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November 10, 1989 - Image 48

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-11-10

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

TORAH PORTION

THE TEMPLE BETH EL

+10 *

SISTERHOOD
GIFT
and
JUDAICA
SHOP

The Jewish Messianic Dream:
Man Proclaims God's Oneness

(

RABBI MORTON YOLKUT

Special to The Jewish News

Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah,
Wedding gifts, too.
Shower gifts, house gifts,
We're ready for you.
Clutch bags, shoulder bags,
jewelry and books.
Come on in and give a look
Seder plates, challah plates,
Judaica and more.
20% off is the rule at our store.*

1 I 11

SPECIAL FOR HANUKAH
,.41e 25% OFF ALL MENORAHS

Ii II

1 I

The TBE Sisterhood Gift Shop is located at:
7400 Telegraph Road

at 14 Mile Rd., Birmingham

Telephone: 851-1100.

'Excluding Entertainment books, mezuzzah scrolls and books.

BAIS CHABAD TORAH CENTER

a

cordially invites you to a

Jewish Art Exhibit

by

Internationally acclaimed Israeli artists,
Contemporary and Folk Art
With Biblical and Mystical Vision

Rabbi A. Leaf will be the docent for this event

Sunday, Nov. 12 • 2:00-5:00 & 7:00-9:00 p.m.
during the week by appointment only

at the

Bats Chabad Torah Center

5595 West Maple Road • West Bloomfield

No admission charge • Refreshments will be served
for more information and for an appointment call

Rabbi Leaf at 545-6303

A portion of the proceeds to benefit the Bais Chabad Torah Center

The Bright Idea:

Give a Gift Subscription

48

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1989

THE JEWISH NEWS

T

he question is often
asked, if the purpose
of the Jew is to bring
the world, in the beautiful
language of the rabbis,
"under the wings of the
Shechinah (the divine
presence, why do we, alone of
all the major religions in the
world, refrain from mis-
sionary activity? Why do we
Jews not go out into the world
and try to gain converts?
Why, on the contrary, do we
place so many obstacles in the
way of conversion to our
faith?"
This question becomes par-
ticularly relevant this week
when we read of God's initial
call to Abraham. The Torah
informs us almost immediate-
ly that Abraham and Sarah
arrived in Canaan with "the
souls they had made in
Haran," which our Rabbis ex-
plain as "the souls which
they had made by converting
them to a knowledge of the
true God."
And thus in our tradition
Abraham is regarded not only
as the father of all Jews, but
as the spiritual father of all
converts to Judaism. Every
Jewish convert is given the
patronymic of ben (bat)
Abraham Avinu — the son
(daughter) of our father
Abraham. Why then do we
not follow his example and
seek to bring others to our
faith and tradition?
The answer is that Judaism
of all the major religions of
the world never made salva-
tion contingent upon the ac-
ceptance of a specific creed,
but rather upon the moral
decency of one's life. Indeed,
our tradition proclaims that
"the righteous of all of the na-
tions have a portion in the
world to come."
And Judaism, from its very
inception, formulated a
detailed program of
righteousness known as the
Noahide Laws for the world.
Seven commandments were
to be binding on all human
beings: they must avoid (1)
idol worship, (2) incest,
3) murder, (4) blasphemy,
5) theft, (6) injustice toward
other men, (7) the eating of
flesh cut from a living
animal.
From a Jewish perspective
these seven precepts, derived
from scripture and

Morton Yolkut is rabbi of
Congregation B'nai David.

enumerated in the Talmud,
are viewed as the basic
universal law. The non-Jew
who adheres to these prin-
ciples of humanity and faith
can thereby attain salvation.
Conversion to Judaism is
therefore not essential to
achieving that overriding
religious good. In this connec-

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

tion, it is interesting to note
that of all "the souls which
Abraham and Sarah made in
Haran," not one became a
follower of Abraham in the
specifically Jewish doctrine.
Abraham's task was complete
when he brought to them an
awareness of ethical
monotheism as expressed in
the Noahide Code.
Judaism acknowledges that
many paths lead to the moun-
tain of God and the nations of
the world can choose their

own. Salvation or "a share of
the world to come" is not
limited to Jews (or Jewish
converts) who have to live by
613 commandments, but is of-
fered equally to those
righteous non-Jews who
adhere to the seven precepts
of the Noahide Laws.
Would that the other
religions of the world had the
same respect of and toleration
for Judaism as Jewish law
has for them. The mandate of
many religious and mis-
sionary groups still leads
them to hope that Judaism
will soon disappear into their
religion and that Jews will
convert into their faith
community.
We have no such hope and
no such mandate. The list of
613 commandments contains
no commandments to pro-
selytize. It was never the goal
of Judaism to make the.entire
world Jewish. Rather, our
messianic dream is of a
united mankind proclaiming
on a day yet to come, "that
the Lord is one and His name
is one."



I SYNAGOGUES I

Shaarey Zedek To Host
Roth, Adult Institute

Congregation Shaarey
Zedek will host Rabbi Joel
Roth for the Scholar-in-
Residence program today
through Sunday.
Rabbi Roth, professor of
Talmud and rabbinics at the
Jewish Theological Seminary
of American and chairman of
the Committee on Jewish
Law and Standards of the
Rabbinical Assembly, will
discuss his research on such
topics as bio-medical issues
and the role of women in the
context of Jewish law. On
Sunday, he will speak on
"Life in the Balance: Defin-
ing Death in Jewish Law."
Beginning Tuesday,
Shaarey Zedek will begin the
Institute for Adult Jewish
Studies. Classes will meet
7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through
Dec. 5.
Among the classes to be of-
fered are "Jewish Ethical
Values: The Challenge of
Modernity," taught by Rabbi
Irwin Groner, which will seek
to define a Halachic perspec-
tive on modern-day problems;
Israeli folk dance with Shel-
ly Komer Jackier; "The Key
to Judaism: Living and
Understanding the Jewish
Holidays," taught by Aviva

Rabbi Joel Roth

Silverman; "Tevye: Tragic
Hero or Comic Figure," with
Aliza Shevrin; "Aspects of
Jewish Life in Detroit:
1914-1967," taught by Pro-
fessor Sidney Bolkosky; "Sex
in the Thxts," with Rabbi
William Gershon; and "Prac-
tice Makes Perfect: An In-
troduction to Jewish Ritual
Practice," with Rabbi Chuck
Diamond.
Professor Todd Endelman of
the University of Michigan
also will offer a presentation
8 p.m. Dec. 12.
There is a charge.

C

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