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The Charlotte Jewish news. (Charlotte, N.C.) 19??-current, November 01, 1988, Image 2

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Page 2-THE NEWS-November. 1988 In the Aftermath..** THE CHARLOTTE JEWISH NEWS Published monthly by: Charlotte Jewish Federation...- Michael L. Minkin, Director Foundation of Charlotte Jcwisli Comnnunity & Jewish Community Center - Barry Hantman, Director Lubavitch of N.C ...Rabbi Yossi Groner, Director Editor - Rita Mond Advertising Blanche Yarus Copy deadline the 10th of each month P.O. Box 13369, Charlotte. N.C 28211 The arv««raHcc *f «dv«rtlsiNS In Th« Ntwt d*«s n*t CHStltut* a kMhrnth •nd*rMM«nt. Editorial Let’s Remember Kristallnacht Together! Judaism is a religion that stresses remembrance — zakhor. We are admonished in the Bible to “remem ber Amalek,” and along with Amalek goes Haman, Titus, and all the others who have persecuted and murdered Jews over the centuries. The Holocaust was an inhumanity towards man; 6 million Jews were slaughtered along with 5 imllion others. We can not forget this atrocity; we nxust not forget this terrible blot in history; we must see to it that it does not oc cur again. The Holocaust is something that did happened in our lifetime and in the lifetime of our chil dren...there are still parents and grandparents who can talk about it. However, they will not be around us much longer. Because of that, it is imperative that we teach our children ancd their children about this catastrophic event that has no parallel. We must ex pose them to the history, culture and psychology of the event; we must let the world not forget what hap pened in Europe during the ’30s and ’40s! On November 9 at 7:45 p.m. there will be a com memoration of the 50th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “night of broken glass/' the opening salvo of the greatest Jewish tragedy of all time. I urge each and every one, adult and child, in our entire Charlotte com munity to attend this service. This is a small way that we can show our empathy for the survivors emd vic tims... a way in which we C£in show our concern for other human beings. — Rita Mend 1 CONDOS FoiMW yToIn- Aforsale Excavation Reveals Philistine Palace JERUSALEM (JTA| - /V building of monumental stature, possibly a Philistine palace, is currently being ex cavated in one of the leirgest biblical-period archaeologicaJ sites uncovered in Israel. The site, known as Tel Mi- qne, is located on the sight of the former city of Ekron, one of the five city-kingdoms of the Philistines. The Philistines controlleci the south-central coastal area of Israel from about the 12tli century BCE until their cities were destroyed some 600 years later by the Babylon ians. Archaeologists from tl»e Hebrew University of Jeru salem and the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research located Tel Miqne while working in the fields of Kibbutz Revadim, which is near Ashdod. The Philistine building, wiCh some 300 square yards in size uncovered so far, lies in what is believed to have been tlie city-center, spanning some 25 acres. It has been dated back to the 11th century BCE. Inside the buildi^, diggers found an intact iron knife with bronze rivets and an ivory handle. Archaeologists believe the knife, not an ordinary utensil, may have been in the possession of an important person or perhaps was used in cult practices. During this year’s excava tions, the 103rd olive oil pro duction building was un covered in the former city of Ekron, making it, according to archaeologists the largest food industrial procesing operation in the ancient world. This number of installations would have been able to pro duce over 1,000 tons of olive oil per year, it is estimated. The excavations were head ed, as they have for the past five years, by Professor Tnide Dothan of the Hebrew Univer sity Institute of Archaeology, and Professor Seymour Gitin of the Albright Institute. Funding for the project at Tel Miqne for the 1988 season came from the two universities Involved in the digs, as well as Boston College, Brown Uni versity, the Lehigh VaUey Center for Jewish Studies, Southeastern Baptist Theo logical Seminary and the University of Lethbridge. By Rabbi Marc Wilson Our recent dialogue with Mayor Myrick on the role of religion in public life was an in teresting and memorable forum, but not exactly a high point in the annals of com munity relations. There is lit tle to be gained by assessing fault or laying blame. Let it suffice to say that we were all participants in an extraor dinary breeikdown of commu nications. In the aftermath, there are a few things that I would like to say, or reiterate, to the Mayor, the Jewish com munity and the community at large. I speak from no “of ficial” position, but only as a constituency of one. First, I do not in any way question the Mayor’s good in tentions in trying to unite all people of goodwill in what Dr. King called a “beloved com- munity.” To the contrary, the Mayor’s credentials in the struggle for understanding and socijil justice are impec cable. I have never heard anyone in the Jewish com munity second-guess the Mayor’s sincerity or motiva tions in interjecting her strong religious convictions into the fabric of public life. Unfor tunately, motives and good in tentions are not the end, but merely the beginning, of the processes that make for a be loved community. The best of motives and intentions must be carefully scrutinized for their ultimate results, because, bluntly, sometimes ideas that seem good do not turn out to be good. Our tradition teaches that the truly wise person is not necessarily