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September 03, 2004 - Image 39

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-09-03

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evangelical Christians should know
about Jews for Jesus; A Confidential
Report: not to be distributed to non-
Christians." In it, they state: "We
define ourselves as evangelical funda-
mentalists ... We feel that we are an
arm of the local church."
I must stress that my purpose here is
not to judge the merits of one religion
over another. It is simply and respect-
fully to note that the theological posi-
tions of Judaism and Christianity are
not congruent and that attempts to
cloud this issue are dishonest.
The tactics of groups like Jews for
Jesus amount to nothing less than
"stealth evangelism" and constitute a
form of identity theft. Their upcoming
crusade is a frontal assault on the
Jewish community. One hopes that a
full consideration of the issue may still
lead some in the Christian community
to reconsider their support of Jews for
Jesus. Ultimately, the success or failure
of their efforts will depend on what
kind of Jewish homes, synagogues and
communities we foster. Knowledgeable
Jews who appreciate the beauty and
depth of Judaism and integrate its spiri-
tuality into their lives joyously and pas-
sionately will be immune to predatory
missionaries. ❑

Surprised By Kindness


t was a very hot and humid
morning so I decided to go
down to the beach in Bat Yam, a
mere five-minute walk from my sis-
ter's penthouse apartment on
Yerushalayim Street in Tel Aviv.
My feet barely touched the hot
sand when the young man in charge
of the beach chairs and sun umbrel-
las approached to ask if I want a
beach chair. I answered in the affir-
mative so he asked me how close to
the water I wanted to sit and fixed
my chair, my sun umbrella and the
little stool to place my belongings.
When I looked in my bag and
realized, to my horror, that I forgot
my wallet at home.
"Oh, no," I blurted and he soon

Rachel Kapen, an Israeli native and
daughter of Israel pioneers, is a West
Bloomfield resident.

guessed what the problem was.
Israel; we are all Jews
"You forgot to bring your
money?" he asked.
I felt warm and fuzzy
I said, "Yes," and started to
inside as this son of aim
gather my belongings.
(immigrants) from the for-
"What are you doing?" he
mer Soviet Union — his
asked with disbelief.
family together with a few
I reminded him that I forgot
other former Soviet Union
my money and could not pay
olim are in charge of the
for the beach chair.
beach chairs on the Bat
Co mmunity
"So what?" he retorted.
Yam beach — reminding
Pe rspective
"You'll pay me next time."
me of what Israel is all
I told him that I was visit-
ing from the United States and that
When I told the story to my sister
my schedule was full and that I was
and brother-in-law, they thought he
not sure when I would be able to
behaved quite nicely, but didn't
come to the beach again. None of
think his behavior out of the ordi-
these things fazed him in the least.
nary. Perhaps I lived in the United
Perhaps he wanted me to give him
States too many years, I thought, to
my phone at my sister's, just in
remember the kind of camaraderie
Israelis share, especially in times of
He laughed and said, "Do you
need. ❑
think you are in America? This is


parents and their grandchildren is
precious, indeed, one that children
value all their lives. I know that I do.
As grandparents, we want to share
ourselves with our grandchildren.
There is an important boundary,
however, that we must observe. We
are not the primary instillers of
beliefs in our grandchildren: That
responsibility and authority belongs
to their parents.

Inclusive Thinking

As good parents, we must respect the
right of our children to make deci-
sions about how they will raise their
children. We can certainly offer our
opinions, gently and respectfully, but
the right of primary value inculcation
belongs to parents.
The task of grandparents is to share
themselves and their stories with their
grandchildren so that they can learn
about their heritage and where they
have come from. Grandparents are
the disseminators of the family tales.

It is a valued responsibility.
What I have learned both from my
professional life and certainly from
personal experience is that being
involved in intercultural and inter-
faith family situations helps me to be
more open and respectful of other
people's beliefs and points of view. I
have come to realize that differences
in backgrounds and viewpoints can
be wonderful, opening us up to ideas
and situations that we would never
experience in more homogenous
environments. The other side of that
same coin is that sometimes we just
wish life were less complicated and
that the people we love would be and
think like us, validating our own atti-
This is both the beauty and the
challenge of intermarriage. Accepting
and embracing these facts will pro-
mote fulfilling relationships with our
grandchildren, even if they are very
different from us. And that may be
the most important thing of all. ❑

We've all experienced those moments when a seem-
ingly random event also seemed strangely meaning-
ful, even miraculous. Small miracles happen every
day; it is up to us to open ourselves to receiving them
and understanding their meaning.

As we approach Chanukah, we commemorate the
miracle of the light that endured for eight days, and
we are asking you to share your personal miracle, or
epiphany or extraordinary coincidence, whatever
you choose to call one of life's inexplicable events. In
250 words or less, tell your story. Some of the sto-
ries will be published in the November issue of
Platinum. Tapper's Fine Jewelry in West Bloomfield
will donate two $500 gift certificates to the winning
male and female essay.

You must be 18 or over to enter. Please send your
personal miracle essay to:

Carla Schwartz, Platinum Miracle Contest
29200 Northwestern Hwy. Suite 110
Southfield, MI 48034

Or via e-mail with the subject line "Miracle"
to cschwartz@oaklandstyle.com ,

Deadline: October 1st



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