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July 07, 1995 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-07-07

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

INSIDE: DETROIT/ AFTER DECADES OF LONGING, A CHERISHED TRIP;
FAMILY/ A NEW, WEEKLY SECTION FILLED WITH GAMES AND ACTIVITIES.

75¢

9 TAMMUZ 5755/JULY 7, 1995

How The Other
Half Lives

What other religions have to say about intermarriage.

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM ASSOCIATE EDITOR

From Russia For Love

A West Bloomfield couple travels overseas to adopt.

S

JENNIFER FINER STAFF WRITER

I

ike so many newly mar-
ried couples, Jeffrey and
Nancy Weinfeld shared
the vision of building a
amily together. They antici-
ated moments of their baby's
rst words, first teeth and first
teps.
Last month, their dreams
vere fulfilled. Twice.
It happened first in a

Russian hospi-
Jeffrey and
tal where they Nancy Weinfeld
relish
adopted Ethan,
now 4 months parenthood with
Ethan and
old. Days later
Jordan.
it happened
again in a Russian orphanage,
where they adopted 15-
month-old Jordan.
"The trip was mentally and

FROM RUSSIA page 8

here's a strong smell of
There isn't much most rabbis
incense and a large, agree on today. Israel, of course
gold Buddha in the (but don't get into the peace treaties
back room. The figure or "Who Is a Jew?"). The impor-
has a pencil-thin mous- tance of Jewish education — but
tache that twists at the what exactly will be taught?
tips, seemingly floating
Intermarriage is the exception.
like the swirls of in- All three major movements sup-
cense that head ever port and encourage the position
upward, ever reaching.
that Jews marry other Jews. It is
Sahn Bul Sunim is sitting on the a religious commandment, a strong
floor near the Buddha. He is factor in keeping a marriage hap-
dressed modestly —
py and together,
he always is — and
and it is vital for a
wears no shoes inside,
child's identity.
signs of humility.
"Statistically,
Sahn Bul Sunim
children who are
(Mountain Buddha)
raised in a one-faith
is the head of the
household do best,"
Detroit Zen Center
said Lena
and a man traveling
Romanoff, founder
his own "spiritual
and director of the
path." He believes ev-
Jewish Converts
ery human being is
and Interfaith
on some kind of"spir-
Network, during
itual path" and
her recent visit to
should lead his life ac-
Detroit. "Children
cordingly: he should
who are raised with
strive toward kind-
nothing feel like
ness and bettering the Imam Karoub: Forbidding
nothing."
world. He should seek intermarriage i s like "removing
But like Sahn
an obstacle."
to improve himself
Bul Sunim, many
A marriage partner
other area religious
must, naturally, "be someone on leaders remain rather mystified at
this same spiritual path." But Judaism's emphasis on marrying
whether he's Christian or Jewish, someone of the same faith.
Muslim or another Buddhist is be-
'What I look for are the common
side the point.
factors — what will uplift and af-
"There are no prohibitions firm their values and strengthen
against intermarriage in their relationship," said Canon A.
Buddhism," Sahn Bul Sunim says. Gordon Okunsanya of the
"The way we understand it is that (Episcopal) Cathedral Church of
all the major world religions are on St. Paul in Detroit. "Who am I to
the correct spiritual path — pro- say 'no' to what God has brought
vided they are practiced correct- together?"
ly.
ahn Bul Sunim was born a
"We have different
Christian, but early on he be-
faiths only because peo-
gan questioning his faith.
ple are different. Some
When he found no answers,
people lean toward he started looking into other reli-
Judaism, some toward gions, and in his early 20s he em-
Christianity.
braced Buddhism.
"But all religions lead
Today, Sahn Bul Sunim heads
to the ultimate truth. the Hamtramck-based Zen Center
I don't think what where he lives, trains students
Christians call 'God' and presides over marriages. He
and Buddhists call has united interfaith couples, and
`Enlightenment' is any it's not unusual if neither part-
different."
INTERMARRIAGE page 18

PHOTO BY GLENN TRIES

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