Members of Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg's Jewish philosophy class include, from left, standing: Leo Weber, Michael Eizelman,
Ronald Hodess, Les Goldstein, Chris Hofsteader, Lawrence Jackier, Dr. Jerry Kirzner, Robert Brown and Morris Music. Seated
are: Shelly Eizelman, Rabbi Goldberg, Jonathan Brateman and Steven Gittleman.
FOR ITS OWN SAKE
Study groups are springing up
as local Jews return to
Special to The Jewish News.
undreds of Jews in the De-
troit area are members of
chavurot, or , study groups.
Meeting weekly or monthly,
at homes, schools, synagogues or
work, in large groups or one on
one, Jews of all ages and religious
backgrounds are becoming involved
in Jewish study.
Traditionally, Torah study has
been referred to as Talmud Torah
lishmah, or "study for its own
sake." Talmudic sages counseled
that Torah should be studied for its
own sake, for the sake of the
mitzvah and the joy of learning.
Maimonides, the medieval
Jewish philosopher, observed, "Ev-
ery Jew has the obligation to study
the Torah, whether he be rich or
poor, in good health or physically
afflicted and whether very young or
so old that his strength fails him.
He should set aside a definite time
for the study of Torah, both during
the day and during the night."
Friday, May 8, 1987
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Closer to home, Young Israel of
Southfield's Rabbi Elimelech
Goldberg sees Torah study as an
important, all pervasive, total ex-
perience, essential for maintaining
"Torah study," he explains,
"has three component parts. First,
the person is trying to reach God,
to integrate God into his life in a
personal, intimate way. Secondly,
there is the philosophical search.
Who am I? What is my purpose?
What means do I have to fulfill this
purpose? These are the central is-
sues of self. Thirdly, there is an in-
tensification of Jewish identity and
affiliation with the Jewish commu-
For many, Torah study has al-
ways been part of their daily or
weekly routine. Others are integ-
rating it into their hectic lives and
finding a renewed sense of purpose
and a greater appreciaton of their
For almost two years, Rabbi
Goldberg has spent an hour each
Wednesday in the conference room
of the Southfield law firm of
Schlussel, Lifton, Simon, Rands,
Kaufman, Galvin and Jackier.
Here, a committed group of be-
tween 12 and 20 attorneys, their
families and friends, meet for a
kosher lunch and Torah study.
Mark Schlussel, the attorney
• who initiated the chavurah, de-
scribes the group: "It is open to
members of my law firm who are
interested in expanding their
knowledge and background in
Jewish religious matters. We are a
diversified group. There are men
and women ranging in age from 25
to 80, representing the great plur-
ality of Jewish religious belief."
During the first year, they
studied the weekly Torah portion
and its implications to Jewish laws
and philosophy. At holiday times,
the group shifted its focus to