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July 16, 1993 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-07-16

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

brah Portion

WHAT IF...

you could design
your own
religious school?

All Or Nothing
Is Not The Best Rule

WE DID!!

RABBI IRWIN GRONER SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

(parents, staff, students)

All New for '93 2 941 More for Less!

FREE Kindergarten to all

New Curriculum

• Wednesday and Sunday classes
• New Teachers & Education Director

Call 547-7970 for more information and registration

Mission Statement

The mission of Congregation Beth Shalom Religious School is to develop, in partnership with
families, a positive, nurturing, and dynamic environment in order to provide our children the
knowledge, skills, and experiences for them to lead fulfilling lives as Jews and to provide an
community.
understanding and appreciation of their Jewish identity in the worldwide

WE'RE SELLING

Through the month of
July, try our custom
made dress shirts
by ordering half of
,
the usual number \ 0/

\ \
And now with this ad 4f mot'
2*shirt
Minimum Order
I _
Custom-made dress shirts and suits
for about the same price as ready-mades.

Only at:
Birmingham Night on the Tow n
Friday, July 16
5:30 pm - 11:00 pm

Custom-made dress shirts and suits for
about the same price as ready-mades.

25 years in downtown Birmingham

Executive Custom
Shirtmakers & Tailors, Inc.

25 years in downtown Birmingham

Executive Custom
Slitinakers & Tailors, Inc.

S
T H E D E T R O I T J E W I S H N E W

223 South Woodward Avenue • Birmingham, Michigan 48009
Just south of the Birmingham Theatre • (313) 642-0460

40

113 Smith Woodward Bmitarn M 480
Thewe 1642-0160
Spith ci the •

JEWELRY APPRAISALS

At Very Reasonable Prices. Call For An Appointment

011itawe

established 1919

FINE JEWELERS

Lawrence M. Allan, Pres.

GEM/DIAMOND SPECIALIST

AWARDED CERTIFICATE BY GiA
IN GRADING AND EVALUATION

30400 Telegraph Road
Suite 134
Bingham Farms, MI 48010

(313) 642-5575

DAILY 10-5:30
THURS. 10-7
SAT. 10-3

W

hat may we expect
out of life? Can
we ever hope to
achieve all our
hearts' desires? And if we
don't, are we defeated? What
are the reasonable expecta-
tions for satisfaction in
human existence?
Our appetites are insatiable
and our wants are boundless,
yet the resources to satisfy
those desires are limited. But
many of us are not satisfied
with less than perfection.
Much distress is caused by
not knowing when or how to
compromise with the compell-
ing nature of our wants. If we
cannot reach the top, the
fruits of other achievements
seem barren. We sometimes
forget that life, like politics, is
the art of the possible.
We set up high and impossi-
ble standards for ourselves
and for others to follow, and
then the inevitable unplea-
sant consequences ensue.
Consider a parent who drives
his child relentlessly, mer-
cilessly, to succeed beyond the
capacity of that child to do so;
or a spouse who is rigid and
demanding, and cannot ac-
commodate the shortcomings
of the marriage partner; or
the business executive who
must rule in a dictatorial
manner and leaves no
allowance for human error.
All these people (and more)
cannot eat the "half-a-loaf" of
happiness. They tolerate no
deviation from the highest
demands of excellence. It's all
or nothing, rule or ruin. We
and everyone else must be
perfect, or the things we do
and the persons we're in-
volved with lose their value.
Who can calculate the misery
of broken friendships, ruined
marriages and family discord
engendered by this compul-
sion to set expectations
beyond the human capacity to
attain them.
The Jewish tradition con-
firms this insight in a rab-
binic commentary on the
selection of the prophet
Jeremiah of this Sabbath:
Shimu D'var Ha-Shen . . .
"Hear ye the word of the
Lord, 0 House of Jacob." The
rabbis were struck by the em-
phasis on the word Shimu,
"hear," with which the pro-
phet begins his charge to the
people. The Midrash sets

Irwin Groner is senior rabbi of
Congregation Shaarey Zedek.

forth this statement from the
Almighty: "When you, the
Hebrew people, stood at Mt.
Sinai, you promised, Na'ase
V'nishman all that the Lord
has said, we shall do and we
shall hearken! You have fail-
ed in the first 'we shall do,'
because you made a golden
calf; you worshipped other
idols, and you followed the
ways of the heathen nations.
But at the very least, you
should observe the second
commitment, 'we shall
hearken? If you will listen, I
will regard you has having
fulfilled your promise. Fur-

Shabbat
Matot-Mass'ei:
Numbers
30:2-36:13
Jeremiah 2:4-28
3:4.

thermore, even if you didn't
listen to the words of the
Torah, at least listen to the
words of the prophet."
God Himself would settle
for less than perfection from
His people. The Children of
Israel were sent into exile, not
because they didn't fulfill all
the great, lofty and noble
ideas of the Torah, but
because they had become so
unrighteous, morally callous
and depraved that they could
not even listen. If they would
have listened and learned,
they would not have been
punished.
Examples of this theme are
many, bat I focus on the con-
dition of Jewish existence to-
day. All denominations in
Jewish life are undergoing
change and transformation,
endeavoring to respond to the
circumstances of our time. All
are engaged in some form of
accommodation and response
in order to preserve and
renew that which is dearly
cherished. Yet, we criticize
and scold each other for try-
ing to work out meaningful
patterns for ourselves. Some
say, "either observe
everything, or nothing has
been achieved."
Life doesn't generally per-
mit us the choice of all or
nothing. This either/or at-
titude doesn't function in the
arena of business or the pro-
fessions or creative achieve-

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