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May 07, 2004 - Image 74

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-05-07

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Torah Portion

Revering The Jewish Mother

believes that over-protection may build
and scorns her influence. American
a firm base of security in a child.
society now presents the Jewish moth-
Children who are carefully protected
er as an object of ridicule.
know that they are loved and impor-
Thus, the stereotyped Jewish moth-
tant; and because they are important
er overdoes her job. We are told that
to their parents, they become impor-
she hovers over her children, prevent-
tant to themselves. Fortified with such
ing them from achieving self-reliance
self-esteem, they can become
by interfering, advising, over-
strong and independent
protecting and manipulating.
There are no matters in
Some say the Jewish
which she does not presume
mother is becoming extinct
to be an expert, no activity in
now that so many women
which she does not claim
outside their homes. I
believe there are still plenty
Mother has been placed
of Jewish mothers in our
on a pedestal on which her
midst, working or not, who
hold seems insecure. Yet,
have simply gone under-
mothers are both tender and
ground in. recent years. They
tough. They can absorb vast
practice their art secretly for
quantities of punishment and
Special to the
fear of becoming the object
hold their ground against
Jewish News
of another round of jokes.
critics and opponents.
To those closet Jewish
Because motherhood has
mothers, I say, "Come out. We need
been deprecated in our generation, all
you now. We want to observe you.
mothers have learned how to be self-
We want to celebrate you with a tradi-
conscious and cautious in their child-
may you
tional toast of l'chayim
rearing practices. But the time has
live and be well and go on mothering
come for us to take a new look at the
for 120 years.
Jewish mother stereotype. God knows,
The Torah teaches us that reverence
we don't seem to have improved much
for mother is a sacred obligation.
as parents since we began renouncing
Reverence is not based on the assump-
the Jewish way.
tion that we all have saintly (or even
The proverbial Jewish mother

sane) mothers. It is a commitment to
implement the honor of earthly par-
ents to whom we owe the gift of life
To parents, I would say, "Have rev-
erence for yourself, for you hold in
your hands the sacred responsibility of
nurturing life and of shaping the char-
acter of the next generation. Hold
yourselves in reverence and awe. Keep
in mind what the Bible teaches:
"Honor thy father and thy mother
that thy days be long on the land •
which the Lord, thy God giveth thee."
If we seek days that are lengthy in
accomplishment, if we seek a life of
blessing, let us revere our parents and
ourselves, as we seek to bind the gen-
erations close — one to the other." ❑


6 p.m.; Sunday and legal holidays 8 a.m., 6 p.m. lvriah reli-
gious school (810) 732-6312.




Shabbat Emor:
Leviticus 21:1-24:23;
Ezekiel 44:15-31.


he institution of Mother's
Day, which falls this year
on Sunday, May 9, express-
es the sacred principle that
reverence and love for our parents con-
stitute the basis of our spiritual life.
The influence of the Jewish mother
in our lives is well symbolized by her
kindling of the Sabbath and festival
lights; for the model Jewish mother
brings the light of love, sympathy,
consolation and understanding into
the lives of her family.
This figure of the Jewish mother
has always been sacrosanct in tradi-
tional life and lore. Even in ages of
transition, when everything sacred was
subject to criticism, the Jewish mother
somehow remained above the din of
the battle.
But I note a continuing trend in
modern cultures, which subjects the
Jewish mother to withering criticism

Irwin Groner is rabbi emeritus of

Congregation Shaarey Zedek.

29901 Middlebelt, Farmington Hills, 48334, (248) 851-
5100. Rabbis: Daniel Nevins, Herbert Yoskowitz. Cantor:
Howard Glantz. Rabbi emeritus: Efry Spectre. Cantor emeri-
tus: Larry Vieder. Services: Friday 6 p.m.; Saturday 9 am.,
8:30 p.m.; weekdays 7:30 a.m., 6 p.m.; Sunday 8:30 a.m.
B'nai mitzvah of Megan Weiner, daughter of Sheri and Yale
Weiner; Jordan Supowit, son of Debbie and Jeffrey Sipowit.
Aufruf of Julie Bean and David Tigay.


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.


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., 8:15 p.m.; weekdays 7 am., 7 p.m.; Sundays and
civic holidays: 8:15 a.m., 5 p.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.,.

5/ 7



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.


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.; week-
days 7 a.m., 6:30 p.m. Jewish Theological Seminary


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., 8:30 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 Benjamin Kastan, son
of Carol and David Kastan. New Baby Shabbat.


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 direc-
tor: 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., 8:15 p.m.; Sunday 8:30 a.m.
Friday bat mitzvah of Hannah Gayle Borman, daughter of
Hilary and Stuart Borman. Saturday b'nai mitzvah of Amy
Caryn Shulman, daughter of Lois and Marc Shulman;
Michelle Rose Wayne, daughter of Cindy Hirsch.
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., 8:15 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. Bat mitzvah of Mara Israel,
daughter of Marcie and Ashley Israel.


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.



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.


Consider the demands and
expectations that Jewish mothers
have placed on their children.
Can these ever be dangerous or
destructive? What effect may
occur if parents lean over back-
wards not to pressure kids, not
to burden them with high expec-

(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.\



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


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; weekdays 7:30 a.m.;
Sunday 9 a.m. Times for weekdays and Sunday are for the
academic year.


1429 Hill St., Ann Arbor, 48014. Rabbi: Rod Glogower.
Services: Friday at sundown; Saturday 9:30 a.m. and 20
minutes before sundown; weekdays during the academic
year 7:30 a.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.

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