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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Where there's a will . . .

It's always fun to watch people who didn't earn the money fight over it, which may be one reason Max Feinberg put the "Jewish clause" in his will: Anybody who "married outside the Jewish faith" would be disinherited. Four of his five grandchildren married gentiles, and the lawsuits are flying. An Illinois appellate court has ruled 2-1 that the clause smacks of religious prejudice and that enforcing it would be "contrary to public policy." The dissenting judge, Alan Greiman, says prejudice is not the issue:

Can't a person do what he wants with his money—like ensuring the survival of the Jewish people? Judge Alan Greiman thought so, writing: "Max and Erla had a dream with respect to the provisions of their will and if you will it, it is no dream."

This is one of those cases where we can think the person was wrong but argue that he had the right to do what he did. It's rather Old Worldly to try to control your offspring from the grave, and the marrying habits of Feinberg's grandchildren show how the culture is leaving such attitudes behind. But it was his money; he earned it, and he should have been able to say where it went. Unless the money is designated to fund something illegal, it's nobody's business how unpopular his choices might be.