100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

April 29, 1988 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-04-29

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

6 visits
for $19.00

THE NEW BAR MITZVAH

(NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY-WITH THIS AD)

An Embarrassment of Riches

Continued from preceding page

Your skin deserves careful attention and
protection. We feel confident that the
more you know, the better you'll feel
about the Wolff System.

IAI CK TAN,

4=

TWO CONVENIENT LOCATIONS

Gift Certificates Available

LA MIRAGE MALL

29555 Northwestern (N. of 12) Southfield, MI 48034

350-2430
CENTURY PLAZA

3624 Rochester

of Big i Bea8
ver) Troy, MI 48083

J.N

ollection of elegant diamond jewelry.

FINE JEWELERS

GEM DIAMOND SPECIALIST

"THINKING OF YOU
THIS MOTHER'S DAY"

Breathtaking:
It must be Jose Hess.

30400 TELEGRAPH RD.,
BIRMINGHAM, MI 48010, SUITE 134

• ■

I

I • •

II • !

AWARDED CERTIFICATE
BY GIA IN GRADING =
& EVALUATION

is inappropriate.
I could not get my mind off
Jason and of his parents who
undoubtedly love him and
would do anything to make
him happy. Inadvertently
Jason has been poorly in-
structed for life. His parents
have money — and that's no
sin. Wealth is a power and
that's no sin. But money and
power so misused is
blasphemous.
It is no casual matter that
the Bible repeatedly prohibits
labor on the Sabbath and the
festivals and withdrawing
from working the land during
the Sabbatical year and on
the Jubilee. We are not to
plow the soil, thresh the
wheat, harness the animal,
squeeze the earth on these
sacred days. In the same
breath that Isaiah calls us to
bestow our bread to the
hungry and relieve the af-
flicted soul, the prophet urges
us to "refrain from pursuing
thy business on My holy day"
and to call the Sabbath a
delight.
The desecration of wealth
has the conscience of the
Jewish prophet against it.
Woe to those who "lie upon
beds of ivory . . . and drink
wine in bowls . . . but are not
grieved for the affliction of
Joseph . . . " "Woe to those
who sell the innocent for
silver and the needy for a pair
of shoes . . . who trample the
head of the poor and turn
aside the way of the afflicted."
As tragic the despoiling of
the poor is the injustice to
Jason, who is robbed of that
elevating passion for justice,
mercy and compassion. Jason
and the children of entitle-
ment do not need to be defen-
sive about wealth. They do
need to find meaning in their
labours and purpose in their
affluence.
For his sanity and sobriety
Jason and his generation
must be exposed to authentic
Jewish sensibilities, to the
Jewish life-style that raises
"walking with God in modes-
ty" to an elegant art. Jason
and his cohorts must be
taught such a section from
the Talmud (Moed Katan 27
a, b):
• In former times, the faces
of the corpses of the poor
were covered to hide the
marks of poverty: only the
faces of the rich corpses were
un-covered.
• In former times, the poor
used a bed made of reeds to
carry the deceased, while the
deceased of the rich were car-
ried on stately, ornamental
beds.
• In former times, the food
brought to the house of the
mourners was carried in silver
and gold baskets for the rich
mourners, while for the poor
mourners the food was placed

in baskets of willow twigs.
• In former times, the poor
mourners drank wine out of
cheap, colored glass, but the
rich drank out of crystal,
white glass.
But the rabbis of the
Talmud, encouraged by the
actions of the affluent Rab-
ban Gamliel, changed their
ways. They observed the
disparity of the tradition.
"The poor people were
shamed" and out of "the
honor of the poor," they
adopted rules of modesty.
Henceforth the deceased, rich

Far from embarrassed
by prosperity, I am
deeply embarrassed
by the desecration of
wealth, the disrespect
for money, and the
misuse of its power.

and poor, were to be dressed
alike in white linen shrouds;
all the deceased were to be
carried in modest caskets; all
the mourners were to drink
and eat out of the same sim-
ple vessels. Jewish noblesse
oblige calls forth the respon-
sibility and compassion and
wisdom of the affluent.
Jewish moral culture knows
how to own wealth and not be
owned by it, to master wealth
and not be enslaved to it.
When Alexander of Macedon
ordered a 'Ibrah written in
gold, it was buried in the
earth by the rabbis. A Torah
written in gold? When the
High Priest entered the Holy
of Holies on the Day of
must observe the dangers of
Atonement, he shed his
vestments of silver and gold
and dressed in linen. Atone-
ment dressed in gold, and
silver? When the shofar was
covered with silver and gold,
it was discarded as invalid.
Cry to G-d with precious
metals?
The behavior of those who
are members of congregations
has a profound impact on our
community. The peer pres-
sure upon parents and
children to have a Bar/Bat
Mitzvah as lavish as those
they have been invited to is
strong. It seems to lead to an
upward spiralling with more
and more lavish and extra-
vagant accoutrements —
from tassled, silver and gold
mirrored invitations to Bar
and Bat Mitzvah themes and
florists and bands louder and
larger and hors d'oeuvres and
midnight snacks catered with
longer and more expensive
menus.
After all our concerns
about wealth and power, it
may seem a trivial matter to
draw attention to the Bar/Bat
Mitvah extravaganza. But

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan