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November 01, 1985 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-11-01

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

TORAH PORTION

Modern Parallels
For Wife Of Lot

BY RABBI M. ROBERT SYME

Anyone who attempts to teach
the Bible to children soon
covers that it is not an easy
task. The reason - why is that
they want to know: "Did it
(, really happen?" If the teacher
1 makes the mistake of trying to
prove that every story in the
Bible is literally true, that
/ teacher will soon come to grief.
For example, I do not know
\= whether Cain and Abel actually
existed in ancient times —
1 whether one brother hated an-
other brother, so much so, that
he wanted to kill him. But I do
know that there are many Cains

We ought to ask
ourselves from time
to time: "Am I
growing up, or am I
growing old?"

and Abels living today, and that
brotherly love is not always a
reality.
I do not know whether there
was ever a man by the name of
Noah in biblical times. But I do
know, that when the floods of
corruption sweep over the earth,
many Noahs today
understand that the
greatest safety lies in the Ark,
in the home, in strengthening
family life, in giving our chil-
dren a worthy example, whereby
they might withstand the floods
of modernity.
Apply that thought to this
week's portion of the Torah. We
read the story of Lot's wife. We
are told that she committed the
sin of "looking back" and con-
sequently was turned into a pil-
1 lar of salt. Now, I do not know
-. whether she actually existed or
- hot, but I do know that there
are many people today who
einulate Lot's wife, who refuse
t9,..go forward, who are reluctant
. to grow up, who keep looking
'back to the scenes of their
childhood. Psychologists tell us
thit. the story of Lot's wife is
really the story of "arrested de-
velopment." "And if we are in-
terested in personal growth, we
= ought to ask ourselves from
time to time; "Am I growing up,
or am I growing old?"
Let us consider some in-
stances of immaturity. It can be
seen in organizational life. A lit-
tle child says: "If I cannot have
my way, I will not play with
you." The childish adult says: "If
cannot be the leader, I will not
be part of this organization."
Another mark of childishness
is self-centeredness. Children
usually believe that the whole
world exists for their benefit
alone! They are always expect-
ing to receive. Our 'responsibil-
ity as parents is to teach them
also to give, so that when they
grow up they will be giving and
generous human beings.
Another mark of immaturity

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is the inability to accept criti-
cism. Long ago, the Bible recog-
nized that fact, and con-
sequently says: "Do not criticize
a fool lest he hate you. Criticize
a wise man; and he will love
you." If you doubt the validity of
that statement, go to any
bonafide fool, and tell him his
faults, and watch him bristle all
over. The inability to accept
constructive criticism is a sign
of immaturity.
Sometimes people marvel at
the fact that the Bible has been
a best seller for all these hun-
dreds of years. The reason why
is no mystery. It is because the
Bible is continually relevant.
Thus, it doesn't really matter
whether Lot's wife lives today,
because, when we stop growing,
when we look back to the past,
then spiritual death sets in.
Only as we continue to adjust
to changing conditions and to
different situations; only as we
refrain from saying: "But that's
the way I always did it"; only as
we are unafraid to go forward
into the unknown future, only
then will we know that we are
alive, that we are mature, that
we are growing up and not
merely growing old.

Probate Judges
Elect Grant

"Look and live
like you never
lost your hair"

Tiw

Man
11Hlakr
5 HAIR STYLISTS TO TAKE CARE OF
YOUR HAIR PIECE AT ALL TIMES!

George Ohrenstein

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Friday, November 1, 1985

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-

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Judge Grant was secretary
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Judge Grant has been a probate
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Soviet Monitors

Washington — To maintain
contact with Jews in the Soviet
Union, B'nai B'rith Interna-
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tions of the International Postal
Union Agreement.
Anyone who has experienced
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ages or mail, or who has infor-
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should contact Werner Rom at
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3

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