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February 19, 1988 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-02-19

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

I TORAH PORTION 1

9.

BRENT R. SOLOMON, C.P.A.



Masters in

TER

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Taxation

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Complete Fur Service

It Is Not The Gift That
Counts, But The Giving

RABBI PAUL YEDWAB

Special to The Jewish News

W

hen I was a boy of
five, I once walked

into the sanctuary of
our synagogue only to find the
shamash of our congregation
relighting the ner tamid, the
eternal light. I remember
that I ran to my father in
distress. Could it be that the
eternal light did indeed
sometimes go out? I was
scandalized.
My father's response has
stayed with me all of these
years: The eternal light, he
told me, was eternal not
because it never went out, but
because the people of Israel
was eternal and were always
there to relight it.
In this week's Torah por-
tion, "Terumah," we read
about the construction of the
seven-branched menorah
which came to be known as
the Ner Tamid. This menorah

Shabbat Terumah:
Exodus 25:1-27:19
I Kings 5:26-6:13

ple from Egypt and splits the
waters of the Red Sea. God
gives the Torah to Israel at
Mt. Sinai. The people of Israel
have received much; they
have given little.
They have, of course,
responded positively to God's
laws answering, "We will do
and we will hear," but their
response was verbal only.
They had not yet participated
actively in the Covenant. For
a relationship to be mutual,
there is a need for active par-
ticipation from both parties in
the relationship. God,
therefore, asks the people of
Israel for these material gifts
as a way of including them ac-
tively in the partnership, and
thereby in the Covenant of
Sinai.
Such is the case for us today
as well. Our ongoing relation-
ship with God demands active
participation. Judaism is not
a club which we join in order
to passively reap the benefits
of membership. Rather it is a
process. A process in which
we must become involved.
We become involved in the
process of Judaism when we
bring our gifts to the Taber-
nacle: when we light the
Shabbat candles, when we ac-
company our children to ser-
vices, when we contribute our
time and our resources to
help those less fortunate than
ourselves, when we par-
ticipate actively in the pro-
gramming of our Jewish in-
stitutions. These are the gifts
which we can bring to the
Tabernacle of our faith. In
this way we, the people of
Israel, rekindle eternally the
Ner Tamid — the perpetual
light of our people.

was constructed as part of the
Holy Tabernacle, the Ark of
the Covenant.
"Terumah" begins with
God's command to bring gifts
for the construction of the
Tabernacle: "Tell the Israelite
people to bring Me gifts," God
instructs Moses. "You shall
accept gifts for Me from every
person whose heart so moves
him."
The test then goes on to list
the gifts which are to be
brought: gold, silver and cop-
per, blue, pruple and crimson
yarns, fine linen, goat's hair,
dolphin skins and acacia
wood.
At the first glance it may
seem strange that God asks
for these gifts of gold and
silver. What does God, The
Eternal One who redeemed
the people from the land of
Egypt, need with gold and
silver, colored yarns and
dolphin skins? This, after all,
is God who created the
heavens and the earth!
I believe, however, that it is
not the gifts which God wants
from the people of Israel, but
rather the giving. Up until
this point, God has been the
only active partner in the
relationship between Him
and Israel. God frees the peo-

Paul Yedwab is rabbi at Temple
Israel.

Sabbath Ban
Draft Approved

Tel Aviv (JTA) — The
Cabinet approved a draft law,
to be presented to the
Knesset, that would give
municipal councils the right
to ban Sabbath entertain-
ment within all or part of
their statutory boundaries.
The vote was 17 to 2 last
Sunday, with Minister-
Without-Portfolio Yitzhak
Peretz of the Sephardic
Orthodox party Shas voting
against, because he felt the
proposed legislation did not
go far enough to enforce
public observance of the Sab-
bath. Absorption Minister
Yaacov Tsur cast the other
negative vote, because he
thought the draft law to be
excessively coercive.

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FIRST INTERNATIONAL JEWISH ART EXPO AND SALE

February 27, 1988-March 9, 1988

SOME PARTICIPATING ARTISTS IN ATTENDANCE

AGAM, ISRAEL
ITZIK BENSHALOM, ISRAEL
BRONSTEIN, RUSSIA/ISRAEL
BERTHA COHEN, MICHIGAN
AMRAN EBGI, ISRAEL/FLORIDA
ANN FROMAN, NEW YORK
YANKEL GINZBURG,

RUSSIA/FLORIDA
HALVANI, ISRAEL
KAHN, ISRAEL
KIEF, CANADA
SARA MEKLER MEXICO

MICHEL, NEW YORK
YOSEF SASOON, ISRAEL
SUSANA SCHWEBER DE
KARCHMER, MEXICO
ROBERTA SHEFRIN, NEW YORK
SHEMI, ISRAEL
MILY SIDAUY, MEXICO
JERRY SOBLE, MICHIGAN
ZAMY STEIMOVITZ RUSSIA/USA
GILA STEIN, ISRAEL
ESTHER WERTHEIMER, CANADA
AND OTHERS

ARTISTS RECEPTION - SATURDAY, FEB. 27 7:00 P.M.

JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER
6600 W. Maple Road / West Bloomfield

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