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April 12, 1996 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-04-12

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

Aish HaTorah presents:

AND THE

TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

• An exploration into the inner
dimensions of reality with

RABBI MICHAEL

BERGER

FOR MORE INFORMATION
PLEASE CALL (810) 737-0400

Thursday, May 2, '96
8:00-9:30Pm
at Barnes & Noble

6800 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield

THE CULTURAL COMMISSION OF CONGREGATION B'NAI DAVID

proudly presents

PROFESSOR XU XIN

Director of The Center For Judaic Studies,
Nanjing University, People's Republic of China
and
President of The China Judaic Studies Association

"JEWISH DIASPORAS IN CHINA"

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Sunday, April 21, 1996

28

Continental Breakfast 10:15 a.m.

Lecture 11:00 a.m.

Question and Answer Period

at

CONGREGATION B'NAI DAVID SYNAGOGUE

5642 West Maple Road, West Bloomfield

COMMUNITY INVITED • NO CHARGE

For further information, call the synagogue office: 810-855-5007

Infusing Mitzvot
To Make A Mentsh

RABBI BERNARD ANTIN SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

H

ow often have you been
confronted by a friend, in-
fomercial or bookstore dis-
play hawking some
program or system for you "to
take charge of your life"?
Being in charge of one's emo-
tions, positively channeling one's
energies, to be an effective, inte-
grated, genuine person is an un-
derlying theme of Judaism.
Mitzvot are not merely forms
and rituals, but vessels of the in-
fusion of the substance that
makes a mitzvah-doer into a
mentsh.
This Shabbat, in Parsaht
Shemini, we see an example of a
mentsh. Aaron the high priest
experiences a parent's most pro-
found tragedy, the loss of his
sons, Nadav and Avihu. Aaron's
anguish must have been greatly
compounded by the fatalities oc-
curring during the dedication of
the tabernacle. This was the day
Aaron was to be installed as high
priest; this was the day God's
presence would come to dwell in
the midst of Israel. Aaron per-
sonally, and B'nai Yisrel gener-
ally, was being forgiven for the
golden calf debacle. This was the
day that everything seemed per-
fect; nothing could go wrong. Un-
fortunately, it did.
Aaron's response to this seem-
ingly unbearable misfortune was
silence. A silence not born of
stoneheartedness nor indiffer-
ence nor aloofness. Aaron was
clearly not a stoic person, so why
did he remain silent?
The answer lies in Aaron's re-
maining focused on the recogni-
tion that as high priest he
belonged more to the people and
God than to his family. Aaron did
not love his childen less, but he
had to respond to a higher pri-
ority, a more profound reality.
This was Aaron's greatness —
to have his natural emotions not
overwhelm his sense of priorities,
his sense of purpose. As high
priest, Aaron had to transcend
his personal feelings in favor of
national and global importance.
Aaron had displayed a nobili-
ty of character that separates the
great from those who merely pos-
sess greatness.
What matters is what God
asks of me this minute. How does
Halachah direct me to act? How
do I relate to my environment
and choose my response in a way
that is consistent with God's will
as expressed in the Torah, Tal-
mud and codes?

Rabbi Antin is a senior at Wayne
State University Law School.

This Shabbat holds one part
of the answer. This week com-
mences the annual study cycle
of Pirke Avot — the. Ethics of the
Fathers. This is a tractafe of the
Mishnah containing the-ethical
exhortations of the sages. The

Shabbat Shemini:
Leviticus 9:1 -11:47
II Samuel 6:1-7:17.

purpose was primarily direct-
ed to the scholars and judges, so
that the sages' opinions be val-
ued in light of tradition. Addi-
tionally, since a judge can decide
fines, confiscate property, ad-
minister punishment, even or-
der death, temperament would
cause havoc and pain, not jus-
tice.
Though we all are judges eval-
uating our response to the world
around us, do we wish to be led
by our passing fancies or do we
wish to lead ourselves and not be
overrun by circumstances?
When we read about Aaron
this Shabbat, we should energize
ourselves to emulate his exam-
ple and begin to take charge of
our lives. 0

Beth Achim
Family Trip

A planning and information
meeting about the Congregation
Beth Achim Family Israel Trip
is scheduled for Tuesday, April
16, at 7 p.m. at the home of Shel-
ley and Gene Perlman. Interest-
ed individuals will have an
opportunity to learn about this
two-week tour of Israel sched-
uled for July 1– July 15, led by
Rabbi Herbert and Rachel
Yoskowitz.
For information on the trip or
to attend the informational meet-
ing, call the synagogue office,
352-8670.

Young Israel
Memorial Planned

Young Israel Council of Metro-
politan Detroit in conjunction
with B'nei Akiva and NCSY will
sponsor a.memorial program on

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