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March 25, 1994 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-03-25

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RACIST page 8

legal status, such as Arab and
Jewish citizens of Israel.
But this article is about the
Arabs living in the territories
gained by Israel in 1967 who
are not Israeli citizens. They are
indeed subject to military law,
living as they do in occupied ar-
eas because the Arab leaders,
Egypt excepted, have never
signed peace treaties with Is-
And the Jewish settlers, who
are Israeli citizens, are there
primarily as a security buffer
against the still-hostile Arab
lands bordering Israel.
What happened at Hebron is
horrific. But to let this event
blur the causes for the distinc-
tions between the West Bank
Arabs and the Jewish settlers,
or between West Bank Arabs
and Israeli Arabs, is to have
swallowed the anti-Israel pro-
paganda line. Then to jump
from there to the implication
that all of Israeli society may be
racist is to once more hand the
propagandists the prize they
have been working so hard to
achieve. And in a Jewish publi-
cation — shameful.
Margot Gardner

Bloomfield Hills

Vs. Motherhood

Your article on "Surgery, Moth-
erhood, Medicine and Shabbat"
(Feb. 25), was an interesting
glimpse into the thinking of the
dedicated Jewish physician/ca-
reer woman.
A great number of women in
our society work today, and the
numbers increase continually,
breaking barriers into profes-
sions previously reserved for
men only. A distinction should
be made, however, between full-
time Orthodox women physi-
cians and their secular
As Dr. Snider describes the
difficulties she encountered
while dating, "It was hard for
guys to handle a woman be-
coming a doctor." This is be-
cause Orthodox couples
generally have larger families,
and the women have addition-
al responsibilities maintaining
traditional roles as wives and
mothers. One must consider the
Shabbat and the Jewish holi-
days, which Dr. Reinitz de-
scribes as uncompromisable. On
a lighter vein, there are also the
wonderful traditions of baking
hamantashen and making
latkes for the various holidays,
which carry with them such
sweet childhood memories.
However, the differences be-
tween full-time career women
who are Orthodox, secular or
non-Jewish stop here. Regard-
less of denomination, it makes
no difference to a child why his
or her mother is not at home.

The question is whether a
woman with small children has
to work or whether she chooses
to do so. Can she take out time
to raise her children and re-
sume her profession later? Does
she work full time or part time?
Does she have excellent help?
According to Dr. Blavin, one
cannot excel simultaneously at
being both a physician and a
mother. "Prioritizing responsi-
bilities" is the key, she states.
In choosing to be a full-time
physician she may be a "very,
very good" doctor, but I fail to
see how she could also be a
"very, very good" mother when
she is absent most of the time.
I've heard a lot about super
women, but Fve yet to meet one!
Dr. Snider also asserts that
"domestic concerns, though
mundane, aren't trivial." Grant-
ed, "domestic concerns" such as
house cleaning and the like may
be mundane, but raising one's
children and being there for
them when they are growing up
— especially during the first for-
mative years of their lives — are
the most elevated of all respon-
sibilities. Any profession for a
woman becomes trivial in com-
From my own life experience
and from many years of teach-
ing young children in the school
system, as well as my own, I've
learned that everything in life
has a time and place. Once it
passes, it may never be re-
trieved. In a very few short
years, a child is grownup. If our
profession is too demanding,
we'll miss out on one of the
greatest joys in life — watching
our own baby grow into a per-
son whom we, and not our
babysitters, helped to mold and
Chances are, one's profession
will still be there long after the
children grow into adulthood.
After many years of working,
even a physician's job could be-
come "mundane." But by then,
it will be too late to say, "I could
have been the world's best
mom,' too."
If ever there is a question of
sacrifice, it should not be at the
expense of one's children. Very
likely, if we do not invest the
time with our children when
they are young, we will be
forced to do so later, but the re-
sults may never be the same.

Bracha Stein
Oak Park

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