven, Conn.

Editor's note: Mr. Slomovitz
will continue to write occas-
sionally for our Opinion page.
He has an article on page 7
today.

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