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June 28, 1968 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-06-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

16—Friday, June 28, 1968

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Weekly Religious Quiz

Beth Abraham `Man of Year' Honored

By RABBI SAMUEL J. FOX

k

(Copyright 1968,

Why is it that the mourner tra-
ditionally eats his first meal af-
ter the funeral from that which
has been prepared by others?

Because a mourner is forbidden
to eat of his own at the first meal
after the burial (Shulkhan Arukh,
Yore Dea, 37), (Talmud Babli,
Moed Katan 27b). This restriction
is drawn from several verses in
the Bible which infer that he ate
At the Beth Abraham Testimonial Dinner, which honored Henry his meal from others. The Book
Thumin as "man of the year" and resulted in $75,000 in Israel Bond of Jeremiah states "Neither shall
subscriptions, including advance sales, are (from left) Mrs. Sam men break bread for them in
mourning . . . neither shall men
Kaufer, Mr. and Mrs. Thumin and Mrs. Nathan J. Kaufman; stand-
give them the cup of consolation
ing: Sam Kaufer and William A. Genser, dinner co-chairman;
Rabbi Israel I. Halpern, the spiritual leader; Lew Norman, enter- for their father or for their mother
tainer; Louis Ellenbogen; Cantor Shabtai Ackerman; and Judge (Jeremiah 16:7). The Book of Ez-
ekiel says: "make no mourning for
Kaufman, the toastmaster.
the dead . . . eat not the bread of
(other) men" (Ezekiel 24:17).
These two passages imply that in
ordinary mourning the mourner
eats from the bread of others. Two
reasons are advanced for this prac-
tice. One (Rabbi Yerucham) claims
that this is done because the
mourner is in his lowest ebb of
orms1==.
interest, almost wishing to die him
CONG. BETH ABRAHAM: Services 7:30 p.m. today and 8:40 a.m. Sat- self after the burial of a loved one
urday. Rabbi Halpern will speak on "To Live in Peace." Charles and therefore not concerned and
often unwilling to partake of food.
Sobel, Bar Mitzvah.
CONG. BETH HILLEL: Services 8 p.m. today and 9 a.m. Saturday. The responsibility was therefore
placed on his neighbors to make
Rabbi Litke will speak on "An Ancient Revolt."
TEMPLE BETH AM: Family service 7:30 p.m. today. Rabbi Jessel will sure that he had a meal prepared
for him. The other (Lvush) con- I
speak on "Liberty and Freedom for All."
CONG. BNAI JACOB: Services 8:50 p.m. today and 9 a.m. Saturday. tends that this practice is done to
provide the neighbors with an im-
Rabbi Isaac will speak on "Korah Op-poses Moses."
TEMPLE ISRAEL: Services 8:30 p.m. today. Rabbi Syme will speak on mediate means of offering conso-
"Trials in the Wilderness." James Gary Marks, Bar Mitzva. Serv- lation. A mourner feels very much
alone. Observing that others have
ices 11. a.m. Saturday. Stephen Irwin.Kalman, Bar Mitzva.
BETH AARON SYNAGOGUE: Services 6:30 p.m. today and 8:30 a.m. immediately taken an interest to
go to the trouble of preparing the
Saturday. Rabbi Gorrelick will speak on "Dissent or Rebellion."
TEMPLE EMANU-EL: Services 8:15 p.m. today. Rabbi Rosenbaum first meal impresses him with the
will speak on "Sholom Aleichem—Biographer of the 'Little Jew.' feeling that he is, indeed, not alone
and that there are others who care
Kenneth A. Barron and Arthur D. Tendler, Bnai Mitzva.
TEMPLE BETH JACOB: Services at 8:30 p.m. today. Rabbi Berkowitz about him and share his grief.
will speak on "The Jewish Chaplain."
Why are the mirrors covered in
CONG. SHAAREY SHOMAYIM: Services today at 8:45 p.m. and 9 a.m.
a house of mourning?
Saturday. Rabbi Goldman will speak on "A Selfish Revolt."
Various reasons are offered to
BIRMINGHAM TEMPLE: Services 9 p.m. today. Rabbi Wine will speak
on"The Underground Church—A Challenge to Organized Religion." explain this practice. Some base it
THE NEW TEMPLE: Services 8:30 p.m. today at the Birmingham on the mystical explanation that
Unitarian Church. Rabbi Conrad will speak on "Authority or An- this prevents the soul of the de-
parted 'from being reflected in the
archy: Any Alternatives?"
to
CONG. AHAVAS ACHIM: Services 8:55 p.m. today and 8:40 a.m. Sat- glass and thus allows the soul
rest in peace. Others claim that
urday. Michael Eric KatZ and Joel Jay Stein, Bnai Mitzva.
CONG. BNAI DAVID: Services 7:15 p.m. today and 8:30 a.m. Satur- this is done to prevent the mourner
day. Bruce Ames Epstein and Bruce Steven Sherizen, Bnai Mitzva. from looking at himself in a state
ADAS SHALOM SYNAGOGUE: Services 6 p.m. today and 8:45 a.m. of grief and despair. Also, it is
Saturday. Howard Jay Kirschbaum and Michael Steven Lerner, claimed that a mourner should not
think of himself but rather "lose
Bnai Mitzva.
himself"
in a universal atmosphere,
CONG. BNAI MOSHE: Services 7 p.m. today and 8:45 a.m. Saturday.
In addition to this a mirror is an
Leland Weiss and Gary Rubinstein, Bnai Mitzva.
CONG. BETH MOSES: Services 6:45 p.m. today and 8:45 a.m. Satur- object which induces vanity in a
person. Mourning is a condition
day. Steven Deitch, Bar Mitzva.
CONG. BETH SHALOM: Services 6 p.m. today and 9 a.m. Saturday. where vanity is certainly proven
void. Some offer a very practical
Bruce Herman and Gary Nachman, Bnai Mitzva.
YOUNG ISRAEL OF OAK-WOODS: Services 7:30 and 8:40 p.m. today explanation of this custom. Gen-
erally, there are prayer services
and 9 a.m. Saturday. Jerome Stollman, Bar Mitzva.
held
in a house of mourning: It is
Regular services will be held at Young Israel of Northwest Detroit,
forbidden to have mirrors in a
Temple Beth El, Livonia Jewish Congregation, Downtown Synagogue, room where services are being
Mishkan Israel and Shomrey Emunah.
held so that the possible impres-
sion of praying to finite beings
(such as men, idols, figures, etc.)
is prevented from being projected.
There are some who say that the
From Isaiah, 62
And all kings thy glory;
mirrors are covered because the
For Zion's sake will I not hold my And thou shalt be called by a new soul of man is the "image of the
Creator." Death simply means that
peace,
name,
And for Jerusalem's' sake I will Which the mouth of the Lord shall the Divine Ruler has "removed his
image" from this body. Thus, the
not rest,
name.
mirrors are covered to indicate
Until her triumph go forth as
beau- that as a result of the death which
crown
of
Thou
shalt
also
be
a
brightness,
ty in the hand of the Lord,
has taken place we can no longer
And her salvation as a torch that
And a royal diadem in the open see the reflection of the image of
burneth.
hand of God.
the Creator in the countenance of
And the nations shall see thy tri-
: umph,
Than shalt no more be termed this particular person who passed
away.
Forsaken,
Neither shall thy land any more be
What is the reason for erecting
termed Desolate,
a monument over the grave of the
But thou shalt be called, My de- deceased?
light is in her,
Placing a monument over the
I have set watchmen upon thy grave of a deceased person seems
walls, 0 Jerusalem,
to be of ancient origin. The Bible
They shall_ never hold their peace relates that Jacob set up a pillar
day nor night;
Ye that are the Lord's remem- Adenauer-B-.G Fund
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A praise in the earth . . .
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Go
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er out the stones;
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Thou shalt be called, Sought out, raelis studying in this country and
Lift up a standard for the people... to erect . a special youth center in
A city not forsaken.
Jerusalem.

