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March 06, 1987 - Image 46

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-03-06

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

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THE CULTURAL COMMISSION

OF

CONGREGATION B'NAI DAVID

Cordially Invites You to Hear

ANNETTE DULZIN

Israeli Political Columnist •

and 1987 Detroit Zionist Federation Scholar in Residence

on

at

CONGREGATION B'NAI DAVID

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Southfield, Michigan 48075
557-8210

.

Question & Answer Period -- No Charge — The Community is Invited

Friday, March 6, 1987

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Sincerity: An Example
Of Art Imitating. Life

RABBI MORTON F. YOLKUT

Special to The Jewish News

T

here was once a Greek
sculptor named
Phidias who was com-
missioned to make a statue
that was to go up against the
wall in one of the rooms of a
temple in Athens. Phidias used
only the best and most expen-
sive marble for the task, and he
gave care and devotion to every
inch of the statue.
A friend asked him, "I can
understand why you are so
concerned with the front side,
for that will be seen. But'why
do you work so hard on the
back of the statue? It will be up
against the wall and no one
will see it anyway."
The artist answered, "The
gods see everywhere."
It was an incisive answer for
it expresses the truth that a
real artist does not create in
order to impress others but in
order to express himself. If his
aim were only to impress
others then it would have been
sufficient to work on the visible
part of the statue, but if the
goal was to express his inner-
most self, then the work of art
had to be right both inside and
outside.
I think Phidias would have
understood, appreciated and
responded to one crucial in-
sight in this week's Torah por-
tion. The Torah does not come
to teach us the art of sculpture
or the art of painting. It is
primarily interested in teach-
ing us the art of living. But
there is one verse in this week's
portion that is strikingly simi-
lar to the story of Phidias. In
the sidrah of "Terumah," the
building of the Holy Ark of the
Tabernacle is described in
great detail. Moses is told that
the Ark shall be made of acacia
wood and covered with pure
gold both outside and inside
(Exodus 25:10-11). Outside.—
where people can see it, and in-
side — where no one but God
will know; both must be made
of the same gold and both must
be constructed with the same
care and devotion.
On this verse the Talmud
makes a simple and relevant
comment. The Rabbis teach:
"From this we learn that who-
ever wishes to be considered a
disciple of the wise has to be
Tocho K'varo, the same kind of
person inside and out" (Yoma
72b). He cannot be super pious
when people are looking, and a
scoundrel when no one else will
know. Instead, he must be the
same kind of person when
others are looking and when no
one else but God can see.

.

"The U.S., Israel and Iran"
11:00 a.m.
Sunday, March 8, 1987

46

TORAH PORTION

Morton P. Yolkut is rabbi at
Cong. B'nai David.

There is a word in the
English language that has its
origin in the same concept: the
word "sincere." Some
authorities suggest that it
comes from two Latin words
sine and cera that mean "with-
out wax." In the ancient world,
when artists were commis-
sioned to produce a work of
sculpture they often
encountered technical prob-
lems. It would sometimes hap-
pen that the marble had a flaw,
or a statue would be damaged
in the making. To remedy this
a white wax was used for the
purpose of concealing any de-

.

Shabbat Teruma:
Exodus
25:1-27:19,
1 Kings 5:26-6:13

fects, and so cleverly was this
done that it was almost im-
possible even for a skilled eye
to detect it. But in the course of
time, the wax became dis-
colored and the flaws were ap-
parent. So to guard against
this, the sculptor had to give a
guarantee that his work had
been done "sincerely," that is,
"without wax."
When we come before God at
the end of our lives and when
we show Him the work of art
which we have produced,
which is the story of our lives,
may each of us be able to say
that whatever we did was like
the statue: sincere. If we can
say that, then like Phidias the
sculptor, and like Bezalel, who
made the Ark of the Taberna-
cle, we will have produced a
work of art that will be
cherished as truly sacred.

Blind Girl
Is Judo Champ

Jerusalem (JTA) — The only
blind competitor, 12-year-old
Michal Levy has become
Jerusalem's girls judo cham-
pion. She qualified for the na-
tional championships later
this year.
Tough and wiry, Michal has
been studying judo since she
was six at the Jerusalem
Hapoel Sports Club. She trains
seriously at three or four ses-
sions a week, but still has time
for other hobbies. She says she
would rather win acclaim for
her music than for judo. She
plays and composes for the
piano.
Michal attends a regular
school in Mevasseret Zion; a
new town just outside
Jerusalem. Her textbooks are
in Braille. She also is learning
to use an Optacon machine
that converts printed letters
into raised dots.

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