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May 7, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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May 7, 2004
 

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"FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 7, 2004 PAGE, By Leslie Susser the "road map" peace plan. tinians. They maintain that ture of those areas fromwhich The European Union began this is essential if the pullback thelsraelDefense Forceswith- (JTA)--Mter its campaign for a more sig- is to create a new peace dy- draw," he said in Strasbourg. dentBush's nificant role in the Gaza pro- namic. "But I have to say that this Israel, the Euro- cess by sending Javier Solana, Patten made the point in time I think we should seek is indicating that its foreign policy point man, his address to the European certain guarantees from the ~r role in to Washington for an April 20 Parliament: "Our aim must be Israel Defense Forcesthatthey sraeli-Palestin- meeting with U.S. Secretary that Israelis recognize again will not destroy again whatwe an eye to- of State Colin Powell. the Palestinian Authority as build."The Europeans are not Promoting Palestinian Afterward, Solana outlined their partner in the peace pro- making do with mere criti- three principles of E.U. think- cess. The objective should be cism: They intend to use their ~aseriesofunder reported ing on the Israeli-Palestinian to hand over Gaza and parts of economic clout to exert politi- after Bush's per- conflict: Nothing should be theWest Bank to the Palestin- cal pressure on Israel. Europe with done toprejudge the outcome ian Authoi'ity--not to is Israel's largest tradingpart- Minister Ariel of final status negotiations Hamas---and to ensure that ner, and Israel has a preferen- on April 14, senior between Israelis and Palestin- the handover takes place in an tialtrade agreementwith E.U. officials have been ians, the Quartet should coot- orderly fashion, not in a way countries. at greater European dinate its policy moves, and that leads to more chaos and It took Israel years to nego- on the ground the withdrawal from Gaza violence." Patten suggests that tiate the agreement, and for new get-tough policyshould be carried out in an the Europeans, rather thanthe years it has been trying to up- "appropriate manner." All Americans, could help bring grade it. Now the Europeans the European three principles implied criti- the Palestinians into a posi- say bluntly that they intend to in Strasbourg on cism of Bush. In the European tive process with Israel. It's create alinkage between their Chris Patten, the view, the American president the Europeans, he points out, economic ties with Israel and COmmissioner for ex-prejudged issues of borders who more than anyone else the way Israel deals with the elations, declared and refugees by saying the have funded PalestinianPalestinian issue. demographic realities on the projects; and it was construc- At his Tel Aviv news confer- itate the ground--thatis, Israeli settle- tive European influence that ence April 21, Chevailard de- after Israel's prom-ments--should be taken into helped P.A. Finance Minister clared that "up till now we next year, on account in setting final bor- Salam Fayyad achieve trans- kept the strengthening of bi- that the Israel De- ders, and that refugees should parencyandaccountability0n lateral relations with Israel Orces guarantee "notreturn to a future Palestinian budget procedures, inlinewith separate from the regionaldip- again what we state rather than to Israel. economic reforms the Quar- lomatic process. From this lg in Tel Aviv Moreover, in declaring his tet demanded of the Palestin- point on they will be part of day, Giancarlo "new" policy, Bushactedalone, ian Authority. one complex." He did not en- )" E.U.'s ambas- without consulting his Euro- What seems to be shaping vision sanctions on Israel, but israel, warned that pean partners, and did noth- up is a complex carrot-and- said the Europeans would en- Union intends ing to coordinate the Gaza stickpolicyinwhichtheUnited hance or downgrade their ties level of ties with withdrawal with the Palestin- States encourages Israel and with Israel depending on its the Jewish state's ians. puts pressure on the Palestin- peacemaking performance. to peacemak- Powell is taking the Euro- ians, while the Europeans do He added that the Europe- European officials pean sense of slight seriously, the reverse. Patten made clear ansexpected that Israelwould meeting with Thedayafterhismeetingwith thatEuropeispreparedtocon- "recognize that the E.U. hasa counterparts Solana, he approached Span- tinue its humanitarian assis- large role to playin the Middle the precise role ish Foreign Minister Miguel tance to the Palestinians and East" and, in the future, he i play in the con Moratinos--who served for help rebuild their economic suggested that Israel consult withdrawal, seven years as the E.U.'s spe- infrastructure, not only with the United discussed further cialenvoytotheMiddleEast-- Butatthesametimehewas States, as it had on the Gaza at a meeting of urging him to help with the highly critical of Israel. plan, but with Europe as well. diplomatic Gaza plan. "We are certainly prepared Some Israeli analysts be- States, The Europeans would like tocontinue our humanitarian lieve the Europeans may even United Na- to play a role in coordinating assistance and to support the athatproduced thewithdrawalwiththe Pales- rebuilding of the infrastruc- See "Susser" on page 17 ' 1 means to Ilar Silvers advanced technological and health care innovations origi- more than a nated in Israel. For a country the size of New Jersey, this is nothing short of remarkable. I have survived, kvell every time I hear of an- and will con- other Israeli breakthrough. thrive. As a Hadassah volunteer, I also am particularly proud of the unknown, the fact that Hadassah hospi- rwhere tals treat everyone alike - attack will would-besuicidebombers, ter- knowwhich rorist victims, innocent by- ,will standers and heroes. Walk in the court down the hospital hallways and !on. They don't you'll see kippot alongside will keffiyahs and crosses. But I do know that, regardless that they will of politics, I support Israel. I with am a Zionist, and that tran- cy. scends party lines. Likud, La- bor, right, left, religious, secu- counter- lar it's of no consequence to continue to me. The only thing that mat- inspi- ters is Israel's existence. To me, Israel is a gem in the of the World's most midst of a turbulent region. HERITAGE