Shabbat Ki Tessa:
I Kings 18:1-39.
his momentous, pivotal Torah
portion begins on Sinai's
heights. God gives Moses the
Tablets of the Covenant — two mirac-
ulously crafted tablets of stone, "writ-
ten with the finger of God." Suddenly,
the narrative sweeps us down to the
base of the mountain, to the shame
of the sin of the golden
Nowhere else in Scripture does God
reveal Himself to mankind as intimate-
ly as He does in Ki Tessa. We read from
it, in fact, on every fasting day on our
religious calendar, Yom Kippur except-
Here, speaking all but face-to-face
with Moses, God reveals His greatest
"secrets," His inherent qualities of
compassion, faithfulness and patience
with His creatures, His infinite capaci-
ty for mercy, justice and forgiveness.
Michael Dallen, a native Detroiter, is
the author of "The Rainbow
This is what observant Jews study
the Midrash, the ancient rabbinic com-
when we really need and seek Divine
mentary, was that they didn't obliterate
it in the first place.
We needed a lot of forgiveness after
People tend to think of religion as a
this disaster with the idol. Indeed, says
staid, conservative force, but Israel and
the Talmud, "There is not a misfortune
its religion were both born of revolu-
that Israel has suffered since which is
tion. God turned Egypt upside down,
not partly a retribution for the sin of
humiliating its gods and leaders, raising
the calf." Our ancestors slipped up,
the slave above the slave-master.
horribly Islam's Koran speaks
Finally, He annihilated its
contemptuously of their fail-
ure and so do the Christian
Israel emerged not just as
Scriptures. Israel, so recently
a people, an ethnic group,
"betrothed to God" at Sinai,
nor merely a religion. We are
turned away "to play the har-
both, a nation and a sacred
lot," the Talmud says, "within
society, a people with a mis-
her bridal canopy."
Two quick observations: 1)
God created the Jewish
We call the idol a calf, deri-
people to serve Him as a
sively; but it was probably a
holy, revolutionary "kingdom
bull: The Egyptians believed
of priests," a "light unto the
that Osiris, god of the dead,
to help liberate
inhabited and chose to be
every kind of
Special to the
represented by Apis, the body
of a bull.
Idolatry, the worship of
2) The "mixed multitude"
any god but God, is the root
of foreign peoples who had fled from
of all evil, the Torah teaches. To put
Egypt with Israel, encamped alongside
the idea into political terms, idolatry is
Israel, had their own attachment to this
counter-revolutionary. It is the betrayal
cult. Our tradition says that only a few
of God, the basis of all tyranny. It con-
Jews — a few thousand, at most —
tradicts the whole point and purpose of
rallied around the idol.
the Exodus and Sinai, including the
The bigger problem, according to
Jewish people's covenant with God.
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holidays: 8:15 a.m., 5 p.m.
ADAT SHALOM SYNAGOGUE
BETH ISRAEL (FLINT)
29901 Middlebelt, Farmington Hills, 48334, (248) 851-
5100. Rabbis: Daniel Nevins, Herbert Yoskowitz, Rachel
Lawson Shere. