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September 19, 2003 - Image 69

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-19

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customs and observances.
"Certainly, he says, "we differ from
community to community, we have dis-
parate manifestations." But if you really
want your child to love his fellow,
emphasize what it is that binds us.
"We are all Jews," he says. 'And we
need that sense of community, especially
in these times when so much is going on
that could threaten the Jewish people."
Rabbi David
Nelson of
Congregation Beth
Shalom concurs.
'Love' translates
to respecting
another," he says.
The idea that we
should respect
other human
beings — both
Jews and gentiles
Cohen: Get chil-
— is a basic
dren involved.
understanding of
our religious teach-
ings," he continues. If you want your
children to respect their fellows, parents
should begin by speaking kindly of oth-
ers. Their children's actions will follow
"The key is not to focus on the adjec-
tive, whether someone identifies as
Orthodox, Conservative or Reform, but
instead emphasize the 'Jewish' part,"
Rabbi Nelson says.
Rabbi Fliezer Cohen of Congregation
Or Chadash, an
instructor at
Yeshivat Akiva in
Southfield, adds
that parents truly
committed to
teaching v'ahavta
l'rayach kamocha
should get their
children involved
through actions.
Nelson: Look past
"The best way to
teach anything —
particularly when it
comes to interper-
sonal relations — is to be role models,"
he says. "And when it comes to anything
their parents do in terms of their fellow
Jews [such as giving tzedakah or inviting
guests for Shabbat], children should not
only see their parents, they should be

You Heard It First

Now, back to that refrigerator.
There's a reason so many families do
keep great quotes on the refrigerator and
elsewhere: They serve as a quick
reminder of what to do, how to behave.
Here are a few (from Pirke Avot, The

Sayings of the Fathers) for your refrigera-
tor, or anywhere else around the home:
Deeds of kindness weigh as much as all
the other commandments.
Who is wise? He who learns from
every person. — Rabbi Akiva
The world is judged by goodness, and
everything depends on the abundance of
good deeds.
Do not judge another until you are
in his position. — Rabbi Hillel
Let the property of your neighbor be as
precious as you own.
Do not placate your friend during
the time of his anger, do not attempt to
console him while his dead lies before
him, do not question someone when he
has made a vow, do not strive to see
someone in the hour of his disgrace.
Let your pupil's honor be as dear to you
as your own, and the honor of your col-
league as reverence for your teacher, and
the reverence for your teacher as the rever-
ence for God.
Despise no one and do not discard any-
thing for there is no one whose hour does
not come and nothing without its place.
Beloved is humanity, for it was creat-
ed in the image of God.
— Rabbi Akiva

To Tell
The Truth

Rabbi Akiva said `11 person should
throw himself into a fiery furnace if
only not to see the disgrace of his fellow."
A story passed among Jewish
friends on the Internet purports to
tell "The Truth About Husbands."
It is the true tale of a woman
who, upon becoming engaged,
receives a costly ring from her
future grandmother-in-law.
Soon, however, the woman loses
it and she becomes the brunt of her
husband's family jokes.
Four months later, her husband
reaches into his coat pocket and
there is the ring! He must have put
it in his pocket and forgotten.
Now, it is the wife who is extolled
and the husband who must bear all
the teasing. She is bitter; if only her
husband hadn't been so thoughtless.
Years later, the wife decides to sell
the ring and she discovers the truth.
Soon after she lost the ring, her
husband bought another, then
placed it in his coat pocket only to
"find" it there. It was a heavy finan-
cial burden, but he was willing to
pay the cost and even bear his wife's
and family's jibes so long as his wife
would no longer be hurt.

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