Point Oui, Thai
Diamonds Can Provide
Drinking A SodaAt "The J"
Is Certain To Give You Away
ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM ASSOCIATE EDITOR
The Diamond Tennis Bracelet.
So versatile, you can wear
it on the court or on the town.
We will be happy to show
him our wide variety.
Q: What is Shmita?
Shmita is the sabbatical year. Ac-
A • cording to the Torah (Exodus 23:10-
11; Leviticu,s 25:1-7; Deuteronomy 15:1-11),
every seven years the land of Eretz Yis-
rael is left fallow and all loans are can-
celed. This year, 5754 (1993-94) is a
During shmita, Jews may not plow,
till, sow, plant or harvest. People may
gather food that grows of its own accord,
but only in amounts sufficient to provide
a meal. Animals, however, may freely
All loans, whether private or commer-
cial, are forgiven. To prevent people from
refusing to lend money the year before
shmita, Rabbi Hillel instituted the pros-
bul, a legal device whereby creditors can still
claim debts after shmita.
Torah-observant farmers who need to work
during shmita sometimes raise crops in green-
houses using non-soil growing me-
dia or water.
Q: What does z"1 after a
person's name mean?
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. Z"1 is the English version of the Hebrew
A • abbreviation for zichrono l'vracha, "may
his memory be a blessing' (in the case of a female,
the abbreviation is the same, but it stands for
zichrona l'vracha, "may her memory be a bless-
Two other Hebrew abbreviations that some-
times appear in English are: * zt'l, zecher tzadik
l'vracha, "may the memory of the righteous one
be a blessing," usually used for a rabbi, scholar or
* a"h, alav ha'shalom, "peace be upon him" (or
in the case of a female, alaiha ha-shalom, "peace
be upon her"), equivalent to "rest in peace."
An English abbreviation that has come into re-
cent use is O.B.M., "of blessed memory.'
Q: How can you tell native
Detroit Jews from outsiders?
. This challenging question has mystified
A • rabbis and scholars from time immemo-
The problem, of course, is that non-Detroiters
look like everyone else (much like space aliens
who take on human form then try to change life
as we know it. Remember several years ago when
tabloids revealed several U.S. senators and con-
gressmen as beings from another planet?). But
it's time for these outsiders to face the truth: If
you're from Los Angeles or New York, Houston
or Kansas City, or any place else for that matter,
you simply cannot lay claim to being a native De-
Until scientists can devise some kind of test
that will finally, once and for all, make it clear ex-
actly who is a native Detroiter and who is not —
oh, that this day would come soon — here are
#1) Detroit natives refer to the Jewish Com-
munity Center as the "Jew-
ish Center" or "the Center."
Outsiders call it the "JCC"
or "the J."
#2) Detroiters give elab-
orate bridal showers. Many
outsiders have never heard
of such a thing.
#3) Detroit natives drink
"pop." Outsiders imbibe
"soda." Also, Detroiters
stand "in line." Outsiders,
especially from New York,
stand "on line."
#4) Detroiters love Ver-
nor's ginger ale. Outsiders
won't touch it. ❑
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