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January 28, 1994 - Image 50

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-01-28

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

50 years from now a
baby will be born with a rare
heart disorder.

The Chosen People
Accept An Obligation

RABBI IRWIN GRONER SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

T

Thanks to your bequest today,
Hadassah will be there io help.

When you put Hadassah in your will, you're helping people in need for
generations to come. We've always been on the forefront of healing, research,
teaching and youth rescue in Israel. Withyour bequest our future will be as
glorious as our past. Please write today for our free brochure " Legacy for
Tomorrow." Or call 1-800-880-WILL

HADASSAH

When there's a will there's a way.

HADASSAH, WILLS & BEQUESTS DEPARTMENT, 50 WEST 58TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10019

The Council of Orthodox Rabbis of Greater Detroit
Wants To Inform The Public That:

Some boxes of Cocoa Puffs Cereal made by General Mills do not have the OU symbol
on the box. This is due to the fact that they have, as free gift, special Cocoa Puff
cookies which are not made under Kosher supervision. This does not affect the
Kashrus of the cereal itself in any way. The Cookies are NOT Kosher.

Presidents Choice Diced Tomatoes and Crushed Tomatoes now carry a Hechsher on
the can.

Atlas Sodas are no longer Kosher certified.

Savings Plus Drink Mix are OK certified, including Grape Flavor.

When buying Tabachnik soups one must read the writing carefully right next to the
Chof K kosher symbol. Some of the soups are Meat, some are Dairy, and some are
Pareve. In each case it is stated what its status if.

Chocolate Chip Animal Cookies in the 12 oz. Noah's Ark box carries an OK. The
product is dairy, and should be marked OKD.

w

17071 West 10 Mile Road • Southfield, MI 48075 • 559-5005/06

Getting A Get

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The Council of Orthodox Rabbis of Greater Detroit wishes to inform
the Jewish public that a Civil Divorce without a Jewish Get is worth-
less according to Jewish law. A couple may not remarry in Jewish
law until after a Get.
You can arrange to have a Get by calling our office at Tel. 559-5005.

COUNCIL OF ORTHODOX RABBIS • MERKAZ
17071 West 10 Mile Rd. • Southfield, MI 48075 • 559-5005/06

he belief that the Jewish
people has been especial-
ly chosen by God to carry
out His purposes is promi-
nent in the Bible and in subse-
quent Jewish teaching. This
concept of the "Chosen People"
permeates much of Jewish ob-
servance, literature and litur-
gy. When a Jew is called to the
Torah, he recites the praise of
God who has "chosen us from
among all other nations and
given us His Torah."
This conception has been
challenged. Some Protestant
theologians refer disparaging-
ly to the God of Judaism as a
tribal deity, interested only in
protecting His own people and
not a God who is concerned with
the whole of mankind.
Enemies of the Jews have
long attempted to portray the
chosen people belief as a Jew-
ish claim to innate national su-
periority.
In the mid 1930s, at the very
same time the Nazis were pass-
ing anti-Semitic laws against
the Jews of Germany, George
Bernard Shaw said that the
Nazis with their doctrines of
racial superiority were merely
imitating the Jewish doctrine
of chosenness.
Our response issues from the
depth of our commitment to our
unique heritage. What distin-
guishes the Jew from all other
people is embodied in the idea
of the "Covenant" or Brit. This
is the agreement between God
and Israel by which Israel ac-
cepts the Torah. The agreement
is bilateral; if God selected Is-
rael, Israel consented to be se-
lected. God chose Israel; Israel,
in turn, chose God. The terms
of Covenant are contained in
the words of Torah, the accep-
tance and affirmation of God's
design for man's life. The
Covenant is the consciousness
of what the Torah demands of
man. It is man's response of "Hi-
neni" — "Here I am" to the voice
of Sinai, the collective accep-
tance of obligation.
The most definitive expres-
sion of the Covenant is found in
our sedrah "If you will hearken
into my voice indeed, then you
shall mine own treasure from
among all peoples ... and you
shall be unto me a Kingdom of
Priests and a Holy nation."
Election is not a divine favor,
but a task imposed. It is not a
prerogative, but an ethical
charge; not a divine title of

Irwin Groner is senior rabbi of
Congregation Shaarey Zedek.

rights, but a divine mandate of
duties.
The duties are to live in ac-
cordance with the word and
spirit of Sinai; to serve God in
thought and deed, to sanctify
life, to overcome evil, to be the
prophet of mankind, the ser-
vant of mankind and even
sometimes, the suffering ser-
vant of the Lord. With the
Covenant, Jews enter the are-
na of history as prophets of the
ideal society, as legislators of
the sanctified life, as challengers
of evil and singers of hope.
The Church took over the
concept of divine election from
the Jews. The early church
leaders did not deny Jewish
chosenness, rather they sought
to appropriate it for themselves.
Islam did the same. Christian-
ity and Islam had a love-hate
relationship with the Jewish
idea of chosenness. They loved
the idea, but they hated the
Jews for continuing to claim it
for themselves.
Jewish chosenness could nev-
er be understood as a doctrine

Shabbat Yitro:
Exodus 18:1-20:23
Isaiah 6:1-7:6,
9:5-6.

of racial superiority. Jews are a
people defined by religion, not
a race. Whoever assumes the
Jewish task, regardless of race
or nationality, becomes a mem-
ber of the Jewish people.
Jewish chosenness has al-
ways meant that Jews have be-
lieved themselves chosen by
God to spread ethical monothe-
ism to the world and to live as
a moral "light unto the nations."
All other meanings imputed to
Jewish chosenness are non-
Jewish and false.
The Torah nowhere states
that chosenness means superi-
ority or privilege. The Jews
were not chosen because of any
intrinsically positive qualities.
God chose the Jews "not be-
cause you are the most numer-
ous of peoples ... indeed, you are
the smallest of peoples." They
were chosen because they are
the offspring of our ancestors,
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
With regard to Jewish cho-
senness, we are not considering
a dogma incapable of verifica-
tion, but the recognition of his-
torical fact. The world owes the

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