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18-19 June 2002, Almaty

Rabbi Meir Shlesinger
Rabbi Meir Shlesinger
  On the lecture
On the lecture
Participants of the seminar

  The next session of the seminar for the heads of religious programs in Kazakhstan took place in June 2002. The leader of the seminar was rabbi Meir Shlesinger the head of department in AJJDC. The main topic of the seminar was the aspects of the Jewish life, "the life's circle" as was said by rabbi Josef Telushkin. The traditional Jewish interpretation of the most important human relations was discussed within the framework of the seminar: relations between a man and a woman, between parents and children, treatment of old age and death. The participants of the seminar prepared detailed reports on abovementioned topics. Lev Kuntarovskiy from Petropavlovsk and Boris Braginskiy from Bishkek ("Relations between men and women") did the most remarkable reports ("Treatment of death").

  Summarizing the discussed problems, rabbi Shlesinger stressed on importance of Jewish family as basis of Jewish society. The striking example is comparison between Jewish and Christian approach to a family. It is well known that Christian religion does not allow the Pope to get married whereas the Great Cohen (the chief priest) was not allowed to enter Kodesh Kodashim if he was not married by that moment. Today assimilation of Jews presents a threat to Jewish society because the number of mixed marriages keeps growing in FSU, USA and South America. It is rabbi Shlesinger's opinion that this process is not dangerous for individuals; however, it leads to destruction Jews as a nation. Even Jewish Law establishes standards of family life; every family has its own life. From this it follows the question about interaction between men and women's origin; if a family is a part of the idea of creation, the violation of normal interaction between a man and a woman is violation of the world harmony.

  The wild debates were caused by the discussion of situation described as a midrash by RaMaSh. A married couple of billionaires concluded a contract with a woman who had to bear and give a birth to their baby, i.e. impregnated ovule was taken from the parents. Right after that they were killed in air crash. What should happen to the fetus according to the law? Can the child who does not have its biological parents be born? The main point is to analyze the term "Fatherhood", to put it more precisely - the correlation between genetic and social factors in this situation.

  A lot interesting opinions were expressed during the discussions of this and the rest of the seminar topics. What, for instance, rabbi Shlesinger said about old age: " Since a person talks about the future - he is young". By the way, we talked with rabbi a lot about future seminars.

Alexander Abramovich

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