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March 02, 1990 - Image 49

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-03-02

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

CONGREGATION SHIR
TIKVAH

3633 W. Big Beaver, Troy, 643-6520.
Rabbi: Arnie Sleutelberg.

HUMANISTIC:

THE BIRMINGHAM TEMPLE

28611 West 12 Mile Rd., Farmington
Hills, 477-1410. Rabbi: Sherwin T.
Wine. Services: Friday 8:30 p.m.
The Birmingham Temple drama
group will share readings of favorite

Jewish humorists.

RECONSTRUCTIONIST:

T'CHIYAH

St. Antoine at Monroe, Detroit,
393-1089.

UNAFFILIATED:

SEPHARDIC COMMUNITY
OF GREATER DETROIT

15751 W. Lincoln. Southfield.
545-8945.

!TORAH PORTION

I

Temple Emanu-El Presents

Meeting In The Mishkan
Of Jewish Identity

RABBI EFRY SPECTRE

Special to The Jewish News

T

he Torah this week be-
gins a thorough, fully
detailed description of
the construction and inven-
tory of the Mishkan, the first
institution of community wor-
ship of the Jewish people. We
have an unsparing account of
the materials, furniture and
religious appurtenances our
ancestors shaped for their
desert service. Holiness was
to emanate from this taber-
nacle where the Shekhina,
the presence of God, would be
most keenly apprehended.
The Ohel Mo'ed, that part
protected by a tent-like struc-
ture, was to be the meeting

Shabbat Teruma:
Exodus 25:1-27:19,
Kings 1 5:26-6:13.

place of God and Moses.
Within the holy of holies, just
above the Ark of the Cove-
nant, God would speak to
him.
There are authors, we know,
who revel in painting a com-
plete picture. Proust can go on
for pages savoring the ap-
pointments of a room; Tom
Wolfe can skewer the values
of a disintegrating society
with a satiric designer's ap-
proach to the snobbish dinner
party in The Bonfire of the
Vanities. Even the Megillah,
which we shall soon consider,
draws the reader's attention
to a highly itemized account
of the wealth in the palace at
Shushan.
But the Torah's purpose,
after all, is to teach us how to
live. Our commentators were
momentarily perplexed. The
Mishkan was not a perma-
nent institution. Upon
Israel's entering the promised
land it disappeared. When

Efry Spectre is senior rabbi of
Adat Shalom Synagogue.

Solomon, centuries later,
built the Temple in
Jerusalem, dimensions cited
in the Torah were changed.
Why did the Bible, then, have
to detail so precisely that
which would soon not to be
forever an active part of our
people's lives?
Forty years later, what was
the relevance of community
worship, of regulated
sacrifice, to a people newly ar-
rived in their land? Now that
the manna no longer was fall-
ing from heaven and a living
had to be eked out of a
resisting environment, how
important was Shiloh where
the Ark now rested? Who had
time to consider the vestiges
of earlier history?
The rabbis saw a metaphor
in the painstaking descrip-
tion. Each part of the
Mishkan could be equated
with parts of the human
anatomy. When the Taber-
nacle, itself, no longer ex-
isted, its symbolic meaning
would make possible an ap-
proach to God, a spiritual
renewal when the lesson was
caught.
Moreover, the proliferation
of detail enabled our sages to
give needed direction in the
ever-ongoing struggle bet-
ween permanence and
change: In today's sedra it is
specifically written, "And I
will speak with you above the
ark-cover" (Exodus XXV:22).
Yet, in the Sifa (LXXXII:4)
and in Rashi's Commentary
we find that Rabbi Nathan
states that God spoke to
Moses from the altar of in-
cense and a student of Rabbi
Ishmael locates the
phenomenon near the altar of
burnt offerings, each citing
appropriate sources in next
week's reading.
How marvelous! How rele-
vant! How alive and impor-
tant is the loving detail! For
what are the rabbis em-
phasizing? Rabbi Nathan is
saying that God didn't speak
to Moses from the holy of
holies where the Ark is, but

vLsa

y

111-e

In Kip Detroit Premier of
"Jewish Qoots and the Classics"

6aturday ♦ March 24 ♦ 8:00 p.m. ♦ $12.50 per person
Patron Deception and concert ♦ 7:00 p.m. ♦ 650.00 per person

VISA'

Call Temple Emanu-El for further information, 967-4020

Bright
Lights

MasterCard

THREE WAYS TO
BUY A CAR

The newest lighting
showroom featuring:
• lamps

• fixtures
• bulbs

Colony Interiors
851-1881
West Bloomfield

ARNIE WEISS

inside

bruce m. weiss

MIKE GERMANSKY

TAMAROFF

Custom Jewelry

BUICK • HONDA • NISSAN • IZUZU • YUGO

26325 Twelve Mile Rd.
in the Mayfair Shops
At Northwestern Hwy.

New Used or Leasing

Monday-Saturday 10-5:30
Thursday 10-8:30

353-1424

Open Mon. & Thurs. Til 9

28565 TELEGRAPH ROAD
ACROSS FROM TEL-12
Southfield

Open Tres., Wed., Fri. Til 6

353-1300

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

49

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