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January 31, 1992 - Image 42

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-01-31

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

TORAH PORTION

CONGREGATION

SHAAREY ZEDEK

BETH HA-YELED NURSERY SCHOOL
NOW OFFERS
TWO GREAT LOCATIONS

RABBI IRWIN GRONER

Special to The Jewish News

A

Southfield
Congregation Shaarey Zedek

West Bloomfield
Applebaum Beth Ha-Yeled Center

EKE RIG.

KINDERGARTEN

O

Extended Hours
7:30 am - 5:30 pm

For more
information
call:
Janet Pont
Director
Beth Ha-Yeled
at 357-5544

Excellent
Student-Teacher Ratio

Developmentally
Appropriate Activities
for all ages

BETH HA-YELED NURSERY SCHOOL

Serving

CONGREGATION SHAAREY ZEDEK

for over 40 years

"INTRODUCTION TO JUDAISM"

offered by

TEMPLE ISRAEL

to the entire community

A ten-week course designed for anyone considering conversion or
involved in an interfaith relationship. Topics covered will include:
JEWISH LIFE CYCLES AND PRACTICES, HISTORY, CULTURE,
HOLIDAYS, THEOLOGY, HEBREW AND MANY OTHER ISSUES OF
JEWISH LIFE.
Faculty will consist of Temple Israel's professional staff: RABBI M.
ROBERT SYME, RABBI HAROLD S. LOSS, RABBI PAUL M. YED-
WAB, CANTOR HAROLD ORBACH, AND DR. NANCY GAD-HARE.

TIME:
Dates:

Tuesdays, 7:30 - 9:20 p.m.
March 10, 17, 31; April 7, 14, 21, 28;
May 5, 12, 19
Place:
Temple Israel, 5725 Walnut Lake Road,
West Bloomfield, 661-5700
Tuition: $80/Individual, $100/couple, $40/Book Fee

Fro REGISTER, COMPLETE FORM BELOW AND RETURN WITH TUITION TO:

INTRODUCTION TO JUDAISM, TEMPLE ISRAEL,
5725 WALNUT LAKE ROAD, WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI 48323.
Make checks payable to Temple Israel.

Name

Address

City

State

!phone: Home

42

FRIDAY, JANUARY 31, 1992

Business

Zip

Mouths And Standards:
A Part Of Daily Life

FOR A GREAT DEAL
ON A GREAT CAR, CALL
HAROLD WIERNIK

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OLDSMOBILE

On Telegraph at the le1.12 Mall, Southfield

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story is told about a
young man who pas-
sionately courts his
young lady, offering to her his
protestations of love. "I would
go through fire and water for
you," he said. "Indeed, I
would travel to the ends of the
earth to fulfill your every
wish. By the way," he conclud-
ed, "I'll see you next Thurs-
day, if it doesn't rain."
It is not difficult to proclaim
great principles, but we have
all experienced the human
tendency to fail the test of
specific response. We accept
moral ideals, but we shy away
from the necessary efforts re-
quired for their achievement.
We don't stumble over moun-
tains, but over pebbles. It is
precisely this truth, the im-
portance of the daily realities
of life, that is emphasized in
the sedra of this Sabbath.
Last week, we read of how
the children of Israel heard
the Ten Commandments pro-
claimed at Mt. Sinai in the
midst of thunder and lightn-
ing, fire and smoke. This Sab-
bath, the text presents an en-
tirely different mood and
spirit. Immediately following
the declaration of the 10 great
words, we learn about the
small and specific details of
daily living. We discover cows
and donkeys, loans and
bailments. After having been
uplifted to the heights of
witnessing the Divine
presence and hearing the
voice of the Almighty, we en-
counter an incongruous
enumeration of statutes and
laws dealing with the or-
dinary and undramatic
episodes of daily existence.
Consider these ordinances:
"If a man shall open a pit, or
if he shall dig a pit and not
cover it, and an ox or donkey
shall fall therein, the owner
of the pit shall be responsible
. . . If a person borrows an
animal from his neighbor and
the animal is injured or it
does damage, the borrower
shall make restitution . . .
You must not carry false
rumors; you shall not join
hands with the guilty to act
as a malicious witness . . ."
It is not necessary to
multiply these examples to il-
lustrate the vast difference
between the exalted moral
principles of the Ten Com-
mandments and the detailed

Irwin Groner is rabbi of
Congregation Shaarey Zedek.

laws which follow them in
this sedra.
The sages must have an-
ticipated our reaction, our
sense of disappointment at
descending from the lofty
heights of Sinai to the prosaic
world of mishpatim (laws), for
they made the following
observation. They note that
the sedra begins with the con-
junctive "Vav" meaning
"and" — "And these are the
ordinances." That "Vav" is
crucial because, the sages say,
it emphasizes that the laws of
mishpatim are a continuation
and completion of what was
declared on Mt. Sinai. Rashi
is even more explicit in his
comment: "Just as the Ten
Commandments were offered
at Sinai, so were these laws."
The sages teach us a fun-
damental lesson. Great ideas
are ineffective unless they are

Shabbat Mishpatim
Exodus 21:1-24:18
Jeremiah 33:25, 26
34:8-22

concretized in the details of
daily living. The loftiest prin-
ciples exercise no influence if
they are separated from
human conduct. We all recall
the cartoon whose caption
reads: "I love humanity. It's
just people I can't stand."
A political advisor once ad-
vised his associate on how to
establish himself in the world
of politics. "We clarify, edify
and magnify, but we never
specify." The admonition of
the sages is the opposite, for
they tell us that we specify in
order to clarify and to edify.
Furthermore, the Torah
does not deal with "religion"
as this term is understood in
the modern world. The
distinctive claim of Judaism
is that it seeks to impose
moral standards and spiritual
meaning to life in its entire-
ty. We do not separate the
"sacred" and the "secular,"
for every aspect of life can ex-
press our love of God and our
service to His creatures.
Therefore, the Torah sets
forth laws about business and
commerce, about personal
liability and domestic rela-
tions. The exalted moral
truths of Sinai are realized
only as we apply them to the
decisions and judgments of all
who share in the life of the
community. 1=1

Judaism was always a pro-
testing religion.
Solomon Schechter



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