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Questions For Us All
Many of us have more than four questions run-
ning through our minds as we sit down for seder
with friends and family Saturday night. It's al-
most as if we wish the Haggadah was rewritten
to have a space for contemporary questions,
queries about issues in our lives or about the con-
dition of the world.
Will April 13 really be the beginning of peace
between Israel and the Palestinians? Will Syria
take an active role in regional stabilization? Will
the killing of soldiers, civilians and children come
to an end?
On other fronts, we ask ourselves what hap-
pens a year from now, five years from now when
the euphoria of Schindler's List's Academy Awards
domination is only a memory. How do we take
the tidal wave of Holocaust interest generated by
the movie and keep it going day to day?
Other more soul-searching questions: When
am I going to work on myself instead of finding
relief in the problems of others? Passover is a time
when we encourage our children to ask questions.
We also should look at this as an opportunity to
examine how the traditional four questions ap-
ply to our lives. These are four possible attitudes
toward life that are best illustrated by the story
of the four sons; that of the wise son, who knows
what to ask; the wicked one who refuses to ask
even though he knows the question; the simple
son, who knows the question but is indifferent;
and the ignorant son, who doesn't know the ques-
tion and is unable to ask.
All of these questions can be a guide for us. They
help us ask in our attempt to understand a He-
bron massacre, a peace treaty, hunger in the
world, and the good news of spiritual growth and
the joy of being together as a family.
Our exodus from Egypt has enabled us to ask
these questions in a setting of freedom. We are
free because we continue to ask the four ques-
tions. Seeking those answers, those truths,
according to the Bible, will keep us always
free as individuals and as a people. They are ques-
tions not just reserved for biblical times but
for all times.
Being together is wonderful. But understand
that this is more than making a charoset sand-
wich. It's more than getting through the Hag-
gadah as quickly as possible. The questions. It's
about the questions.
Let the youngest ask them. But let the youngest
also hear the oldest asking, as well.
I am outraged at Baruch Gold-
stein's deplorable actions. I con-
demn the actions of Baruch
Goldstein. However, they were
the actions of one desperately
ill and frustrated man. I do not
buy into the collective guilt that
The Jewish News portrayed in
the March 4 issue.
I do not understand how The
Jewish News could not find
space to even mention the four
yeshiva students gunned down
by Rashid Baz. One of these
TH E D ET RO IT J EW IS H N EW S
Paying For Day Schools,
What Is The Answer?
The very moment our community asks, "How vi-
able is the tradition of not denying any child a
Jewish education?" is the moment we give our
death notice as a people.
But this is exactly what Hillel Day School, and
perhaps other area religious schools, face as
mounting costs for quality teachers and curric-
ula drive the price of a Jewish education beyond
reach for many families.
Schools such as Hillel are not trumping up costs
as a way of keeping anyone out. If costs are con-
tinually cut back, there is less to pay good teach-
ers, and the parents who complain about their
child's education often will be the ones angry about
Martin Gene, Hinds president, was besieged
by concerned parents at a recent school meeting
to discuss tuition increases.
"For years," he said, "we were identified as a
community school. But as the years have gone on,
the definition of community has become a mis-
nomer. The community doesn't support this
school; the parents do."
Mr. Gene went on to say that community
shouldn't always be defined as the responsibility
of Federation. The Conservative community, he
said, should bear the responsibility for a Conser-
vative day school, too.
We agree that the Conservative movement
should do a better, more complete job of fund rais-
ing and support for its day schools. However, we
also know that many Jews, be they Conservative,
Reform or Orthodox, are so financially strapped
by day-school costs that to ask for more is a form
We witnessed two years ago as Yavneh Acad-
emy, a Reform day school, closed with a lack of
support from area temples and the Reform com-
Federation's role also cannot be blamed com-
pletely. How many times in the recent past did
Federation rescue Yeshiva Beth Yehudah from
possible financial disaster?
Still, Federation has to be part of the answer.
Its recent decision to keep three more percentage
points of the budget in this community instead of
going to Israel is a good start. Let's hope it will re-
visit that decision and take more aggressive ac-
tion as soon as possible to invest even more dollars
in local needs. Also, afternoon religious schools
are seen by many as a viable alternative. For
many families, this might be true. But there is no
way to underestimate the value of a full-day's sub-
mersion into Jewish issues, history, morals, Bible
and Hebrew language.
There has to be a way to come together, to take
leadership and find ways of helping our fami-
lies afford this choice. How many young men and
women can credit their day-school education for
their active, thriving Jewish lives? The answer:
The number will diminish unless Federation,
and all of the denominational communities, step
forward, exchange ideas and work on a plan.
Shame on all of us if we let politics and religious
and personal differences get in our way now.
Maybe Federation isn't responsible for coming
up with all the money needed to make day schools
affordable. But with its personnel and its re-
sources, we suggest that it bring educational lead-
ers together and plan this through with urgency
and immediacy and be willing to shoulder more
of the community's share of the cost.
If our neighbors cannot afford day school in
1994, what will it be like in 1999? Who is going
to be educated? Will it be a matter of socio-eco-
nomics; or will it remain as our community
founders saw it, as the right of every Jewish child?
citizens of Germany (in the
name of crime control, ala the
The settlers have been en-
couraged to settle in these dis-
puted "territories" by the Israeli
government (whether these ac-
tions were correct or not), and
the fact is that it is an ex-
tremely dangerous situation for
these families. They are con-
stantly exposed to the threat of
death from Arabs' murderous
actions that occur daily. To dis-
arm these people would be to
condemn them to death.
I, more than anyone, want
shalom for Israel once and for
all, but I am objective enough
to realize that good feelings,
wishing, praying, or trust in
God will not bring shalom.
Now, more than ever, the old
Roman axiom of "Let those who
seek peace, prepare for war"
must be adhered to, to insure
the very existence of Israel.
Israeli Arabs march In prayer on
March 14 in memory of the Hebron
students has since died. Is this
your idea of political correctness
in reporting? (Just a eu-
phemism for moral incorrect-
Are these students any less
victims of terrorism than the
victims in Hebron? Both of
these atrocities were commit-
ted by terrorists. Let's define
our terms here. Terrorism is
terrorism. I condemn terrorism
in all of its forms, by whomev-
I am offended by the wimp-
ish babble of disarming the set-
tlers! How can Jews support
gun control in any form after
what happened in Nazi Ger-
many??! As the Warsaw Ghet-
to Uprising unequivocally
proves, the Holocaust never
could have happened to an
armed populace; and the first
thing Hitler did was disarm the
It was with great sadness that
I read the article by Rabbi Alon
Tolwin, "A 'Sensitive' Man Cries
Out With Action" (March 4).
I will grant Rabbi Tolwin's
statement that those of us here
in the United States can't imag-
ine the daily pressures that ex-
ist for our Jewish brethren
living in Israel. However, his <
shameless apologetics on behalf
of a Jewish mass murderer can-
not go unanswered.
The bottom line is that this
rabbi seems to be saying that
there are times when we are al-
lowed by Judaism to act in di-
rect defiance of Jewish
Halachah that forbids us to kill
other human beings unless it is
to save our own lives. Certain-
ly this was not the case with a
mosque filled with Moslems at
Ironically, the act performed
by the Jewish doctor was rem-
iniscent of Amalek who at-
tacked defenseless Hebrew
women, children, sick and el-
derly, and will forever be the
symbol to Jews of supreme cow-
ardice — this, taking place on
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