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October 21, 1988 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-10-21

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

(TORAH PORTION

.

B'NAI DAVID INSTITUTE FOR ADULT EDUCATION
FALL SEMESTER, 1988

• Lectures on vital contemporary issues by
Rabbi Morton F. Yolkut

• Discussion period to follow each lecture

Patriarch Abraham
Had A Better Idea

RABBI RICHARD C. HERTZ

Special to The Jewish News

W

ith this sidrah, the
Torah turns from
the myths of crea-
tion and the stories of Adam
and Noah to the history of the
Jewish people. Abraham ap-
pears on the scene of history
as the first Jew, the patriarch
of faith, land and people.
At age 75, Abraham
receives the call to leave his
native Mesopotamia. Even
though the narrative has a
legendary flavor, many of the
details of the story are now
confirmed by outside sources,
particularly archeological
data.
The challenge given to
Abraham, "Go forth from
your native land and your
father's house?' suggests the

Shabbat
Lech Lecha:
Genesis 12:1-17:27,
Isaiah 40:27-41:16

difficulty of leaving one's
home and picking up the
wanderer's staff for a land not
even identified. What a severe
trial of faith for Abraham to
make at his age!
We see Abraham as a hus-
band, as an uncle, and as a
man who confronts danger,
always with a serene sense of
purpose.
Born in Ur of the Chal-
dean_, Abraham heard the
voice of the one God bidding
him to leave the city of his
fathers and go across the hot
desert sand along the fertile
crescent to Canaan, accom-
panied by his wife Sarah and
Lot, his nephew.
What made Abraham
great? For one thing,
Abraham had an idea: the
concept of monotheism. In
those days, people thought
there were many gods. People
made idols and worshipped
them.
One midrash tells us that
one evening Abraham was
walking about just as the
stars came out, one by one. He
was struck by their beauty
and thought, "Surely, this
must be god."
But soon the moon rose and
Abraham thought, "No, this
must be god."
At last the dawn came and
the moon paled and Abraham
said, "Surely the moon can-

Dr. Hertz is rabbi emeritus of
Temple Beth El.

not be god, for its light has
become dim and weak?'
Then the sun rose, majestic
and glorious, and Abraham
thought, "At last, this is the
real god." But at evening the
sun sunk and once more the
stars appeared.
Finally, the truth dawned
upon. Abraham that none of
these, beautiful though they
were, could be God. There
must be some power of good
and love behind all these
whose servants they were and
whose law they obeyed. That
must be God. So he bowed
down and worshipped the one
God of the whole universe.
The climax of the Abraham
story is the covenant propos-
ed by God to Abraham. If
Abraham would follow God's
commandments, God would
make the descendants of
Abraham His people.
After 4,000 years, that cove-
nant between God and the
Jewish people is still alive,
mentioned daily and weekly
in prayers in synagogues
throughout the world. It is
that covenant, symbolized by
the rite of circumcision, that
has given the Jews the will to
survive.

Cantors Council
Holds Conclave

The Cantors Council of
Detroit, in conjunction with
the Tri-State Region of the
Cantors Assembly, will hold a
fall conference at the Butzel
Conference Center in Orton-
ville on Tuesday and Wednes-
day. Participants in the two-
day conference will include
cantors from the Taronto and
Chicago regions, Cleveland
and Pittsburgh.
Cantor Moshe Taube of
Congregation Beth Shalom in
Pittsburgh will be the
scholar-in-residence. Dr.
Sholom Kalib, professor of
music at University of
Eastern Michigan and a com-
poser of synagogue music,
will present two lectures on
the East European liturgical
tradition. Cantor Abe Lubin
of Anshe Emet Synagogue in
Chicago and Evelyn Orbach
of West Bloomfield also will
give lectures.
Cantor Max Shimansky of
Congregation Beth Achim is
president of the Cantors
Council. Members of the con-
ference committee include
Cantors Larry Vieder of Adat
Shalom Synagogue, Sam
Greenbaum of Congregation
Beth Shalom, and Israel
Idelsohn of the Downtown
Synagogue.

WEDNESDAY EVENINGS
NOV. 2-NOV. 16

• Free to members and non-members

• Come and bring your friends for a
stimulating evening in a relaxed atmosphere

LECTURE SERIES
8:15-9:30 P.M.

• Refreshments following the lecture

GENERATIONS IN CRISIS:
JEWISH ANSWERS TO CONTEMPORARY DILEMMAS

NOVEMBER 2 — THE EARLY YEARS: THE JEWISH FAMILY IN CRISIS







The disintegration of the Jewish Family
The divorce epidemic and single parent Jewish Homes
Young Jews and drugs
The intermarriage crisis What's a Jewish parent to do?
The role of the Jewish community and family
coping with the crisis

NOVEMBER 9 — THE LATER YEARS: JEWISH REFLECTIONS ON AGING








Longevity — blessing or curse?
The challenges of the post-retirement years
Aging in a youth-oriented society
Jewish sources and views on aging
Dealing with elderly parents
Jewish geriatrics—some practical suggestions

NOVEMBER 16—IN THE END: THE JEWISH WAY IN DEATH AND MOURNING

• Christian encroachments on Jewish funeral and
mourning practices
Laws,
customs, and superstitions

• The Rabbi and the mortician—religion or business?
• Making final arrangements—What every Jewish
consumer should know
• Kaddish, Yahrzeit, and Yizkor—answers to the most
often asked questions
• Life after death in the Jewish tradition

For Additional Information Contact:

CONGREGATION B'NAI DAVID

24350 SOUTHFIELD ROAD
SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN 48075

557-8210

CHILDREN OF H OLOCAUST- SURVIVORS ASSOCIATION IN MICHIGAN

Guest Speaker: Helena Opatowski, Child of Survivors
Topic: "Discovering My Roots": A Slide Presentation
of Helena's trip to Poland with her family.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23, 11:00 A.M.

Jewish Community Center, West Bloomfield

1

Helena Shavell with her father and brother visited her
father's home town of Kielce, Poland. While in Poland,
they also visited Auschwitz, Maidanek and Treblinka.

Helena and her family took part in ceremonies com-
memorating the burial site of the 42 Jewish concen-
tration camp survivors who were killed by anti-Semites
in 1946 in what has been called Europe's "Last
Pogrom."
- ALL WHO ARE INTERESTED ARE INVITED TO ATTEND -
Refreshments will be served at 10:30 a.m.
Nonmembers: $2.00
CH.A.I.M. members: No Admission

THE DETROIT EW S

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