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January 02, 2004 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-01-02

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

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The Impact Of
Intermarriage

Reception in Honor of

Harav Yeruehim Olshin, Shlita
Rosh Yeshiva,
Beth Medrash Govoha
CT

Monday, January 12, 2004
8:30 pm

At the home of :
Rabbi & Mrs. Joseph Nusbaum
15041 Burton, Oak Park, MI

Mr. Gary Torgow
Master of Ceremonies

Correction

Mr. Reuven Meer

Chairman Sponsors'
Committee

Hosts:

1/ 2

2004

6

Rabbi

DON"

riage has been simple. Jews can join
congregations. Non-Jews are to be wel-
come in our congregations, but cannot
join, serve on committees or be officers.
All of a sudden, there is a cloud of
Regarding the last Alefbet'cha Don't
questions. "Outreach" is the big deal for
Know (Dec. 26, page 10), it should be
an organization that spends pitifully few
pointed out that the reason the Scroll of
dollars on educating its own members
Antiochus is not read in the synagogue
on the importance of mitzvot.
on Chanukah is the critical difference
It is the congregation's duty, and the
between it and the Scroll of Esther.
duty of congregants, to provide an
The latter was adopted into the
atmosphere that encourages the spouse
canonical Tanakh, while the former,
to convert or, if not, to convert the chil-
sometimes called "The Book of the
dren of the marriage. And if the spouse
Hasmoneans," is a pseudepigraph, of
does not convert, it is the congregation's
uncertain but likely much later origin.
duty to make him or her understand
Despite that, during the 13th century
that we respect them as a person and we
it was publicly read on Chanukah in
welcome them to be with us.
Italian synagogues and is contained in
But in the end, we must confront that
one of the oldest Italian mahzorim
we are different. At this time, when we
(1568).
Dr. Irving D. Goldfein recall our struggle for religious freedom
Southfield and definition of how much of the secu-
lar world we wanted to absorb into our
beings, which sparked a decades-long
civil war, this subject is all the more
poignant.
I respect people in intermarriages who
Thanks to Alaine Waldshan, the volun-
make
the difficult choice to raise their
teer coordinator, and the other profes-
children
according to the belief of one
sional staffers at the Jewish Federation
parent.
I
respect those who make the
for its planning and implementation of
very
difficult
choice of converting their
Mitzvah Day on Dec. 25.
children
to
Judaism,
though the mother
I know I say this for the hundreds of
may
have
a
strong
belief
in her religion.
volunteers who fanned out across the
Indeed,
such
women
are
righteous peo-
Detroit area on that day to do good
ple,
in
my
opinion,
and
the
children
things for people, in a myriad of homes
they
give
us
are
to
be
treasured.
and institutions, who needed relief, help
However, for the movement as a
and cheer during their very special sea-
whole to waffle on its position relative
son.
I've been fortunate to help before, this to intermarriage is wrong-headed. It is
precisely the kind of thinking that
time, and hopefully many more times.
Ed Kohl leads to waffling on patrilineal descent
West Bloomfield and the importance of conversion.
I would prefer that the movement,
its rabbis and its lay leaders focus on
making better Jews of the Jews we
have, and creating more Jews through
active focus on conversion, than
attempting to weaken the distinction
between those who are Jews and those
It is distressing to see comments such as
who are not.
those from Rabbi Joseph Krakoff of
Leonard I. Wanetik
Congregation Shaarey Zedek, and pro-
West Bloomfield
grams such as those from the Federation
of Jewish Men's Clubs, on intermarriage
("Integrating Intermarrieds," Dec. 19,
page 61).
The United Synagogue for
Conservative Judaism is not an organi-
zation flush with cash or programming.
In such a situation, I believe focusing on
a few fundamental principles, coupled
with following and promoting them
clearly, is key.
In "Shared History of Oppression"
Intermarriage would not rank as a
(Dec. 19, page 17), Avi Kidron of
fundamental principle. Shabbat, kashrut
West Bloomfield was mis-identified
and Zionism would.
as a rabbi.
Up to now, the position on intermar-

Antiochus' Scroll
And Chanukah

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re thliemritg,hdt to
estenat
, , „:„ t prefer,:lcuticrst .ths atBrLe-lar.ter to articlesicrn.dtheLJerish Niteruics. We,rtal
is
one letter per 4-6 week period, space permitting.
Letters must contain the name, address and tide of the writer, and a daytime
, telephone number. Original copies must be hand signed. Mail to the Jewish News
ri
at 29200 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 110, Southfield, MI 48034; •
fax to (248) 304-8885: or e-mail to: rsldar@thcjewishnews.com

Loketch, Rabbi Joseph Nusbaum, Mrs. Sol Nusbaum

0

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