n.wamt 0R ir
for 45B District Court Judge
My father was a war veteran of the WWII German aggression. He fought for all of our
freedoms and helped make this country safe from tyranny and oppression. He received
four bronze stars for his efforts. He fought the German forces in Naples, Rome,
Rhineland and Central Europe. He came home to the only job opportunity that he had,
as a janitor for the United States Postal Service. However, he did not stay in this posi-
tion but worked his way to the position of a postal carrier. He supported five children
and helped send all of them to college. He and my mother instilled in us the values of
hard work and education. Nothing was promised and nothing was given.
Now, I am seeking your vote. Not as an "Heir to the bench" JEWISH NEWS circa,
October 4, 2002. This is not a monarchy. This is a country where everyone has an
opportunity to aspire to achieve as our forefathers have promised. There is no right of
I was taught early on that an education is a means to obtain goals. I received my
Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Detroit in 1979, my Masters of arts
degree from the University of Michigan in 1982 and my Juris Doctorate form Cooley
Law School in 1983. I obtained an academic scholarship to attend U of D and Michigan
and worked my way through Cooley as a teacher in the Detroit and Lansing Public
I am a member and former Sunday School teacher of the Oak Grove A.M.E. Church.
My formal community service began when I was elected as the Supervisor of Royal
Oak Twp. While there, I participated in activities with the South Eastern Michigan
Council of Goverments, the Oakland County Association of Township Supervisors and
others. I was appointed by Governor Blanchard to the Hazardous Waste Management
Planning Committee. I continued my community service by participating in local organ-
izations like the Kiwanis, Optimists Club and the Lions Club. I am also a life member of
the NAACP. Other memberships include the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association,
Wolverine Bar Association, National Bar Association, American Bar Association, Sierra
Club and Free and accepted Masons, Wolverine Consistory and Marracci Shriners.
These memberships continue today.
I have been a solo practitioner for the last fourteen years and serve as general coun-
sel for Royal Oak Township Housing Commission. My private practice focuses on
domestic/family and criminal law. I have represented indigent and non-indigent clients
in civil, juvenile and criminal matters, as well as minor personal injury and probate
cases in the tri-county area. I am certified by Wayne and Oakland County to represent
individuals in serious felony matters and juvenile and child neglect cases. I am a mem-
ber of the criminal law and family law sections of the State Bar along with Family Law
Committee of Wayne County.l am in the courtroom every day representing those in
Now I seek to take this experience, my unique background and my commitment to our
community to the bench. Heir, no. Qualified to be the next judge, YES!
ask for your vote on November 5, 2002 as Judge of the 45-B District Court.
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To Live And Not Die: Message
Of Isaac's Binding Still Resonates
"Abraham sent forth his hand and he
took the knife to slaughter his son."
Then arrives an angel of God from
heaven, crying out, "Abraham,
Abraham, do not send forth your
hand to the lad; and do not do him
any harm, for now I know that you
ach year we return to the
fear God and you did not withhold
awesome story of the bind-
your son, your only one, from Me."
ing of Isaac and are struck
(Genesis 22: 10-12.)
by the same agonizing ques-
Rashi cites the midrash to insist
tions: How could the Almighty have
that the Almighty "did not say that he
commanded an act as horrific as a
(Abraham) should slaughter Isaac
father slaughtering (sacrificing?) his
because the Holy One, blessed be He,
son, and how could Abraham have
did not want Abraham to
accepted the command with-
slaughter him, but only to
out a resounding argument?
bring him up to the moun-
In addition to the obvious
tain in dedication" and then
innocence of Isaac, there is
to "take him down." (Rashi
the added argument of the
on Genesis 22:2.)
Divine promise: For
Apparently for Rashi, the
through Isaac shall your
ideal Divine will is for
future progeny (literally,
Abraham's children to live
"seed") be called." (Genesis
by God's laws in constant
21:12) What is the true
commitment and not to die
meaning of God's command,
for them in a momentary
and how may we best under-
act of martyrdom.
stand the lack of Abraham's
I believe that when the
protection of Isaac?
Torah speaks to the ancient
Special to the
Rav Yosef Ibn Kaspi sug-
Near East, it also speaks to
gests that we not remove the
all subsequent generations
dialogue between God. and
— and the pages of Jewish
Abraham from the context of
history are blood-soaked and tear-
the ancient Near East from whence it
stained with accounts of parents who
originated and to which it applied.
had to watch their children go to
Abraham lived in a world of idola-
cruel deaths in times of persecution in
trous child-offerings, a blood-thirsty
order for Judaism and the Jewish
god Molech who demanded that
nation to survive — and ultimately
fathers demonstrate their -fealty to him prevail.
by placing their children on his fiery
Indeed, even in our generation, we
altar (tragically, this ancient and cruel
in Israel are witnesses to hundreds of
form of idolatry has returned with a
parents who are forced to change the
vengeance to the present-day Middle
natural order of the - world and to bury
East, with Palestinian parents, teach-
their children, sacrifices of a cruel war
ers and preachers encouraging chil-
perpetrated by a blood-thirsty enemy
dren not only to blow themselves up
who is hell-bent on our destruction.
in a raining fire of explosives but to
The story of the Akeidah (sacrifice)
take with them to the burning grave-
is complex and teaches many lessons.
pyre innocent Israeli mothers and •
We learn from it, at one and the same
time, not to court martyrdom, that
Hence, Abraham was almost
our God desires us to live and not to
expecting the Divine voice to com-
die; but that, if there is no other
mand, "Take now your son, your only
choice, we must dedicate our lives to
son, the one whom you love, to the
eternal commitments, which are more
land of Moriah, and offer him up as a
important than any individual life. 111
whole burnt offering." (Genesis 22:2.)
Given the fanatical religious climate
of the Middle East, Abraham's silent
acquiescence is to be expected of a
person of faith.
From this perspective, the real test
comes with God's second command,
Discuss the Akeidah as a lesson
just at the crucial moment when
to live by God's laws and not to
die for them in martyrdom.
Bring in recent events in today's
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin is head of
Israel to support your views.
Israel's Ohr Torah Stone Institutions •
and chief rabbi of Efrat in the West
II Kings 4:1-37.