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January 22, 1988 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-01-22

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

!TORAH PORTION

I

THAT'S MY BOY

APPLEGATE SQUARE

Time Is Dependent
On Our Participation

RABBI ELIMELECH GOLDBERG

Special to The Jewish News

T

here is a famous say-
ing that time stands
still for no man. Isaac
Newton, while not the author
of this phrase, would have
concurred from the perspec-
tive of physics. Time can't
stand still any more than it
can stand on its head. Time is
not an object, only a measure-
ment. A second, a minute or
a day doesn't change no mat-
ter where it is. Time is but an
experience that flows equably
throughout the universe. It is
not a thing but a thought.
Albert Einstein never met
Isaac Newton. But if they

Shabbat Bo:
Exodus 10:1-13:16,
Jeremiah 46:13-28

had, they probably would not
have been good friends. Ein-
stein disdained common
sense for reality, even if his
reality strained the mind and
shattered our process of cogni-
tion. Time to Einstein was
not merely a concept, nor a
dynamic, absolute force. His
Special Theory of Relativity
defines time as a dimension
as real an "object" as any
other in the physical universe.
In fact time and space merge
together in a continuum, so
that our world is not three
dimensional as it appears to
the mind's eye. It is four.
This week's Torah portion
unveils the very first com-
mandment given to the Na-
tion of Israel. It is a mitzvah
that defines "time" according
to the Torah, and in so doing
sides with the modern
perception.
"This month is to you the
beginning of the months."
Within this apparently sim-
ple directive, the Jewish peo-
ple are mandated to create
and maintain a calendar, con-
secrating the months in ac-
cordance with the appearance
of the New Moon and other
calculations. Unlike the Sab-
bath, which was made holy
from the beginning of Crea-
tion and therefore occurs
every seventh day no matter
what,
the
festivals
throughout the Jewish year
came into existence only
because of the calendar.
According to the Talmud, if
the Nation of Israel would not
create and sanctify the calen-

Elimelech Goldberg is rabbi of
Young Israel of Southfield.

dar, there would be no Pesach
Shavuot or Succot. Not even
Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kip-
pur would exist without the
prior consecration of the
months.
This thought is expressed
within the blessings of the
festivals. While on Shabbat
we make mention only of He
who is the "Sanctifier of the
Sabbath," on the festivals we
add the blessing for He who
"sanctifies Israel and the
festivals." Israel, the nation,
is a prominent factor in the
festival blessing because the
Yom Toy is called into being
by the participation of the
Jewish people in the creation
of the day.
That the Holy Day wishes
for us to participate between
man and the Almighty in the
ever unfolding process of
Creation. That the very first
statement of national obliga-
tion is the consecration of
time is a reflection of our
obligations and meaning in
this world.
Most people are very com-
fortable with the first three
dimensions. The material,
the physical are there to be
had, to be conquered. Only
time, that which stands still
for no one, is the enemy, rob-
bing us of what we can have
and what we can keep.
Our Torah, however, focuses
upon the fourth dimension in
describing our ultimate reali-
ty. It is the dimension of time
that is to be consecrated and
conquered.
How do we grab the elusive
moment? This is where our
legacy of Torah law and the
foundations of our halachah
emerge. The first command-
ment given to the Children of
Israel is a treatise about all of
the rest. By observing the
Laws of Torah as they were
given to our people on the
Mountain of Sinai, we are
given the ability to ex-
perience the timeless within
the three dimensions.
When we observe the Shab-
bat, we step into the court-
yard of the Eternal. As we
maintain kashrut and bless
the food that we ingest, we
divide ourselves from the
primeval and attach the in-
finite to our everyday
experiences.
Searching for ourselves and
our Creator within the pages
of our Torah illuminates the
fourth dimension of the
universe and enfolds us
within. In this way we ad-
dress the mystery of our ex-
istence as we allow the winds
of time to move us ever
forward.

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Announcing a parent-toddler program for 8 Consecutive Tuesdays, starting Jan.
26, 1988. Fathers, mothers, bubbes, zaydes are welcome.
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Toddlers (to 3 yrs. old) 11 a.m. to noon
Members $40.00
Non-members $50.00

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(313) 548-9000

14390 West Ten Mile Rd., Oak Park
(1/2 Mile E. of Greenfield)

Unforgettable

What is a Tamarack summer? It's lighting
one's first campfire at Camp Tamarack,
exploring "Dinosaurland" and learning a
new Hebrew song. It's ceramics and
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sightseeing and whitewater rafting on the
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riding overnight on the Israel Plus...
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It's a spirit of camaraderie and adventure
that promotes friendships that last a lifetime.

Call the Tamarack Camps hotline 313-661-CAMP

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