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October 14, 1994 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-10-14

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

Make Your Own Panel
for
The Names Project

AIDS Memorial Quilt

7:30 p.m.
Monday, October 24

Agency for Jewish Education
21550 W. 12 Mile, Southfield

Anyone interested in learn-
ing to make a Quilt panel is
invited. Names and bio-
graphical information will be
available to help memorial-
ize those who had nobody
to make a quilt panel for
them. Individuals and
groups are welcome. Com-
pleted panels can be pre-
sented at the opening or
closing ceremonies of
...Until There's A Cure.

The Michigan Jewish AIDS
Coalition (MJAC) is pleased to
sponsor ...Until There's A Cure,
the Detroit-area display of The
Names Project AIDS Memorial
Quilt, Nov. 27 - Dec. 8, 1994.

This workshop is co-sponsored
by the Ben N. Teitel Charitable
Trust.

MIKAN JEW= AM COMMON

CONGREGATION B'NAI DAVID

(ALIVE AND WELL AND GROWING IN WEST BLOOMFIELD)

cordially invites you to attend our

PARSHAH LECH L'CHA, SERVICES

on

T HE D ET RO IT J EWI S H NE WS

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15TH, 1994

32

at the

JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER/MAPLE-DRAKEISHIFFMAN HALL

• Rev. Hershl Roth and Yoel Roth will read the Torah portion.
• Cantor Usher Adler will chant the liturgy
• All the favorite melodies and familiar davening
• Traditional services in the Sefard Nusach. Services every Shabbat
• Cholent Kiddush will be served following services
• The community is invited - children are most welcome

Call (810) 557-8210 for further information.

A Jewish Prototype:
Abraham The Patriarch

DR. RICHARD C. HERTZ SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

ur Torah portion on this
Sabbath centers around
the personality and mes-
sage of a great man, Abra-
ham, who was the first patriarch
of the Jewish people. Born in Ur
of the Chaldees, he heard the
voice of the one God bidding him
leave the city of his fathers and
go across the hot desert sands
along the Fertile Crescent to
Haran and Syria, and then on to
Canaan accompanied by his wife,
Sarah, and Lot, his nephew.
The outcome of his hearkening
to the voice of God resulted in the
existence of the Jewish people
and the Jewish religion, for Abra-
ham was the first Jew. He was
the prototype of the best qualities
of our people. His religious and
moral character became an ex-
ample for others to follow. What
made Abraham great? What
qualities were exhibited in his
character?
Abraham had an idea — one
God, monotheism. In those days,
people thought there were many
gods. Naive people even made
images of wood, stone, or metal
and foolishly believed these were
the gods who made the universe
and even made them.
One evening Abraham was
walking about just as the stars
came out; he was struck by their
beauty. As the moon rose, and
then the dawn came and the
moon paled; Abraham thought
about them as God. Then the
sun rose, and Abraham thought,
"This is the real God." Finally the
truth dawned upon Abraham
that none of these, beautiful
though they were, could be God.
There must be some power of
good and love behind all those
whose servants they were and
whose law they obeyed. This
must be God. So he bowed down
and worshipped the one God of
the whole universe.
Abraham was then bidden to
leave his native birth place, his
father's house, all the associations
of his lifetime and journey for no
apparent reason other than God
had commanded him to go to an
unknown and strange and per-
haps hostile land. He had no
assurances that what other ob-
stacles were before him would be
overcome; this was a sore test of
Abraham's courage.
Abraham had the boldness of
his courage to get up and go
because he had been called by
God to share the blessings of his
knowledge.
Abraham had character, too.

0

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

Abraham knew how to do the
right thing at the right time in
the right place. When his nephew
Lot found that his shepherds
were quarreling with the shep-
herds of Abraham and the time
had come to separate them, Abra-
ham said to Lot, "Let there be no
strife between thee and me." He
generously allowed Lot to choose
the best of the grazing lands for
his flocks so that all strife and
trouble in a family could be
avoided. Abraham could sacrifice
his own personal interests in
order to preserve peace and love
in the family.
Abraham practiced hospitality.
He was willing to be generous not
just to his family, his kinsman
Lot, but to total strangers. The
wondrous Bible story of the three
strangers who came toward
Abraham at the heat of the day,
dusty and foot-sore, illustrates
his hospitality. Abraham did not
know them at all. But he ran
toward them, urged them to rest
and refresh themselves in his
tent. Abraham had no idea who
the strangers were, not did he
ask. It was enough that they were
tired.
• Abraham knew pity. The Bible
story of Sodom and Gomorra
shows the over-flowing compas-
sion that Abraham felt for the in-
habitants who were unaware of
their impending destruction be-
cause of their wickedness. In a

Shabbat Lech Lecha:
Genesis 12:1-17:27
Isaiah 40:27-41:16.

sublime passage in which Abra-
ham became the first Jewish at-
torney. Abraham says to God,
"How can you destroy those
cities? There are to be found 50
righteous men, or 40, or 30, or 20,
or perhaps only 10? For the sake
of those 10, the cities ought to be
forgiven."
True justice must always be
tempered by mercy. This plead-
ing with God shows another qual-
ity of Abraham's greatness. Even
the wicked inhabitants of Sodom
and Gomorra were still his
brothers. His heart was still filled
with love and compassion.
Such is the man's greatness
who was the first Jew, the father
of the Jewish people, with whom
God established the covenant.
Abraham was tested for qualities
that made him great. In the char-
acter of Abraham we see the
classic Jewish qualities of great-
ness for his descendants to
emulate. ❑

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