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February 22, 1991 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-02-22

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Continued from Page 6

before the enlightenment of
True, the words "turn the
other cheek" come directly
from the New Testament. But
our religion also teaches
peace: Our religious heritage
includes the Golden Rule
("Do unto others as you would
have done unto you"). It is our
religion that teaches beating
swords into plowshares,
spears into pruning-hooks .. .
"nation shall not lift up sword
against nation, neither shall
they learn war anymore"
(Isaiah, 2:2-4).
These are ideals that do not
belong only to the Christian
world. I resent my people be-
ing represented as vengeful
I believe that Mr. Rosen-
blatt misinterpreted the in-
tent of the Av Harachamim
prayer. Nowhere in the 'Ibrah
are we commanded to take
revenge on our enemies. It is
God who will avenge us. Seek-
ing revenge against Iraq is
very different than Israel
defending itself. As Jews, we
are taught to feel compassion
for our enemies when their
blood is shed.
Our prayer books are full of
passages for and about
peace .. .
I, for one, prefer to see us as
the original champions of
peace, leading the world, as
the "chosen"people, in the
moral struggle toward the vi-
sion of a new world.

Maida Waldner

Royal Oak

Material World
Undergoing Change

Valentine's Day has passed
and have you noticed that the
usual outrageous material
gifts were replaced by tradi-
tional item such as: flowers,
roses, candy and a simple
Guess why? Welcome to the
'90s! We are not quite as flush
as we used to be.
Have you also noticed that
the days of BMW, Jaguar,
Porsche and Mercedes Benz
with lease payments between
$800-$1,200/month are star-
ting to churn our stomachs?
"Forget status, give me
positive cash flow."
More appropriate might be
Continental, Park Avenue,
Lexus, Infiniti, Cadillac; all
luxury, but at manageable
amounts one-half of the so-
called "status" cars.
Let's get practical, drive a
van or wagon until the kids
grow up. Who really cares
what anyone thinks! The days
of huge profits are gone.
Get the kids' education out
of the way and save for your
"golden years!" Let's all retire

comfortably and not worry
about what we gave away.
In addition, why are we
creating a spoiled generation
for our kids? Let's pay for
their educations and give
them something with which
to get started. The kids need
to understand true econom-
ics: jobs, money, cost of goods
— why should anyone get a
free ride?
Let's help them with their
cars at 16, and why shouldn't
they have a payment and why
not a Chevy Cavalier instead
of a BMW 325i convertible,
Vette or comparable? If they
can work, pay insurance and
car payments, more power to
Is it really important what
we received for Valentine's
Day? Let's get back to basics.
Let's value our family and
friends, and let's appreciate
how fortunate we really are.
This is what wealth is really
about .. .

Neal A. Berkowitz

West Bloomfield

Let's Extend
The Pacifist View

I enjoyed the Feb. 8 article
by Rabbi Marty Pasternak ex-
plaining how proud he is to be
a rabbi, rather than a
military man. He seems to be
such a nice person, and his
outlook so kindly.
I appreciate his humani-
tarian, pacifist outlook even
though I believe that it is an
incomplete way of looking at
conflict. The Jewish tradition
was never so unbalanced.
I used to agree with the
positions which Rabbi Paster-
nak now takes. I used to be
thrilled by the parts of the
Jewish tradition that seem
pacifist (like Isaiah 2:4), and
embarrassed by those parts
which seem to accept war as
part of the human condition
(like Deuteronomy 20 and
Maimonides Laws of Kings
Chapters 6-8).
I, too, took some smug
satisfaction in not knowing
how to operate instruments of
Then, one day, I realized
that I was free to live a nice
peaceful. life because other
people carried the rifle. If
those other people put down
their rifles, then I might not
feel so superior.
Imagine what would be the
fate of Israel, if her military
would be convinced to agree
with Rabbi Pasternak.
Remember that 50 years
ago, when Hitler's army was
ready to conquer Europe,
there were many people who
argued that the United States
should stay out of the war,
that war was unnecessary

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