A Purim Joy So Great, A Word Is Insufficient
I Samuel 15:2-34.
very once in a while, I like
to do an Internet search to
find the definitive truth of
an "urban legends."
Recently, I investigated whether it
really is true that Eskimos have many
words for "snow."
The first Web site I saw answered
my question in what struck me as a
particularly unique way. The refer-
ence said that it depends how we
define Eskimos, how we define
"many" and how we define "words."
After that disclaimer, it listed a few
dozen words to describe different
types of snow and I was finally satis-
fied that I can say, without equivoca-
Robert Dobrusin is rabbi of Beth
Israel Congregation in Ann Arbor. His
e-mail address is
Lion, that different ethnic groups
you; I redeemed you; I took you).
Once again, we remember how
indigenous to the northern polar
important it is for us to use many
regions have many terms for what we
words to describe the joy of redemp-
Anyone who has ever said
It is wonderful to be part of a peo-
Havdalah or paid close attention to
ple who have many words for joy. It
Megillat Esther knows in fact that
Hebrew has, if not many, at
is true that we have many
words for sadness, too, and,
least four words that are
sadly, have had in the past
used to describe the happi-
and in the present too many
ness of the Jews of Shushan
opportunities to use those
after the defeat of Haman.
words. But Purim and
The joy was so pervasive
Pesach remind us that our
that one word was just not
tradition is full of the lan-
enough. We read: "The
guage of joy and salvation
Jews had orah (light), sim-
chah (gladness), sasson (cele-
bration) and yakar (hor)."
Purim is found close to
RABBI ROBERT half a year away from Tisha
Every Motzei Shabbat at
b'Av, the saddest day on the
Havdalah, we quote this
Specia 1 to the
calendar. Remembering the
verse and add, "Keyn tehiyeh
sad times and finding words
lanu," so should it be for us.
to express our pain and
Whether these words are
anguish is crucial. But, let us never
synonyms or each denotes something
a bit different is a moot point. In
forget that our tradition speaks of joy
as well and when we seek to commu-
general, they all connote joy.
nicate the importance of Judaism to
Next month, when we celebrate
our children, let us be sure to com-
Pesach, we will remember that our
municate to them the sense of joy
tradition taught that the four cups of
that our tradition wanted to convey.
wine at the seder are to remind us of
On this Shabbat Zachor, when we
the four verbs the Torah used to
read the commandment to remember
describe God's taking the people
Amalek and the threats that our ene-
from Egypt (I took you out; I saved
ADAT SHALOM SYNAGOGUE
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p.m. lvriah religious school (810) 732-6312.
BETH ISRAEL (ANN ARBOR)
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Rabbi: Robert Dobrusin. Services:Friday 6 p.m.; Saturday
9:30 a.m.; weekdays 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 5 p.m.
CONGREGATION BETH SHALOM
2727 Michigan St. SE, Grand Rapids, 49506-1297, (616)
949-2840. Rabbi: David J.B. Krishef. Cantor: Stuart R.
Rapaport. Services: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 7:30
a.m.; Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.
14601 W. Lincoln, Oak Park, 48237, (248) 547-7970.
Rabbi: David A. Nelson. Cantor: Samuel L. Greenbaum.
Ritual director: Rev. Samuel Semp. Services: Friday 6 p.m.;
Saturday 9 am., 6:35 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m., 5 p.m.; week-
days 7 a.m., 6:30 p.m. Purim: Saturday megillah reading
BETH TEPHILATH MOSES
AHAVAS ISRAEL (GRAND RAPIDS)
31840 W. Seven Mile, Livonia, (248) 477-8974. Cantor:
David Gutman. President: Larry Stein. Vice presidents:
Martin Diskin, Al Gittleman. Services: Friday 8 p.m.;
Saturday 9 a.m.
CONGREGATION BETH AHM
5075 W. Maple, West Bloomfield, 48322, (248) 851-6880.
Rabbi: Charles Popky. Ritual director: Joseph Mermelstein.
Rabbi emeritus: A. Irving Schnipper. Cantor Emeritus:
Shabtai Ackerman. Services: Friday 6 p.m.; Saturday 9:30
a.m., 6 p.m.; weekdays 7 a.m., 7 p.m.; Sundays and civic
holidays: 8:15 a.m., 5 p.m. Purim: Saturday Minchah 6
p.m.; Seudah Shilishit 6:30 p.m., maariv megillah reading
146 South Ave., Mt. Clemens, 48043, (810) 465-0641.
Services: weekdays 7:15 a.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.; Sunday
CONGREGATION B'NAI MOSHE
6800 Drake, West Bloomfield, 48322, (248) 788-0600.
Rabbi: Elliot Pachter. Cantor: Earl Berris. Services: Friday 6
p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m., 6:15 p.m.; Monday-Thursday 7
a.m., 6 p.m.; Friday 7 a.m.; Sunday and legal holidays 9
a.m.; Sunday 6 p.m. Purim: Saturday 9 a.m., 6:15 p.m.
