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May 27, 1994 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-05-27

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

The AchAlt Study Commission

of Ac Vat Skalom Synaeoevie

invites the community to two unique programs

a presentation by

Rabbi Marvin tokayee

Former 'Rabbi of the Tokyo Synagogue
and noted authority on the 3ewish experience in the Orient

7:30 p.m.

Tt.tesclay, May 31

and

6

Makkelat -Haskackae

3

3apan Ckeistian Friends of Israel

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Monday, 3t4ne. 6

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7:30 p.m.

Concepti-

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memory of Inez Kepes

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Tickets for the June 6 concert- may be obtained at Ada+ Shalom,
29901 MicIdlebelt, Farmington Hills, beginning May 18.

Limited Seating. Tickets will be distributed on a
first-come, first served basis. .Limit six per family.

For further information, call the Synagogue office, 851-5100.

A Rebellious People
Wander The Desert

DR. RICHARD C. HERTZ

T

SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

he march from Sinai to

Trans Jordan took about
40 years. It did not take
very long for the Israelites,
who were guided each day by a
fire cloud, to become rebellious
and discontented, but they par-
ticularly complained about the
lack of food in the desert.
The wilderness narrative re-
counts in the sedrah the incidents
befalling the Israelites as they
moved in stages from their en-
campment at Sinai to the plains
of Moab on the border of Canaan.
These incidents along the way of-
ten marked by bitter complaints
of the people of Moses.
Moses could neither supply Is-
rael with sufficient food nor
shoulder the burden of leader-
ship. Exhausted physically and
psychologically, he requested his
life be terminated.
This sedrah tells how God re-
lieved the distress of Moses by
telling him to appoint 70 leaders,
elders of the people to serve as an
advisory council. God's answer to
the people's request for meat was
the gift of quail. They ate so much
of it that they became sick of it.
Commentators say the craving
for meat disguised a desire to re-
turn to Egypt and was tanta-
mount to a rejection of God.
The Torah describes manna as
something sweet, gathered early
in the morning and when cooked
becomes a sort of bread. It decays
quickly. But to the Israelites in
the desert, its appearance seemed
like a miracle.
Moses complained to God.
"Why have you dealt ill with thy
servant? Where am I to find meat
when the people come to me and
whine?"
The motif of return. to Egypt
was constantly present in the
wilderness and the complains
constituted the essence of their
rebellion. "We were better off in
Egypt," they complained.
The 70 elders gathered around
Moses' tent. They became pos-
sessed by God's spirit. It is inter-
esting to speculate about the
ecstatic prophecy of these 70 el-
ders acting like prophets. It was
not their speech that marked
them as prophets, but their be-
havior made them seem like pre-
tenders and mentally disturbed
people. Joshua did not object to
their behavior. He rather felt that
they might become a potential
threat to Moses.
This story of the memory and
the rebellions of the people
against Moses after their depar-

Dr. Richard C. Hertz is rabbi
emeritus of Temple Beth El.

ture from Sinai resulted in their
being excluded from the promised
land. They were not acting like
free men but rather like slaves.
Moses bore with resignation the
complaints and rebellions of his
people.
The sedrah ends with Chapter
12 about the uniqueness of
Moses. The challenge to his au-
thority, his humility, God's ac-
clamation of his uniqueness, the
punishment of Miriam, and
Moses's successful intercession
on her behalf all contrasted

Shabbat
Bahaalotecha:
Numbers 8:1-12:16
Zachariah
2:14-4:7.

Moses with the ecstatic severity
of the group of 70.
After the contest with Miriam
and Aaron, Moses's leadership
was uncontested. Moses emerged
as the prophet. Moses was the
only man whom God spoke with
"mouth to mouth," plainly and
not in riddles, but person to per-
son. ❑

B'nai Moshe
Honors Deutsch

Congregation B'nai Moshe will
honor the 80th birthay of Alfred
L. Deutsch by naming the sanc-
tuary of the synagogue the
Deutsch-Rosenberg Sanctuary
during services on June 4.
Mr. Deutsch has been active
in community activities, having
served on the boards of the Unit-
ed Hebrew Schools, Fresh Air
Society, Jewish Vocational Serv-
ices and the TB and Health
Society.
Mr. Deutsch was president of
Congregation B'nai Moshe from
1953-1955; general chairman of
the Allied Jewish Campaign in
1967; and general chairman of
the Allied Jewish Campaign and
Israel Emergency Fund in 1968.
Mr. Deutsch served as Presi-
dent of the United Jewish Char-
ities from 1971 to 1974; president
of Sinai Hospital of Detroit from
1979 to 1981; and chairman of
Sinai Health Services from 1981
to 1983.

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