welcomes and encourages Itev e to the editor, but they must be hot n, or printed and include name and p one number. We will withhold your ame if you so request. Please limit letters o 2.50 words. Due to space limitations, we 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. e-mail to matter of this Jew- should be at the offensive "joke" included in GloriaYousha's column of April 23 under the heading "Who said I'm not an equal opportu- beacon of hope She's perhaps a little rough when I put on a piece of jew- around the edges, but it's noth- elry crafted by Israeli artisans. ing a little polishing can't fix. I think of Israel every time I Israel feeds my spirit and glanceatmyhand,whichbears my soul. She is an intoxicat- a ring carved with my Hebrew ing m lange of sights, smells, name - a ring I never remove. tastes, sounds. From the rosy Just as I dare not remove Jerusalem stone to the buoy- the ring from my finger, I can- ant Dead Sea to the mouth- not remove Israel from my watering falafei stands, Israel being. I am Israel. She is me. awakens my senses. She is We are one. When all else in filled with irony, as a Shabbat the world seems dark and melody is pierced by the wails hopeless, Israel is my beacon of sirens followed bythewails of hope. Am Yisrael Chai. of the terrorists' latest targets Darcy Silvers is a former and then, a deafening silence. Associate Editor of the Heri- I may live in the Diaspora, tageFloridaJewishNews. This but Israel is in my heart. I essay was the first-placewin- think of Israel constantly. I ner among the top five entries think of her when I check my in the recent "What Israel emails daily for updates on the Means to Me" contest. The intifada. I think of Israel at contest honored theh an- bedtime, when my youngest niversary of the founding of son prays for peace. I think of the State of Israel, and was Israel when I look at the walls sponsored by the Jewish ofmyhome, coveredwiththe website aish.com, on which creations of Israeli artists. Or this essay originally appeared. nity religion basher?" Is she and generalcommunity (espe- personally attempting to undo ciaily since the Jewish Federa- all the good efforts of the Jew- tion of Greater Orlando uses ish Community Relationsthe Heritage periodically to Committee, theNCCJandoth- communicate to the Jewish ers in establishing positive in- Community) as the voice of teffaith (and inter-racial) hat- that community. You, there- mony in greater Orlando? I fore, have an editorial respon- hope the outrage that should sibility to prevent material of be forth coming from Jewish thisnaturefromappearing.Ms. community leadership and the Youshashouid stick to the pur- communityasawholewillhave pose of her column, "Jewish the positive result of you, per- Community Happenings" and sonally, looking more carefully leave the humor and political at what is scheduled to go into commentstothose morequali- print in the Heritage. For bet- fled. ter or worse, your newspaper is MICHAEL MEYER viewed by many in the Jewish Longu od ~.III~NlUll Philosophical challenge to Judaism By Rabbi RJ. Adler wed the God of the philoso- phers with the God of the Throughout the ages, Juda- Bible? For example, how can ism and the other monotheis- we explain Creation ex nihilo? tic religions were challenged Eternal salvation? The Chris- regarding the truth of their tians had the same problem religious teachings. They andoneanswerbyBishopGre- wanted prooffor the existence gory of Nissa (335 C.E.) is of God, His ability to create worthquoting:"Wecannotsee and maintain the universe, His God intellectually, but if we love for mankind, the ratio- let ourselves be enveloped in nality of His laws and His thecloudthatdescendedupon power to reward the good and Mount Sinai, we will feel His to punish evil. Judaism be- presence." God can only be lieves that this subject is ira- discovered in the realworld of portant because religion in the mind. God can give mean- general tried to find meaning ing and value to our lives. But andvalueinlifeandtheideaof we must try and answer the God affects the lives of mil- philosophicalquestionofRea- lions of people. For us Jews, son versus Revelation and how the beginning of our history the material world could come and religion is well preserved from a spiritual GOd. Saadia in our Hebrew Bible and we (900 C.E.) holds that the re- shouldbeveryproudofit.The vealed God of scripture can- philosophers who challenged not be inferior to the God of Judaism were not bound by the philosophers, instead the our Bible but relied solely on Prophets were superior to any their intellect for challenges philosopher. and suggestions. Plato recog- Judah Halevi (1100 C.E.) nized a divine light and de- was convinced that only clared that love, justice and Prophets knew aboutGod and beautyare important, but felt anyJewcouldbelikeaprophet that the most important is the if he studied Torah and ob- IdeaoftheGood.Aristotlecalls served the Mitzvot. The Mus- God "The Unmoved Mover" lim philosophers agreed that and suggests that Man is dif- to rely on reason alone was ferent from other creations like attempting to eat soup and more valuable because of with a fork. They were also body and soul and the other tolerant in the Middle Ages by divine gifts given to him. suggesting that all paths that When Judaism clashed with lead to God are valid, provided Greekwisdomandphilosophy, they emphasize an interior a brief statement pointed out love for the one GOd. the difference; the Greek god Luria, the Jewish mystic rested on human reason, the (1550 C.E.), tried to explain God of the Bible on revelation, the paradoxofdivine transcen- PhiloofAlexandriaopinedthat dence and immanence; how God's essenceisincomprehen- could a perfect and intimate sible; we cannot know Him. Godhavecreatedaflniteworld However, His activities, ener- with evil in it? Where had evil gies and powers are the high- come from? His answer: God est realities that the human is incomplete but by careful mind can grasp. After the de- observance of Torah and struction of the Second prayer, each Jew could help to Temple (70 C.E.), our people restore the divine spark and so needed a God in their midst redeem the world. Kabbalah and called it Shekhinah, ind- enabled the Jews to believe welling God, also Ruach that despite oppression their Hakodesh---Holy Spirit--to- existence had important getherwith Torahand mitzvot meaningandsignificance. The and later on, Jewish mysti- kabbalist must achieve peace cism. Nowlet me ask, howcanwe See "Adler" qm page 17