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September 29, 1995 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-09-29

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

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Fast Of The Just

"Surely you should divide your bread with the hun-
gry, and bring the moaning poor to your home..."

Isaiah 58:7

What if you woke up Yom Kippur morning to
learn that 45,000 people in the city had perished
overnight? Could you even comprehend a num-
ber equaling 11.5 percent of Detroit's population
falling to their deaths on the holiest day of the
No doubt, you would arrive at shul shaken
to your sinew, plaintively seeking responses to
the incomprehensible. Yet what words of solace
could your rabbi offer from the bimah?
And what if the rabbi announced to the con-
gregation during the sermon that this cataclysmic
event — these horrible deaths — were totally
preventable? Can you imagine the pain in your
Well, 45,000 or more citizens of the world will
die of starvation on Yom Kippur, and every day
of the year following it.
We live in a world where food is abundant, yet
with every rise and fall of the sun, people die of
hunger and malnutrition. Worse, most of the vic-
tims are children. And for every victim whose
life ends, there are countless millions of others
who walk the earth growing sicker and weaker
for lack of food.
With that in mind, we implore all of you on
Yom Kippur eve to arrive in synagogue and tem-
ple with bags filled for the Yad Ezra food drive.
The bags will be collected on Sunday, Oct. 8, by
volunteers. The food will be sorted, weighed and
shelved. All non-kosher food will be given to the
Food Bank of Oakland County in exchange for
kosher food.
Each year, the food drive brings in between
23,000 and 26,000 pounds of donated food for
Yad Ezra clients. In the past, enough food was
collected to provide for clients for two to three

Also, the Michigan Committee for World Food
Day on Oct. 12 will once again sponsor the 7 Per-
cent Solution, a one-day effort from area restau-
rants and the public to help feed the area's
hungry. Participating restaurants will donate 7
percent of their day's receipts to the Michigan
Food Bank Council, which will distribute the
money to the 13 food banks in the state. Since
1986, the 7 Percent Solution has raised more
than $100,000. Detroit's Jewish Community
Council is a founding member of the 7 Percent
About 12 percent of all Michigan households
participate in federal food programs, and the
number of people enrolled in those programs rose
11 percent from 1990 to 1993. Fifty percent more
elderly are being served discounted meals than
in 1980 and the WIC (Women's Infants and Chil-
dren) Program is serving 300 percent more than
in 1980.
Leonard Fein, the noted Jewish writer and
thinker from Boston, has said that worldwide
hunger is not a tragedy, but a scandal. A tragedy
is something over which we have no control. A
scandal is something preventable and address-
able, and the problems of hunger and malnutri-
tion are well within our means to solve.
How many generations of Jews have been ad-
monished during Yom Kippur morning services
by the Prophet Isaiah's words in the morning
service Haftorah? It is a stinging criticism of those
who think they can appease God and effect re-
pentance merely by abstaining from food for a
single day. The fast of the just includes the req-
uisite promise to bring righteousness into your
life, to reach out to the fallen.
This Yom Kippur, when your stomach groans
and your cranium aches and dizziness sets in,
remember those who endure these symptoms
without the hope of a break-fast awaiting them.
And do your part in 5756 by supporting the Yad
Ezra Food Drive and the 7 Percent Solution.

Answer Sunday's Call


By now, many of us have been asked to purchase
High Holiday tickets, contribute to a building
fund or even buy an Israel Bond or two.
And then comes a phone call on Sunday, a vol-
unteer voice from the Allied Jewish Campaign's
Super Phone Day. Yes, you've made enough
pledges by now to get you through the year. We
ask you, though, if "enough" means that is all
there is to give?
We ask you to put faces behind the voices you
are hearing on Sunday. Listen, it's not easy vol-
unteering time to get on the telephone to ask a
fellow community member for money. So, put
the face of a community volunteer in your mind.
Could be a neighbor, could be a friend. Maybe
you've made the call before, so you know it's not

the easiest thing to do.
More importantly, put the face of a family
member who needs your gift, yes, yours, to keep
a job counseling program alive. Maybe your gift,
even if it's $18, can be strung together with oth-
er gifts of $5 or $36 to keep a Jewish family afloat.
Job counseling could mean employment, which
means a better image of self, which means less
of a chance for family dysfunction. You'll soon
see that it's not about $18; it's about Jews look-
ing out for one another. It's about a Jewish com-
munity taking care of its families. Who knows,
maybe it's you and your family who will need the
help this year. Federation and its agencies will
not say "no."
We shouldn't either.



A number of rabbis (six from the
Detroit area) endorsed a recent
New York Times paid ad, sup-
porting the financing of the PLO
with $500 million of U.S. tax-
payers' dollars. This support
without conditions, without dig-
nity, without equal demands for
PLO accountability, is a form of
Since the Sept. 10, 1993, Oslo
Accord signing, Israel has en-
dured 44 terrorist attacks, 190
murders and 668 Israelis injured.
In the summer of 1939, Neville
Chamberlain proclaimed "peace
in our time" after surrendering
land to Hitler. Churchill then
stated, "Neville chose between
shame and war. He picked shame
and got war (WWII)."
The ending of the last blessing
in "Oseh Ha-Shalom (who makes
peace) reads, "Judging evil is a
contribution of human dignity.
Punishing the wicked makes
peace possible."
This ad ignores the mass mur-
ders of Israelis because they are
Jews, and not a single murder-
er has been brought to justice.
This statement ignores the pri-
mary lesson of 20th-century his-
tory: appeasement of evil leads to
war and the killing of the inno-
In addition, this ad ignores the
three pillars of Judaism, "truth,
justice and peace," and that true
peace is only achieved by con-
fronting evil.
The Luntz May 1995 poll re-
veals that 78 percent of Ameri-
can Jews believe the PLO must
be held accountable for its deeds.
An Israeli independent poll
(Sept. 14) reveals that 73 percent
of the population of Israel de-
mands a referendum on any fur-
ther agreements with the PLO.
Why is our rabbinic leadership
ignoring history, the mass mur-
der of Israelis and Jewish tradi-
tion and law to support the
appeasement of evil?
They choose appeasement for
the sake of peace and will in-
evitably get war.
On this Rosh Hashanah,
please think of helping renew the
life and survival of the Jewish
people and their land by letting
your congregation know that this
process could be fateful.

We still remember our slavery
in Egypt and mourn our de-
struction in the Holocaust. Let us
not remain silent about the threat
of the PLO.
Morris Baker
Bloomfield Hills

In Beth El
It is disappointing to me that

your fine paper, which highlights
the richness within our Jewish
community with inspirational ar-
ticles, at the same time fills its
pages with accounts of disputes
within Temple Beth El. Surely,
if the private arguments in every
congregation in this city were
published, there would be no
room for news.
Our proud, beautiful temple
has had a series of misfortunes
and is now grist for gossip and
ridicule from your publication. No
one has questioned why or how
our present circumstances have
evolved. We have been cast as vil-
lains and those whose question-
able conduct has caused these
problems have been elevated to
Temples and synagogues play
a vital role in our community and
should be supported, not vilified
by private prejudices. We have a
large congregation of families at
Temple Beth El who take pride
in our temple and its contribu-
tions to the community. We have
the services of a fine rabbi who
came back to our temple in an at-
mosphere that was warm and
There is room in this city for
all congregations and we wish
them well, but we ask you, the
voice of our community, to be fair
in your reporting, investigate be-
fore you castigate and allow Tem-
ple Beth El to recover from our
unfortunate events in peace.
May the New Year bring us
closer together in our common
goals of service to our people.
Mrs. Marshall Miller
Orchard Lake

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