the one of pure motives, but the one who is able to see the lasting con sequences of his or her actions. When Jews (and, I would like to believe, edl people of goodwill) behold attempts to impose a religious context on secular issues of public gover nance, we instinctively react with uneasy wariness. That wariness is not bom of para noia or hypersensitivity. It is bom of a long history of pain and oppression that stems from the ease with which religion has been co-opted to do the sinister bidding of demagogues, tyrants and despots. Most Jews that I know, by the way, are just as wary of the imposition of a Jewish theocracy upon Israel as they are of the imposition of a Christian theocracy upon the United States. Second, with regard to the specific nature of the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfasts: Non-Chris tians wiU never feel entirely “included” in any public gathering at which prayers of a distinctly Christian nature are the center of the agenda. The fact that Christian prayers are offered at the Mayor’s Breakfast, however, does not bother me anywhere nearly as much as do two unspoken assumptions that the Breakfasts make about the role of religion in public life: 1. The premise of the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfasts is that the primary contribution of religion to social wellbeing is prayer, and that prayer necessarily means an appeal for direct Divine intervention in the course of human events. Many responsible members of our religious community would certainly disagree with that premise. Many of us, in cluding many devout Chris tians, are steeped in a tra dition that believes that the primary contributions of religion to the commonweal are wisdom, transcendent perspective and moral guid ance. We believe that prayer is not £m end in itself, but a rehearsal while “waiting in the wings” for the real role that God has for us to play on the stage of life. Many of us em brace a theology in which prayer for direct Divine in tercession subverts the idea of God and His children working together in covenantal part nership. We pray not for God to miraculously re-order our lives, but for determination, willpower and guidance to do those things that God expects us to take on as our human responsibility. Particularly troublesome about the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfasts is the idea of a public official reading a list of concerns that more than vaguely resembles her com munal platform — regardless of how noble it may be — and asking that those gathered pray for Godly intervention to hasten its ratification. The broad implication is that we will tell God how we have decided His world should be run, and He will obediently answer “Amen.” To many of us, this is a shameful abuse of prayer, if not downright heresy. We should be praying to God for the insight neces sary for establishing a fair and decent civic agenda, not to rubberstamp approval on an agenda we have already deter mined was right. 2. Prayer Breakfasts, and the entire impetus to co- mingle religion with political processes, take off from the premise that the religious com munity and political leader ship should work together in cohesive, harmonious partner ship. That has a nice ring to it, and it certainly holds more than a modicum of tmth. But, it denies the even more crucial “prophetic” role that religion and religious leadership must play in social advancement. The Judeo-Christian tradition warns those of religious in clination to keep a healthy distance from those in posi tions of political power. Draw ing too close might com promise the position of moral autonomy that religious leaders neki to be gadflies and critics of corruption, abuse and social injustice, in the great prophetic tradition of Nathan, Elijah, Amos, Jere miah and Jesus of Nazareth. The integrity of both re ligion and political processes is seriously threatened when re ligious leaders become yes- men for the politically power ful, or when political leaders are patsies of the religiously influential. Back in the days ai Nixon’s “Imperial Presiden cy,” Gary Wills commented about a national religious celebrity who wiU remain un named, “It is well to remem ber that real prophets are rid den out of countries on a rail, not invited to preside at their National Prayer Breakfasts.” As appealing as it sounds for religion and politics to work together hand-in-glove, it is even more important that there be a little hesdthy skep ticism and distance so that each may chedlenge the other in its inevitable desire to become overly powerful and manipulative. All told, I have great ad miration for Mayor Myrick, her motives, intentions, ideal ism and even (most of) her agenda. Her religious fervor should be admired, not scorned. But, her religious fervor must be tempered by a deeper sen sitivity for the justifiable con cerns of all members of her constituency. It must be mod ulated by a sharper awareness of the ^versity of opinions that is operative even within our religious conmiunity. And, above all, it must be tempered by a desire to draw upon the wisdom of our resp^- tive religious heritages in ways more substantial than convening a conglomerate of well-meaning pec^le for scram bled eggs and sectarian prayers for Divine interven tion in the human give-and- take of building a healthy com munity. Otherwise, despite the best of intentions, the people of our community are likely to become even further divided and polarized, rather than united in a transcendent agen da for the conunon good. — Special Deadlines — For December For January Nov. 7 Dec. 5

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