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April 16, 2004 - Image 61

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-04-16

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Torah Portion / Synagogues

What's Really 'Kosher' And What's Really `Treir?

Shabbat Shemini:
Leviticus 9:1-11:47;
II Samuel 6:1-7:17


his week's portion contains
the Torah's version of
dietary rules and restric-
In Leviticus Ch. 11, we find listed
the animals we are and are not permit-
ted to eat. The chapter-ends' , "This is
the instruction of the beasts and of the
bird and of every living creature that
moves in the waters and of every crea-
ture that creeps upon the Earth; to
differentiate between the clean (tameh)
and the unclean (tahoi), and .between
the animal that may be eaten and the
animal that may not be eaten."
Leviticus 11 does not discuss how
animals are to be slaughtered or justify
the separation of milk and meat prod-
ucts. Those particular laws are only
developed in the later rabbinical com-
mentary of Mishnah and Gemara.
Those laws of kashrut have become
thoroughly incorporated into the

Joseph Klein is rabbi of Temple
Emanu-El. His e-mail address is



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., 8:15 p.m.; weekdays 7:30 a.m., 6
p.m.; Sunday 8:30 a.m. Bar mitzvah of Alexander
Waldman, son of Pearl and Martin Waldman.


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


31840 W. Seven Mile, Livonia, (248) 477-8974.
Cantor: David Gutman. President: Larry Stein. Vice
presidents: Martin Diskin, AI Gittleman. Services:
Friday 8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.


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., 7:45 p.m.; weekdays 7
a.m., 7 p.m.; Sundays and civic holidays: 8:15 a.m., 5
p.m. Bar mitzvah of Joshua Davidson, son of Esther
and Steven Davidson.

that which died of itself, or that which
Jewish community; indeed, they've
was torn (treifah) by beasts. Treifah
become a prominent "Jewish identifi-
refers to meat that might otherwise be
er" for the non-Jewish world.
edible, were it not for the fact that the
American English even accepts words
animal was "torn," killed by
like "kosher" and "treif" as
another animal. Thus, for
useful adjectives.
meat to be designated as
Far too many Jews (and
treif, it has to .be potentially
most non-Jews) do not
acceptable before it was
understand what either of
improperly slaughtered. Pork
these two words means.
and shellfish are foods are
"Kosher" is often assumed to
"forbidden" by Torah,
mean "clean" (in Jewish cir-
Shrimp isn't treif
cles), "blessed" or "holy"
because it never could be
(among our neighbors). It
does not mean either. To say
RABBI JOSEPH kosher, and a hamburger
from a fast-food restaurant
that something is kasher is to
— that's probably treif
say that it is appropriate,
Specia 1 to the
because it wasn't slaughtered
proper or correct. Thus for a
Jewis h News
by a shochet.
food product to be kasher, or
It seems that Americans
"kosher," means_ that it meets
in general are becoming more selective
the.standard of what the prepared or
in their eating choices. I can't ever
presented food is expected to be with-
remember a time when so many peo-
in one's Jewish tradition. It is not nec-
ple were on low-carb diets or commit-
essarily any "cleaner" than non-kosher
ted to dieting programs. This new way
food and certainly is not special
of eating is big business. In fast-food
because it's been "blessed by a rabbi."
drive-throughs, at specialty markets,
So when your friends ask you what
on the shelves of mainstream groceries,
kind of blessing makes a thing
and from afternoon talk shows — we
"kosher," you should set them straight.
are offered many competing choices of
My other peeve is the ubiquitous
how best to get ourselves in better
misuse of the term treif. Later on in
shape. How we eat will certainly deter-
Leviticus (17:15 and elsewhere in
mine how we live.
Torah) we read: "[You may not eat]


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.; week-
days 7:30 a.m., 6 p.m.; Sunday and legal holidays 8
a.m., 6 p.m. Ivriah religious school (810) 732-6312.


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


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., 6:30 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m., 5
p.m.; weekdays 7 a.m., 6:30 p.m. Minchah bar mitz-
vah, Jeffrey Grossman, son of Sally Grossman and
Leonard Grossman.


146 South Ave., Mt. Clemens, 48043, (810) 465-0641.
Services: weekdays 7:15 a.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.;
Sunday 8 a.m


6800 Drake, West Bloomfield, 48322, (248) 788-0600.
Rabbi: Elliot Pechter. Cantor: Earl Berris. Services:
Friday 6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m., 8 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. Saturday
Haftorah reader, Jessica Epstein. JTS Shabbat honor-

The Torah declares that in making
proper food choices we make ourselves
special through our covenant with
God, and that humanity has already
been made special by God. We are
controlled not by instinctive impulses,
but rather we choose the direction and
development of our lives. And our
most fundamental choice is what we
eat and how we eat. God, I believe,
wants us to be careful in our food and
feeding habits — yes to be holy, but
also to be healthy. ❑


How true is it that we "are what
we eat"? If our dietary laws are
rules to separate us from other
animals and affirm our status as
moral and ethical beings, are
there other food restrictions or
priorities we might be consider?
Beyond our blessings before and
after the meal, how might you
and your family make dinner
time a more obvious demonstra-
tion of our covenant with God?


ing Susan and Dr. Melvyn Friedman.



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.

207 Grandview Parkway, #209, Traverse City, 49684,
(231) 929-4330. Rabbi: Stacie Bahle. Year round
Shabbat services, holidays, education.


(313) 882-6700. Rabbi: Nicholas Behrmann. Cantorial
soloist: Bryant Frank.

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., 7:45 p.m.; Sunday
8:30 a.m. Saturday, b'nai mitzvah of Jaymie Dorit
Cohen, daughter of Susan and Steven Cohen; Daniel
Max Edelson, son of Leora Bar-Levav and Gary

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., 7:45 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 congregation serving the tri-cities area.
Religious and Hebrew education programs for children
and adults.



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.



15751 W. Lincoln, Southfield, 48075, (248) 552-1971.
Rabbis: Dov Loketch, Asher Eisenberger. President:
Irwin Cohen.


715 Hill St., Ann Arbor, 48104, (734) 995-3276. Rabbi:
Aharon Goldstein. Services: Friday at sundown;
Saturday 9:45 a.m., 20 min. before sundown; week-
days 7:30 a.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. Times for weekdays and
Sunday are for the academic year.


on page 62




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