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May 30, 2003 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-05-30

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When •

From the pages of the Jewish News
from this week 10, 20, 30, 40, 50
and 60 years ago.

Sanctity of Life


Bar-Ilan professor talks philosophically about capital punishment and IDF restraint.

Special to the Jewish News

n ow

is Bar-Ilan University
like the Israeli army? For
both, what they do is no
less important than how

of human life provides the philo-
sophical basis for both supporters
and opponents of capital punish-
ment. While some argue that
"human beings are divine so we
must have capital punishment
because we can't negotiate the cost
of a human life," others follow
Rabbi Akiva's argument that "since
people are created in the image of
God, when someone is murdered we

the estimated cost in Israeli and
Palestinian lives was seen as being
too high. When the decision was
finally made because of the belief
that "they will continue their activi-
ty and take more lives," the losses
were much lower than anticipated.
"When you fight terror, terrible
things happen," he said.
"Nonetheless, you need to look in
general at how Israeli society reacts.

they do it.
Dr. Yair Lorberbaum, guest speak-
er at a Detroit Friends of Bar-Ilan
briefing on May 21, personifies the
unique blend of "academics
and morality, spiritual and
physical survival" that local
Friends President Linda
Zlotoff described to those in
Bar-Ilan was founded by
Detroiters in 1955. The
university, located in Ramat
Gan, is now Israel's second
Dr. Lorberbaum, a mem-
ber of Bar-Ilan's Faculty of
Law, has a Ph.D. in philoso-
phy and is a captain in the
Israeli Army's Armored
Corps. He is a director of
Bar-Ilan's interdisciplinary
center to study the intersec-
tion of law, religion, ration-
ality, philosophy of mind,
and perceptions of justice
and equity. At a university
where at least 25 percent of
Dr. Yair Lorberbaum talks with Ben and Dr. Steven Roth of West Bloomfield.
each student's coursework
must be in some element of
Judaic Studies, the mix of
philosophy and real world applica-
can't murder the image of God
Most of Israeli society doesn't hate
tions is always front and center.
the Arabs. While it is horrible and
Dr. Lorberbaum's talk focused on
In Israel today, "no one has really
hard, there is no sense that [Israeli]
the sanctity of human life, which, he
considered reinstating capital pun-
society is falling apart."
said, "is a Jewish idea, basically an
ishment," said Dr. Lorberbaum, cit-
Ben Roth of West Bloomfield
invention of the Jewish tradition
ing the recent sentencing of those
attended the briefing with his par-
from the Hebrew Bible and the Book who aided the suicide bomber at the
ents Lori and Dr. Steven Roth. "I
of Genesis."
Passover seder in Netanya last year.
was most fascinated by how much
Taking the premise that human
"It was written that each deserves 15
restraint the IDF [Israel Defense
beings are created in God's image, he
capital punishments, but we will not
Forces] really has in dealing with the
examined Israel's stance against capital do it."
Palestinians," Roth said. "You don't
punishment and the Israel Defense
The professor explained that the
read about it in the media, and the
Forces' policy of restraint in dealing
military decision to re-enter
international community neglects to
with the Palestinians and terrorists.
Palestinian-controlled territories was
acknowledge that Israel takes action
The Jewish concept of the sanctity delayed for more than a year because without unnecessary aggression."




The New Detroit Friends of the
Masorti (Conservative) movement
in Israel will host Rabbi Ehud
Bandel and Herschel Blumberg, two
spokesmen for the movement, at a
breakfast at Congregation Shaarey
Zedek in Southfield.
Congregation B'nai David will
pay tribute to longtime member
George Vine at its 32nd annual
Israel Bonds dinner held locally.


With Jewish emigration from the
Soviet Union having declined to the
lowest level in three years and with a
marked increase in Soviet govern-
ment harassment and intimidation
of Soviet Jews, tens of thousands ral-
lied this week in Dag Hammarskjold
Plaza across from the United Nations
to demonstrate solidarity and sup-
port with Soviet Jewry.


David Yellin Hebrew Teachers
College in Jerusalem announces the
appointment of former Detroiter Dr.
Marian Sanders to set up a pilot pro-
gram leading to the eventual creation
of the Center for Learning Problems.


Daniel A. Laven, Detroit business-
man and communal leader, is
named chairman of the building
committee for the new Beth
Yehudah campus on Lincoln and
Greenfield in Southfield.


Detroiter Pvt. Byron Jaffe, sta-
tioned in Germany, is appointed
assistant enlisted student comman-
dant of the U. S. Army Europe
Signal School.

The Women's League for Sabbath
observance will give a Shavuot
luncheon for prospective members
at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in
Detroit this week.

— Compiled by Holly Teasdle,
archivist, the Rabbi Leo M. Franklin
Archives of Temple Beth El

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