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March 04, 1988 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-03-04

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

I TORAH PORTION

THE MIDRASHA — COLLEGE OF JEWISH STUDIES

cordially invites you to a lecture
on

A PERSONAL and HISTORICAL PORTRAIT
OF YEMENITE JEWS

Some Good May Arise
From Apparent Sins

RABBI MORTON F. YOLKUT

Special to The Jewish News

C

ivilized society has
always frowned upon
any display of anger.
And yet, nothing worthwhile
was ever accomplished, no
evil was ever eradicated, no
great reform was ever carried
out except by people who had
the ability to become angry.
This week's Torah portion
presents us with a profound
example of such "creative
anger." It had been only a few
months since Israel had been
miraculously redeemed from
Egyptian slavery and had
witnessed the miracle of the
Red Sea. Barely six weeks
had passed since the
Israelites stood at the foot of
Sinai and proclaimed: Naaseh
venishma, "We will do and we
will hear" (Exodus 24:7).
They had just heard the voice

Shabbat Ki Tisa:
Exodus
30:11-34:45,
I Kings 18:1-39

of God pronouncing the Ten
Commandments. Yet the peo-
ple forgot their wondrous ex-
periences — as well as their
solemn promise — and made
for themselves a golden calf to
worship, denying the very ex-
istence of the God they "saw"
at the Red Sea and "heard" at
Sinai.
Moses came down from the
mountain with the tablets of
the covenant in his hands,
and when he saw the people
bowing to the golden calf, he
became upset. In anger, he
cast the tablets to the ground,
shattering them.
The rabbis of the Talmud
tell us that when God saw
what Moses had done, He con-
gratulated him and said:
ryasher kochaka sheshavar-
ta — "You have done well that
you have broken them" (Shab-
bat 87a). The tablets would be
useless to a people worshiping
a golden calf.
What the sages are
teaching here is that anger,
expressed at the proper time
and constructively channeled,
can often be a force for good.
And Moses is not the only
Jewish leader who exploded
with righteous anger. When
we think of the prophets of
Israel we think of angry men,
of men who were able to react

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

with indignation when con-
fronted with evil.
The prophet Amos, for ex-
ample, saw the palaces of the
rich of Samaria, and realized
how much had been taken
from the poor in order to build
them, and he was angry. He
called out in the name of God:
"I hate the pride of Jacob, and
I abhor his palaces!"
Perhaps the tragedy of our
times is that we do not get
angry enough. We accept
crime, corruption and scan-
dal, we shrug our shoulders in
apathy or despair, and we no
longer have righteous wrath.
There is a time when anger is
not a vice; in the face of evil
it can be a virtue.
What is true of anger is
true of many other apparent
sins or vices. There are cer-
tain actions that are not good
or bad in themselves; they
should be judged by the pur-
poses to which we put them.
So it is, for example, with ly-
ing. Our rabbis teach for the
sake of bringing about peace,
it is sometimes a mitzvah,
and not a sin to lie.
And so it is even with
atheism. A Chasid once ask-
ed his rebbe: "Why did God
create atheism? It is such a
dreadful curse. It plagues us,
it destroys our faith!'
The rebbe answered:
"There is a time to be an
atheist. When a poor man
comes to you for a donation,
you should not say to him
that God will help. You should
feel and act at that moment
as if there were no God, as if
there were no one else on
earth but you who could help
him."
Anger, lying, even atheism
— each of these so-called vices
can be used for good as well
as for evil. We can use every
human quality to become bet-
ter people and more ex-
emplary representatives of
His image. God taught Moses
that lesson when he con-
gratulated him on the break-
ing of the tablets.

YEFET OZERY

Community Shaliach
Born in Yemen,
Member of
Moshav G'vat Yearim

United Hebrew Schools

21550 West Twelve Mile Road, Southfield

352-7177

NO CHARGE

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

"Division For The Sake Of Unity"

Divorce is a tragedy that cuts through so many families. Divorce without
a "get" is a tear that rips apart the very fabric of the Jewish community
causing hurt and harm to generations yet to come. If a Jewish marriage
must end in divorce it must end with a "halachic get". A court. It has
been a part of the Jewish Nation since Mount Sinai. With it people
start over and begin anew. Without it, we are all affected. The "get"
is a short, totally non-judgmental procedure. No one is turned away
for lack of funds. For the sake of a new beginning, for the sake of the
children, all of our children, the "get" must be the final division when
a final division is necessary.

Anyone needing information on a "get" should contact:

The Council of Orthodox Rabbis 559.5005
Rabbi Leizer Levin 557•6828

HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS:

Get The Competitive Edge In The
College Selection Process!

* Step by Step Instruction
* Assessment of Interests and Aptitudes to
Determine College Major
* Successful Strategies for Completing Applications
and Personal Essay Writing

ORIENTATION
Tuesday • March 22
4-5:30 pm

UHS Hosts
Shabbat Service

Adat Shalom's United
Hebrew School branch will
host a family Shabbat service
and dinner today. The Kab-
balat Shabbat and Ma'ariv
service will be conduced by
the students in the Adat
Shalom main sanctuary.
A traditional Shabbat din-
ner will follow services. For
reservations, call Bea
Kriechman, 626-2153 or
354-1050.

Sunday, March 6, 1988
7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

parents welcome

JVS

Jewish Vocational Service

Call Lydia Gray

29699 Southfield Rd.
Southfield, MI 48076

559-5000
For Reservation

Sliding fee based on ability to pay.

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