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June 07, 1996 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-06-07

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

SHABBAT
SERVICES
./ FOR SINGLES

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Friday, June 14
8:30 p.m.

A Community
And Responsibility

Shaarey Zedek - B'nai Israel
4200 Walnut Lake Road
West Bloomfield

Sahbbat Bahaalotecha:
Numbers 8:1-12:16; Zechariah 2:14-4:7.

Services are followed by an
Oneg Shabbat

ELISSA D. BERG SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

The Shabbat Services program is sponsored by
the Michigan Board of Rabbis in cooperation with
The Jewish News and the Community Outreach
and Education Department of the Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

Participating Congregations
REFORM
Congregation Shir Tikvah
Temple Beth El
Temple Emanu-El
Temple Israel
Temple Kol Ami
Temple Shir Shalom

CONSERVATNE
Adat Shalom Synagogue
Congregation Beth Abraham
Hillel Moses
Congregation Beth Achim
Congregation Beth Shalom
Congregation B'nai David
Congregation B'nai Moshe
Congregation Shaarey Zedek

• Terrific selection
of gifts for every
occasion...
always 30./0 oft*
• Fine designer
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accessories...
always 20% off

• Professional
Interior Design
Service
• Complimentary
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• Personal ,
courteous service
* most mfrs.

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THE DETRO

Cr)

28

Sifeluziaad/
Soma" la Slur

6644 Orchard Lake Road at Maple

West Bloomfield
Tue-Wed-Sat 10-6 • Sun
Mon-Thur-Fri 10-9 •
(810) 855-1600

12-5

eadership is a challenge.
Leading a people who
whine at every bend is that
much more of a challenge.
Parshat Bahaalotecha pro-
vides us with models of leader-
ship and community dynamics.
We learn how to listen, what to
listen for and how to respond.
The portion begins with the
purification of the Levites to
serve in the Temple. For a com-
munity to function smoothly,
groups of its members need de-
fined roles. It is important, also,
to understand what constituents
will and will not willingly do.
These Levites will take the place
of every first born son in serving
God in the Temple. This should
lead to a smoother functioning
Temple and a happier nation.
Time and season are equally
important in shaping the com-
munity. On the 14th day of
Nisan, the people are to offer
Passover sacrifice at twilight.
Both time and method are to be
scrupulously adhered to. Yet, re-
alistically, there will be times
when this is impossible. Antici-
pating this and offering alter-
natives from the beginning is a
good leadership style.
If defiled by coming into con-
tact with a corpse or traveling
on a long journey and, therefore,
not able to offer the sacrifice at
the Temple, one can offer the
sacrifice with all proper proce-
dures one month later. A format
is set up for future complications
in fulfilling ritual behaviors.
The stranger who resides in
our midst is required to offer the
Passover sacrifice just like the
Israelites. Another suggestion
for building a successful com-
munity: Make the stranger as
one of you. Moses invites his
brother-in-law, Hobeb, to travel
with the people and to enjoy
God's promised generosity along
with them. True, this native of
Midian knows the territory and
could be of benefit as a guide.
But do these people who travel
with God's cloud by day and fire
by night need a local guide as
well? Or is Moses, at this point,
welcoming the stranger and
finding him a place and role
within the developing commu-
nity?
Silver trumpets were formed
to be blown by Aaron's sons
when gathering the people at the

I

Elissa Berg is director of
education at Temple Kol Ami.

beginning of a journey or for bat-
tle, to announce a community
celebration, festival or sacrifice.
The trumpets are a visual and
aural reminder, pomp and cere-
mony to remind the people of
God's role in these ventures.
These signposts and symbols,
rituals and rites help to keep the
community inspired and cohe-
sive.
The community needs a sense
of order as well. Accordingly, this
section of the Book of Numbers
provides a marching order for
the tribes and directions for han-
dling the tabernacle during the
journey.

At this juncture, the Israelites
complain bitterly. They are not
truly hungry but are bored with
manna. They are angry that
there are restrictions on what
they can eat and how they must
live. They remember Egypt fond-
ly, selectively. Do they forget
their labor? Do they resent the
laws that have been given them
by this God who redeemed them
from slavery? Or do they fail to
understand how to deal with
freedom?
The travel is hard and they
are tired. As slaves, their basic
needs were met and they had no
choices or decisions. Freedom
and responsibility may be more
difficult than slavery. The task
of the leader will not be an easy
one.
Moses is distressed and com-
plains (some say) no less child-
ishly than his people. What does
he need this job for? Why is he
responsible for this spoiled
group? The job is too over-
whelming.
Seventy elders are chosen by
Moses to share the burdens of
leadership. God takes from the
spirit that is upon Moses and
places it with these elders.
Moses learns the benefit of

L--J\

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