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April 30, 2004 - Image 54

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-04-30

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Torah Portion/Synagogues

Treat Gay Jews With Dignity

Congregation Or Chadash.

Similarly in the Talmud (Hullin
no one is being victimized is not the
92A-B): "Vila says: 'The non-Jews
proper function of a secular govern-
[sons of Noah] ... accepted ... not to
ment. God has granted human beings
write a prenuptial document [ketubah
free will to choose to act properly or
— marriage contract] for
improperly. Why do
two males. It seems clear
authorities of so many reli-
(although the nature of the
gions consider it their duty
application of the prohibition
to deprive people of their
may be subject to interpreta-
natural and legal rights to
tion) that not only does the
make their own decisions
Torah prohibit (at least male
— even if they are wrong?
homosexual relations, not
When the Jewish com-
"being homosexual"), but also
munity was monolithically
the sages consider accepting
observant (if it ever was),
same-sex marriage the epitome
then enforcement of reli-
of an immoral society. Even
gious standards of behavior
granting all that (although,
may have served as an effec-
Special to the
again, it may be subject to
tive deterrent; but now,
Jewish News
interpretation), what these
with so many lifestyle
sources do not tell us is what
options available to the
to do about it now.
non-observant individual, how can
We, in contemporary times, lack the forced religion be seen as constructive?
necessary institutions or authority to
What are we afraid of? How can the
carry out the prescribed executions.
secular government granting legalized
Furthermore, it is not at all clear that
marriage" to same-sex couples
such punishments were ever used.
"destroy" or even "endanger" marriage
Additionally, the sages spoke in an age
as an institution?
when religion and conformity were
How can the exposure to love and
imposed by the state, and personal
commitment endanger anyone? Why
freedom and individualism were not
are there so many who insist on impos-
appreciated as an absolute good. Today, ing their religious beliefs upon those
asserting and protecting personal rights
who are "not interested"?
is seen as a moral imperative.
Why can't we "mind our own busi-
It should be clear from history, if
ness" when consenting adults don't
not from logic alone, that imposition
harm anyone else?
of religious standards of behavior when
If the Torah-observant community



Shabbat Acharey
Leviticus 16.1-20:27;
Amos 9:7-15.


n both parts of this week's dou-
ble Torah portion, the Torah
delineates a variety of sexual
prohibitions including the pro-
hibition of sexual relations between
males (Leviticus 18:22): "Do not lie
with a male as with a female, it is an
abomination" and (Leviticus 20:13)
'And a male that lies with a male as
with a female; they both have commit-
ted an abomination, they should die
— their blood is upon them."
Further, the Midrash Halachah
(Sifro 132 on verse 18:3): "Like the
deeds of the land of Egypt, in which
you dwelled, you must not do and like
the deeds of the land of Canaan, that I
am bringing you to, you must not do
and you must not follow their ways
[laws]: and what do. they [the
Egyptians and Canaanites] do? A man
marries a man and a woman marries a
woman ... therefore, it says: 'Do not
follow their laws.'"

Eliezer Cohen is rabbi of


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. B'not mitzvah of Julie Schare, daughter of
Agnes and Keith Schare; Alexandra Targan, daughter of
Holli and Anthony Targan.


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.

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.







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.

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., 8 p.m.; weekdays 7 a.m., 7 p.m.; Sundays and civic
holidays: 8:15 a.m., 5 p.m. Bat mitzvah of Lisa Shapiro,
daughter of Margie and Steven Shapiro.


G-5240 Calkins Road, Flint, 48532, (810) 732-6310.
Cantor emeritus: Sholom Kalib. President: Leonard
Meizlish. Services: Saturday 9:30 am., 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.

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. Bar mitzvah of Joseph Max
Lichterman, son of Susan and Mark Lichterman. Monthly
children's birthday blessings. Minchah bar mitzvah of
Bradley Andrew Korn, son of Sheryl and Richard Korn.




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 Pachter. Cantor: Earl Berris. Services: Friday 6

p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m., 7:30 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. Bar mitzvah of Gabriel Pachter, son
of Rabbi Elliot Pachter and Naomi Weckstein.


1457 Griswold, Detroit, 48226, (313) 961-9328. Chazan:
Cantor Usher Adler. Baal Kriah: Rabbi Craig Allen. Cantorial
soloist: Neil Bards. Ritual director: Dr. Martin Herman.
President: Dr. Ellen Kahn. Services: Saturday 8:30 a.m.


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., 8 p.m.; Sunday 8:30 a.m. B'not
mitzvah of Ali Nicole Firsten, daughter of Cindy and
Robert Firsten; Leslee Rachel Klein, daughter of Diane
and Steven Klein.
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., 8 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. Bat mitzvah of Sasha Rachel
Zeidner, daughter of Jane and Stanley Zeidner.


2300 Center Ave., Bay City, 48708; (989) 893-7811.

and its leadership are truly committed
to their religious obligation of "all Jews
are responsible for the Torah obser-
vance of all other Jews" (Shavuos 39A),
then we must realize that causing
resentment and alienation does not
lead to more and improved Torah
observance (neither here nor in Israel).
We cannot influence people that we do
not treat with dignity and respect
except in a negative way.
Being sanctimonious and judgmen-
tal simply "turns people off." Torah
observance can be fostered in this day
and age only by example. If we,
through our behavior and attitude,
demonstrate that a life of Torah obser-
vance truly demonstrates Godliness
and promotes real sanctity, then the
world would want to emulate us. ❑


What should be the proper limits
in legislation and government
enforcement of religious stan-
dards when no victimization
takes place? Is freedom of (and
from) religion an absolute good?
What should be the parameters?
Is a theocracy a viable modern
form of government? Why?


M .41

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.



413 N. Division St., Traverse City, 49684, (231) 929-4330.
Rabbi: Chava (Stacie) Bahle. Weekly Shabbat celebrations,
holidays, year round programming, children's education.
Summer programming for downstate visitors.


(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, fam-
ily school and Hebrew school for all ages.



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

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