Torah Portion / Synagogues
Look For Those Extra Little Blessings
o often in life, it seems, we lose
the meaning in the midst of all
the details. We get so immersed
in the everyday that we miss
the beauty in life right before our eyes.
Our Torah portion this week is no
different; for on one level, the vast
majority of verses here merely present us
with a list of stuff, of things to bring for
this building project called the
Tabernacle. Lists upon lists — of pre-
cious metals, of fabrics, of woods and
more; of how and when they are to be
Yet like our lives, in those details is
hidden an incredible message. Moses
instructed our ancestors to bring the
gifts necessary for this project and
Michael Moskowitz is a rabbi at
Temple Shir Shalom.
B'nai mitzvah announcements
appearing in the Mazel Toy! section
will not be repeated in the
synagogue listing information.
See more b'nai mitzvah announcements
beginning on page 59.
ADAT SHALOM SYNAGOGUE
29901 Middlebelt, Farmington Hills, 48334, (248) 851-
5100. Rabbis: Daniel Nevins, Herbert Yoskowitz. Cantor:
Howard Glantz. Rabbi emeritus: Efry Spectre. Cantor
emeritus: Larry Vieder. Services: Friday 6 p.m.; Saturday
9 a.m., 6:30 p.m.; weekdays 7:30 a.m., 6 p.m.; Sunday
AHAVAS ISRAEL (GRAND RAPIDS)
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.
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
immediately everyone was extremely
time, there was both the right amount
generous. So much so that Moses pro-
and a little extra.
claimed that no more gifts should be
But a less well-known 18th century
brought for the sanctuary's construction.
commentator, the Or HaChaim leads us
Enough had been collected. Moses even
to the spiritual message within the obvi-
added that there was just the right
ous contradiction. He taught that every
amount for all of the work that lay
contributor, every Israelite had to have
ahead of them.
his gift used for the sanctuary. According
But in the very next phrase Moses
to the story, suddenly Moses realized the
adds the expression, v'hotein "and there
overwhelming generosity of the people
was extra." How could the Torah say
— so much so that he said they might
that there was extra if it just had shared
have more than enough of the materials
that the right amount had
been collected through every-
But now, what could they
one's gifts? It doesn't seem pos-
do? They couldn't refuse peo-
sible that we could have both.
ple's kindness. So in order not
The Ramban looks at this
to embarrass someone by the
dilemma from a practical per-
return of a gift, a miracle hap-
spective. He determined that
pened. Everything that was
there must have only been a
extra" was incorporated into
small, insignificant amount of
the building and its parts.
leftover material. Thus it was
Now on the surface that
put away for future repair
may seem to make the entire
work and as such, it wasn't real-
situation more complicated, but
ly extra. Rather it was material
it is telling us is that the
with a definite purpose.
are supposed to be there.
Special to the
Ovadia Sforno in the 16th
we call extra, that
century explained that there
which we see as extra, that
needed to be a little bit extra in
which is more than we expect,
order that the true artists could do their
which is beyond the natural even, exists
work without having to skimp on their
as part of our lives. Because life is filled
use of materials. Therefore, at the same
with extras — things that make every
day special or make every relationship
unique or rnake every moment precious
— if we see it as such.
But if we merely look at it as what we
expect, if there are no extras, then maybe
we are taking things for granted. And
these verses are being quite clear. They
are telling us to remember that when we
have assembled all the materials for
building, for constructing our lives, there
is still something extra, something
While the extras are supposed to be
there, if we understand and appreciate
each one as something that might not
have been there, but will be added into
the mix nonetheless, we recognize the
blessings which are a part of our lives
each and every- day. May this be a lesson
all of us can embrace. II
Mermelstein. Rabbi emeritus: A. Irving Schnipper. Cantor
Emeritus: Shabtai Ackerman. Services: Friday 6 p.m.;
Saturday 9:30 a.m., 6:15 p.m.; weekdays 7 a.m., 7 p.m.;
Sundays and civic holidays: 8:15 a.m., 5 p.m.
a.m.; Sunday 6 p.m. Bat mitzvah of Sarah Galley, daugh-
ter of Dawn and Howard Spinner.
BETH ISRAEL (FLINT)
1457 Griswold, Detroit, 48226, (313) 961-9328. Chazan:
Cantor Usher Adler. Baal Kriah: Rabbi Craig Allen. Ritual
director: Dr. Martin Herman. President: Dr. Ellen Kahn.
Services: Saturday 8:30 a.m.
G-5240 Calkins Road, Flint, 48532, (810) 732-6310.
Cantor emeritus: Sholom Kalib. President: Leonard
Meizlish. Services: Saturday 9:30 a.m., 6 p.m.; weekdays
7:30 a.m., 6 p.m.; Sunday and legal holidays 8 a.m., 6
p.m. Ivriah religious school (810) 732-6312,
BETH ISRAEL (ANN ARBOR)
2000 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, 48104, (734) 665-
9897. 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
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 a.m., 6:50 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m., 5 p.m.;
weekdays 7 a.m., 6:30 p.m. Men's Club Shabbat. Tot
Shabbat 11 a.m.
BETH TEPHILATH MOSES
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
ISAAC AGREE DOWNTOWN
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., 6:15 p.m.; Sunday 8:45 a.m.
B'nai mitzvah of Marcy Fischgrund, daughter of Heidi
Fischgrund and Jeffrey Fischgrund; Ryan Neal Victor, son
of Gil and Howard Victor.
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 a.m.; daily 6 p.m.; Friday 6 p.m.; Saturday 9
a.m., 6:15 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.
Consider each element of the sanc-
tuary and examine what each might
represent in the transmission of val-
ues in our lives today. (Examples:
the cherubim and children as
guardians of the faith; the inside
was gold: integrity; etc.)
207 Grandview Parkway, #209, Traverse City, 49684,
(231) 929-4330. Rabbi: Stacie Bahle. Year round Shabbat
services, 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, fol-
lowing 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
15751 W. Lincoln, Southfield, 48075, (248) 552-1971.
Rabbis: Dov Loketch, Asher Eisenberger. President: Irwin
ANN ARBOR CHABAD HOUSE
715 Hill Si., Ann Arbor, 48104, (734) 995-3276. Rabbi:
Aharon Goldstein. Services: Friday at sundown; Saturday
9:45 a.m., 20 min. before sundown; weekdays 7:30 a.m.;
Sunday 9 a.m. Times for weekdays and Sunday are for
the academic year.
ANN ARBOR ORTHODOX MINYAN
1429 Hill St., Ann Arbor, 48014. Rabbi: Rod Glogower.