The head of Reform Judaism in the United States has proposed that Yiddish, the language of worldwide Judaism, be made part of Jewish liturgy.
In an address to the World Congress of Polish Jews, Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, called Yiddish "a precious link of that golden chain which binds us one unto another and the future to the past."
He urged that Jews "prevail on those responsible for our liturgy to include Yiddish prayer and song" in daily prayer rites and in the prayer book for special festivals.
Yiddish is a mix of German, English and Polish. While it traditionally has not been viewed as a scholarly language, it has a rich literature and provides the common means or communication, particularly for European and American Jews.
Prayers and other portions of Jewish services tend to be said in Hebrew for the more orthodox or increasingly in English in Conservative and Reform traditions. "Why not a prayer in Yiddish as well?" Schindler asked. "It is the language of our people's heights and our depths, our joys and our sorrows."
The U.S. Catholic Conference is expected to testify before Congress in support of the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty with the Soviet Union, according to Bishop Thomas C. Kelly, general secretary of the conference.
Kelly said the USCC will also carry out "expanded efforts... to educate Catholics concerning the moral issues pertaining to arms limitation, disarmament and peace and the ways to achieve them."
The standing committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado has rejected the application of Kay Ryan for ordination to the priesthood. The refusal to ordain a woman, a move approved but not mandated by the national church three years ago, is of particular interest because the church's General Convention is to meet in Denver this September.
In Great Britain, meanwhile, the Church of England's General Synod is studying whether to lift its sanction against women, validly ordained in another arm of the Anglican Church, functioning as priests in Britain. Although bishops and lay members approved, clergy delegates to the Anglican Church's Synod last November rejected the proposal to ordain women there.
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