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July 05, 2002 - Image 54

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-07-05

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

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14

Spirituality

TEMPLE ISRAEL'S FAMILY LIFE CENTER

Torah Portion

In Conjunction with The Caring Community Committee
And the Temple Treasures, Presents:

Cur Monthly Senior Adult program

SINGSATION:

The fabulous Oakland County Parks Broadway Revue
Commemorates the Great American Broadway Musical

THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2002
1:30 P.M.
AT TEMPLE ISRAEL
5725 Walnut Lake Road
West Bloomfield

As a part of our regular afternoon
program for seniors, you are invited
for coffee, cookies and wonderful
COMPallY: Open to the public free of
charge. 13ring your friends for all the
fun!

iv,;1947 n e o: :aion y 0,1 2. 12

.13:311:Jet

n Let us see you 5111--.

lInn 121213412j7j2nYVV11112

For further information, contact Kari K.
Provizer, ACP.V, in the Family Life Center
(248) 661-5700

Partially funded by the David Arthur Stulberg Memorial Fund •
at the Harry az Phyllis Kellman Memorial Fund

Classic Photography

"Capturing The Good Times In Life"

marty abrin
murray goldenberg

applegate center

248-350-2420

REGISTERED . ELECTROLOGISTS

Come and let us remove your unwanted
hair problem and improve your appearance.

Near 12 Mile Rd. between Evergreen & Southfield
Ask for Debby at 248.559.1969 (Appointment Only)

k

A
••■

DAVID ROSENMAN'S

PlUIRCHASEIRS

NEW & USED CAR BROKER

%TN

7/ 5

2002

54

Sales • Leasing • Buying
(248) 851-CARS (248) 851-2277

s.

Rededicate Ourselves To Truth,
Justice And Righteousness

can easily tear us apart from within.
This was graphically illustrated by the
assassination of Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin by a fellow Jew in 1994.
What should we be changing about
ourselves? The most important item on
our agenda is to get to know different
ho or what is our true
types
of Jews better and to look for
enemy?
admirable
qualities in their approach
That question is
to Judaism. As Pirkei Avot says, hevei
addressed in a surprising
dan et kol hadam lkaf zekhut ("give
way in the haftorot of these three weeks
everyone the benefit of the doubt").
of puranuta (admonition), when the
Instead of always seeing the flaws in
Jewish calendar fixates on the cata-
our
fellow Jews, let us celebrate their
strophic destruction of Jerusalem by
extraordinary virtues.
Babylonians (586 B.C.E.) and
Even Jews who are patently
Romans (70 C.E.). Despite
ignorant
and apathetic deserve
this intense focus, we read pre-
our compassion and our
cious little about the maraud-
attention. Jews who are pas-
ing and conquering armies.
sionate,
but different from us
Rather, our prophets implore
deserve
our
respect and con-
Israel tolook within for both
cern.
The
idea
is not to call off
the blame and the salvation
all
disagreements
— there are
from their horrific situation.
substantial and important
Today, we too confront a
divisions in the beliefs of
violent and frightening enemy
who disregards the value of life RAB BI DANIEL many committed Jews. But
we must never forget our
NEVINS
and threatens our beloved
humility even as we engage in
Sp ecial to the
State of Israel. We Jews under-
a spirited debate with each
Je wish News
standably focus much of our
other.
energy on the military, diplo-
Another strategy is simple
matic and media efforts needed to frus-
enough: Do more mitzvot (command-
trate our opponents. Yet the prophets
ments). Jews are blessed with a surfeit of
indicate that introspection is also part of
religious
obligations. Let's try to fulfill
the process necessary to emerge from
more
of
them.
If you are already meticu-
such a trauma strengthened rather than
lous
about
ritual,
then work a bit harder
defeated.
on
ethics
and
tzedakah
(righteous acts).
Our haftorah this week begins with
If you are a generous person who makes
the stirring words, Shimu Aar Adonai
little time for study, then find a partner
beit Yaakov, ("Hear the word of the
and
start to learn.
Lord, 0 House of Jacob"). Rather than
Finally,
we must remember that we
rage against the Babylonians, Jeremiah
are
not
alone.
America may be Israel's
points out the internal failures of his fel-
most
important
political ally, but God
low Judeans.
remains
our
source
of strength and salva-
This internal examination became a
tion.
Jeremiah
accused
his contempo-
trend in Jewish thought. After the First
raries of abandoning the source of living
Temple was destroyed, our prophets
waters (oti azvu m'kor mayim chaim) in
spent less time complaining about the
favor of broken cisterns that cannot hold
Babylonians than in bemoaning their
water.
own idolatrous conduct. When the
Let us use these three weeks of admo-
Second Temple was razed, the rabbis
nition
to examine ourselves within and
were less interested in the rapacious
to rededicate ourselves to the core values
Romans than in the causeless hatred
identified in the haftorah — truth
among Jews that weakened Israel in
(emet), justice (mishpat) and righteous-
God's eyes.
ness (tzedakah). If we can do this dili-
Such introspection is no longer in
gently, then perhaps the prophet's praise
vogue. We obsess about the moral turpi-
also
will be fulfilled: "Nations shall bless
tude of an enemy that recruits its chil-
themselves
by you, and shall be praised
dren to blow themselves up while com-
thereby."

mitting mass murder. Yet surely, we
should devote at least some of our efforts
to strengthening the Jewish people inter-
nally. Indeed, if we ignore this task, then
when the external threat finally passes
Read the Haftorah. If Jeremiah
we will be left with rage and fear that
were here today, what would he
criticize?
Daniel Nevins is spiritual leader of

Shabbat Mattot-Massei:
Numbers 30:2-36:13;
Jeremiah 2:4-28; 3:4.

Conversations

Adat Shalom Synagogue.

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