L

SYNAGOGUE

Jerusalem Regained

over the grave of his beloved wife
R a c h a e l (Genesis 35:20). In
Biblical literature we. read that
either stones were piled up over
the grave or a distinctive sign was
made at the site of the grave
(Ezekiel 39:15; 2 Kings 23:17,. 2
Samuel 18:17). There seems to
have been a number of reasons
for this. One is that placing stones
over the grave was a means of
protecting the remains f r o in
animals that might dig it up. An-
other is that the tombstone serves
as a reminder to passersby that
a corpse is buried here and that
one who goes near the grave
would become impurified. Thus, a
Kohen (from the priestly family
of Aaron) would take care not to
go near the grave. Furthermore,
it is pointed out that as was the
case in the grave of Rachael, the
tombstone served as a marker to
identify the grave so that the
descendants of the deceased would
know where to come to pray at
the grave when they faced danger!
and/or despair.
Why is it customary to wait a I
year before dedicating the tomb-
stone?

cates that a physical act or marker
is necessary to remember him and
that otherwise he would be forgot-
ten. The Jewish tradition states
that a deceased person is not for-
gotten for at least a year. It is
also possible that the entire proc-
ess of "dedicating" a tombstone
(i.e., gathering at the grave for
a ceremony — as distinguished
from the physical act of placing
the marker over the grave) may
have developed out of the practice
of visting the grave at the Yahr-
zeit (i.e., the anniversary of the
date of death on the Hebrew
Calendar) to offer prayers. Since
the first Yahrzeit is a year after
death, the stone was dedicated
and then possibly from this devel-
oped our modern practice of dedi-
cating tombstones in some cere-
monial fashion.

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