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December 18, 1992 - Image 35

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-12-18

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

3loomfield, I am not reli-
gious; yet, I am a Jew.
However, 10 percent of the
Israeli population would dis-
'9 agree, for the basis of my Ju-
daism is cultural, not
religious. This small per-
,L tentage has a large say in Is-
raeli life. Already, the
country exists as a "Jewish
state" with Jewish laws, such
as no public transportation
on Shabbat (from Friday at
sundown until sundown Sat-
urday).
By the same token, Israel
can also be seen as a "state
' ofJews," 90 percent of whom
would prefer that the buses
run on the weekend, that
- movie theaters remain open
i on the weekend and that
Shabbat can be a weekend
and not just the Sabbath.
It seems odd that while the
majority of Israelis consider
themselves secular (non-re-
? ligious), they are governed by
laws of Judaism. While Is-
rael is a state of Jews (a
L -D country for the Jewish peo-
ple), this cannot be separate
from Israel, the Jewish state
(a country centered around
the Jewish religion).
Amid the confusion re-
mains the disparity among
answers to certain legal
questions. Especially com-
plicated is the determination
of which Jews qualify for the
Law of Return. At one ex-
treme, the ultra-Orthodox,
who make up a fraction of Is-
rael's religious 10 percent,
cannot even identify with
this law. In traditional black
dress, "Moshe" does not rec-
ognize the "State" of Israel.
He considers his home to be
simply the "land" of Israel
0 until the Messiah comes to
reestablish Israel as a coun-
try.
The religious Jew tests
other Jews against strict
rules to determine who is
"kosher" and thus deserves
° to live in Israel.
On the other hand, "Art"
wearing Nike Airs, Levi's
and a Tel Aviv University
sweatshirt, likely practices
cultural Judaism and would
be less definitive about who
he accepts as his new neigh-
bor in Israel. Art's only re-
quests: birth to a Jewish
woman or conversion to Ju-
daism by a rabbi.
The clash between these
two factions often tugs at the
cohesiveness of the State of
Israel. As a result, Israel

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