Mincha, 7 p.m. maariv and megillah reading; Sunday 8:45
a.m. Shacharit and megillah reading. Saturday Bat Mitzvah
of Elayna Zack, daughter of Brenda and Doug Zack.
ISAAC AGREE DOWNTOWN
1457 Griswold, Detroit, 48226, (313) 961-9328. Chazan:
What signs can we see in our
lives that the world is really
moving towards redemption?
.<40 2 ,Si V & 5\t ge;WaiN;AVO M MMI.. Y
BETH ISRAEL (FLINT)
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mies presented and still present, it is
appropriate that we read as well from
Parshat Tetzaveh because it begins
with a reference to one of those
words for joy.
The portion begins with the com-
mandment to bring light into the
Tabernacle and, by extension, into
our lives. Just as light is a synonym
for joy in the Book of Esther, it is
among the essential elements in the
Tabernacle and in our lives.
We live in a dangerous world. Our
people and the world face real
threats. But, that is not the sum total
of what Judaism is. Our tradition is
one of joy. Our hope is for redemp-
tion. Our words are words of happi-
ness and ultimate faith in God and
in the redemption of the world.
Celebrate Purim (responsibly of
course!) and make sure our children
learn that to turn a phrase from the
Yiddish, it's good and joyous to be a
Cantor Usher Adler. Baal Kriah: Rabbi Craig Allen. Ritual
director: Dr. Martin Herman. President: Dr. Ellen Kahn.
Services: Saturday 8:30 a.m.
CONGREGATION SHAAREY ZEDEK
Rabbis: Joseph H. Krakoff, Jonathan E. Berkun. Rabbi
emeritus: Irwin Groner. Cantor: Chaim Najman. Ritual
director: Leonard Gutman.
Southfield: 27375 Bell Road, Southfield, 48034, (248)
357-5544. Services: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 7:30
a.m.; Monday, Thursday 7:15 a.m.; daily 6 p.m.; Friday 6
p.m.; Saturday 8:45 a.m., 5:45 p.m.; Sunday 8:45 a.m.
Purim: Saturday contemporary megillah reading 7:15 p.m.,
traditional megillah reading 7:45 p.m.
West Bloomfield, B'nai Israel Center: 4200 Walnut Lake
Road, West Bloomfield, 48323-2772, (248) 357-5544.
Services: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 7:15 a.m.; Monday,
Thursday 7 am.; daily 6 p.m.; Friday 6 p.m.; Saturday 9
a.m., 6 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.
2300 Center Ave., Bay City, 48708; (989) 893-7811.
Cantor: Daniel Gale. President: Dr. Jonathan Abramson.
Services: Saturday 9:30 a.m. A liberal, egalitarian congre-
gation serving the tri-cities area. Religious and Hebrew
education programs for children and adults.
207 Grandview Parkway, #209, Traverse City, 49684, (231)
929-4330. Rabbi: Stacie Bahle. Year round Shabbat servic-
es, holidays, education.
GROSSE POINTE JEWISH COUNCIL
(313) 882-6700. Rabbi: Nicholas Behrmann. Cantorial
soloist: Bryant Frank.
P.O. Box 130014, Ann Arbor, 48103, (734) 996-3524 or
995-1963. Rev. Lauren Zinn. Services: Friday 6:15, follow-
ing dinner. Jewish Roots with Interfaith Wings holds bi-
monthly Shabbat dinner, services, kids' programs, family
school and Hebrew school for all ages.
AGUDAS YISROEL MOGEN
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Rabbis: Dov Loketch, Asher Eisenberger. President: Irwin
ANN ARBOR CHABAD HOUSE
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9:45 a.m., 20 min. before sundown; weekdays 7:30 am.;
Sunday 9 a.m. Times for weekdays and Sunday are for the
ANN ARBOR ORTHODOX MINYAN
1429 Hill St., Ann Arbor, 48014. Rabbi: Rod Glogower..
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minutes before sundown; weekdays during the academic
year 7:30 am.; Sunday 9 a.m.
BAIS CHABAD OF FARMINGTON
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2910. Rabbi: Chaim Bergstein. Services: Friday sundown;
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BAIS CHABAD OF NORTH OAK
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