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May 06, 1988 - Image 33

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-05-06

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

I TORAH PORTION I

Pwv-11.04:*

Elegant 14K Gold Pins
With Cultured Pearl
for Mother's Day

Judaism Is Revealed
In The Yearly Cycle

RABBI RICHARD C. HERTZ

.

Special to The Jewish News

T

he catechism of the
Jew is his calendar,"
said Samson Raphael
Hirsch, a distinguished 19th
Century German rabbi. What
he meant was that you can
learn more about the main-
springs of Jewish spirituality
from the cycle of the year-
round observances than from
any formal statement of faith.
The Jewish calendar is bas-
ed upon the cycles of the
moon. It takes 291/2 days for
the moon to circle the earth
visibly. Thus, one month is 29
days and the next month is 30
days. The sum of the 12
months is either 353 or 355

Shabbat Emor:
Leviticus
21:1-24:23,
Ezekiel 44:15-31

days. Accordingly, seven times
in a cycle of 19 years, an ex-
tra month is added to the year
in order to keep up with the
solar year. These calculations
were set somewhere around
the year 500 C.E.
Our sidrah this week gives
a complete description of the
sacred seasons of the Jewish
religious calendar. They are
called the "appointed seasons
of the Lord" and the "time of
holy convocations." Let us ex-
amine each one identified in
this sidrah.
First of all, there is Shab-
bat, once more proclaimed as
a sabbath of solemn rest.
Next comes Passover, the
feast of unleavened bread.
Since Passover was original-
ly a spring harvest festival
that began the barley
harvest, the torah calls for
seven days of eating
unleavened bread during the
Passover week.
The Omer period stresses
the obligation of counting off
seven weeks before the formal
start of the grain harvest. The
entire period from Pesach to
Shavuot is known as the
Omer period. Traditional
Jews do not marry during this
period, which is said to be a
time of mourning for persecu-
tions that had occurred in the
spring. One day is set aside
for more cheerful practices —
the 33rd day, known as Lag
B'Omer.
Next is Shavuot, one of
three agricultural festivals.

Dr. Hertz is rabbi emeritus of
, Temple Beth El.

Originally this festival was
known as the feast of the
harvest. Later tradition con-
nected Shavuot with the
Revelation at Mount Sinai.
The prayers of Shavuot all
glorify the Torah and the mo-
ment of the revelation of the
Covenant.
Next in the order of holy
convocations is a day of
memorial proclaimed with
the blast of the Shofar, known
as Rosh Hashanah. Jews to-
day usually associate Rosh
Hashanah as the beginning of
a new year, but the Bible says
it is the first day of the
seventh month, not the first
month.
Some scholars believe the
festival of the new year began
a great fall festival that we
now call Sukkot, including
the Day of Atonement. Only
in later centuries were these
holidays detached from the
harvest festival and assigned
a special period preceding
Sukkot.
The Day of Atonement, a
unique spiritual day
unknown to any other
religion or nation, is a day of
purification and turning from
sins.
Seeking forgiveness from a
merciful God is truly unique.
It is a day that speaks to each
human being personally and
seeks to bring each person in
harmony with others and
with God.
Scholars believe that Yom
Kippur was established by
the post-exilic priesthood,
since the Day of Atonement
appears in the Bible only in
the priestly writings (out of
an incidential allusion in Ex-
odus 30:10). This is the first
time Yom Kippur is mention-
ed in the Torah. In our sidrah,
the Torah says, "There shall
be a holy convocation unto
you and you shall afflict your
souls." Fasting is not
specifically prescribed but
perhaps one can deduce that
afflicting the soul means
fasting.

Sukkot, the festival of
tabernacles, comes five days
after Yom Kippur. This is the
autumn festival of ingather-
ing, marking the close of the
agricultural year and a time
to plead for rain and con-
tinued blessings in the new
agricultural season that is
about to start.
If a Jew observes these
holidays and festivals in the
regular order of the Jewish
calendar, he or she will find
the Jewish way of life
revealed.

CONGREGATION B'NAI MOSHE

Presents Weekend
SCHOLAR-IN-RESIDENCE

DR. MIRIAM SHAPIRO

Professor of Bible

Special

C os t

In Memory of

6 149 95

RABBI MOSES LEHRMAN

"ON FIGHTING LONELINESS"

Friday, May 13 — 7:00 P.M.
FAMILY DINNER

Six Pearls, One Full
Cut Diamond .03 ct.

($10 Adults; $7 Children Under 12)

Special $14950
Cost

The manufacturer offered these
pins to us at very special prices.
We're passing the saving on to you.

Prices good until May 15th, 1988

George Ohrenstein

May 14
SHABBAT GUEST SERMON
May 15 — 10:30 A.M.
"SONG OF SONGS"

(Complimentary Breakfast)

JEWELERS, LTD.

710

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

CERTIFIED 4
GEMOLOGIST
AMERICAN GEM SOCIETY

For Reservations, call 548-9000

HARVARD ROW MALL • LAHSER & 11 MILE RD.

353-3146

In Celebration of
Israel's 40th Anniversary

)

J,

B'nai B'rith / B'nai B'rith Women

invite you to a

"

Gala Spring

11”

Dai

at

Ramada Inn of Southfield

Sunday,
May 15, 1988
7:30 p.m.

featuring the music of

"The Loving Cup"

Black Tie (Optional)
Cash Bar
Refreshments
Door Prizes
Admission: $9.00 per person $18.00 per couple

For Information or Reservations. Call
B'nai B'rith Women
or
B'nai B'rith
552-8150
552-8177

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