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Mysticism And Mitzvah
Spiritual dimension provides the meaning in life,
visiting lecturer says.
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ACTON RENTAL & SALES
Special to the Jewish News
t is everyone's
challenge to choose
to live a life that has "maximum
real meaning," said Rabbi Dovid
Gottlieb at the Ohr Somayach
lunch-and-learn program on Sept. 23.
To illustrate, he gave this example:
"The Communist revolution had ideal-
ism and extraordinary leaders,
but it caused the masses to
suffer terribly. They ignored
the spiritual dimension of life,
and the movement ultimately
had no real meaning."
Rabbi Gottlieb, a native of
New York, is a lecturer,
author and instructor with
the Ohr Somayach yeshivah
in Jerusalem. He's a former
professor of mathematical
logic at Johns Hopkins
University in Baltimore.
At the lunch and learn at the Max M.
Fisher Federation Building in Bloomfield
Township, Rabbi Gottlieb said, "A mys-
tical dimension of ultimate reality under-
lies the world in which we live."
He compared this idea to a physicist
maintaining that a seemingly solid,
motionless table is actually 90 percent
empty space, filled with atomic particles
whizzing around. The fact that people
can't physically feel the particles makes
them no less real, he said. Likewise, he
said, people have to trust that there is a
spiritual reality that they may not be able
The rabbi implied that this spiritual
reality is something people certainly can
He explained Creation as an ongoing
process in which all things have a poten-
tial to express holiness. People can give
things meaning by using them in a spiri-
tual context, elevating them to a status of
mitzvot (God's commandments), he said.
For example, wine can be guzzled by a
bum, or can be used for reciting IGdclush
Although people are challenged to
understand the mitzvot of the Torah, "if
we can't, that's no reason to
deprive ourselves of their ben-
efit," Rabbi Gottlieb said.
He used the analogy of a
computer that one operates
without understanding how
the inner mechanics of it actu-
"A mitzvah is an action that
is appropriate to total reality
(both the physical and the
spiritual dimension)," he said.
"The Creator of the world
knows how mitzvot work to
realize the potentiality of the world.
Everything is created by God as a means
to connect to Him."
On this visit to Detroit, the
Orthodox rabbi addressed several audi-
ences in four days including 200
Partners in Torah participants at Yeshiva
Beth Yehudah in Southfield, as well as
Torah Team learning partners at Machon
L'Torah in Oak Park and couples at
Congregation -Keter Torah in West
He spoke also to students at the
Jewish Resource Center in Ann Arbor,
Yeshiva Beth Yehudah's Beth Jacob high
school in Oak Park, the Jewish Academy
of Metropolitan Detroit in West
Bloomfield and Yeshivas Darchei Torah's
high school in Southfield.
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Leonard Beigler Hosts
On Sunday, Oct. 12, Temple Beth El's
Youth and Family Counselor Leonard
Beigler will present the first of four par-
enting forums designed to address fami-
ly issues. Parents of children of all ages
There is no charge for the 10 a.m.
forum, which is open to the communi-
ty. For information, Beigler can be
reached at (248) 865-0621.
The Radomer Mutual Society of
Detroit will hold its annual memorial
service 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, at the
Radomer section of Chesed Shel
Emes Cemetery, Clinton Township.
Rabbi Herbert Yoskowitz will con-
duct the service; Cantor Earl Berris
will chant the El Mole Rachamin in
memory of the victims of the
Holocaust from the Radom area.