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April 07, 1995 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-04-07

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

the Cultural Commission Presents

ISRAEL 47TH

Houses
And Souls

SHLOMO RISKIN SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELER s

D

TION

C ome Celebrate orrt Ii.a'atzmaut 71.t. Congregation 'Beth ..Abraham 'Riad ✓ 4oses

Wing your 3amiLy & jriencis On

Sunday, April 3 0 at 4: 3 0 p.m.

3eaturing

Peoples Choice Orchestra With
Sasson at the (Keyboard

3sraeli aolkdance 'Troupe
atora
Cantor (Ben-,Zion Lanxner Performing a 1 ■ Jew
3sraeli Sepharadi Tepertoire

Come and Enjoy Singing - 'Dancing - Jsraeli food and Lots ✓ ore!!
$7.50 adults with prior reservations - $ 10.00 at the door
$5.00 children 10 and under

r

ISRAEL

47m

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION

SUNDAY, APRIL

30 AT 4:30 P.M.

PLEASE DETACH THIS SECTION AND SEND TO:

ATTENTION OF CHAIRPERSONS, MIRA EISENBERG AND CANTOR BEN-ZION LANXNER

CONGREGATION BETH ABRAHAM HILLEL MOSES • 5075 W. MAPLE RD. • W. BLOOMFIELD, MI 48322

L

No OF ADULTS:
TOTAL AMOUNT ENCLOSED: $

No. of CHILDREN:



YOUR PULL SERVICE COPY CENTER

FREE
COLOR COPY

With purchase of 5 or more color copies

With this ad • Limit 1 per customer • Expires April 14, 1995

o houses have souls? Do
nations?
In the opening of this
week's portion, the Torah
introduces us to the law com-
manding a person to go to the
priest who determined the nature
of his negah zoraat, or plague of
leprosy. If the scab was diag-
nosed, the development of the dis-
ease required the constant
inspection of the priest.
Our portion ofMetzorah opens
with the complex details of the
purification process once the dis-
ease is over, a ritual requiring
two kosher birds, a piece of cedar,
crimson wool, and a hyssop
branch; one bird is slaughtered
while the other is ultimately sent
away.
But this is only the beginning
of a purification process that lasts
eight days, culminating in a guilt
offering brought at the holy tem-
ple. Only after the entire proce-
dure was concluded could a
person be declared ritually clean.
But if this all sounds foreign,
complicated and involved, the
biblical concepts appear even
stranger when we discover that
this "plague of leprosy" is not lim-
ited to humans: "God spoke unto
Moses and Aaron, saying, 'When
you come to the land of Cannan
... and I put the plague of leprosy
in a house of the land of your pos-
session, then he that owns the
house shall come and tell the
priest."'
How are we to understand that
the very same malady that de-
scribes humans also has the pow-
er to also afflict the walls of a
house! A person is one thing, but
a house suffering a plague of lep-
rosy?
The view of our sages is that
the negah zoraat is not so much
a physical ailment but rather a
spiritual one, endangering the
soul and not the body. And the
usual ethical malady resulting in
the specific physical symptoma-
tology is slander, the transgres-
sion of evil speech.
Only if the plague of leprosy
that the Torah had in mind were
a physical ailment would using
the phrase negah zoraat to de-
scribe both a house and a person
be problematic. But if it's a spir-
itual illness, a metaphor for the
state of the soul, then just as one
soul is linked to one body, the
souls of the members of a fami-
ly are linked to the dwelling
where they all live together.

_J

Shiomo Riskin is chief rabbi of
Efrat and dean of Ohr Torah
Institutions.

And the walls of a house cer-
tainly reflect the atmosphere en-
gendered by its residents. A
house can be either warm or cold,
loving or tense.
Table talk, indeed, the culture
of the dining room, is the most
representative aspect of any
home. Do the walls resound with
z'mirot (songs in praise of God),
words of Torah, discussions re-
lating to the philosophic and po-
litical issues of the day? Certainly
the walls of a house can be
plagued by the zoraat!
Now why should this disease
be specifically connected to the
Land of Israel? On one level, Is-
rael's more spiritually sensitive,
and therefore more ethically de-
manding. Hopefully, that's what
extra sanctity is all about. More-
over, as we know, the house of Is-
rael — Bet Yisrael — means the
people of Israel.

Shabbat Mezorah:
Leviticus 14:1-15:33
Malachi 3:4-24.

To find the unique quality of
Israel, all we have to do is exam-
ine the idea of Bet Yisrael. The
nature of a household is that as
long as there is mutual love and
shared responsibility, then that
house will be blessed and its walls
won't be struck with a plague of
leprosy.
So too with Bet Yisrael. To the
extent that the covenant of mu-
tual responsibility is embraced
by the people, then Bet Yisrael,
the house of Israel, will be
blessed. We must act toward each
other with the same morality,
ethics and love present in every
blessed family. If not, a negah zo-
raat awaits us.L

Temple Hosts
Mom, TOTS

Temple Shir Shalom will host a
Mom & Tot program, "Our
Time," which will be held on
Thursdays from 10 - 11:30 a.m.
This program is geared to chil-
dren 6 months to 4 years and
their moms, dads, or other spe-
cial big person. Call the temple
office, 737-8700, for information.

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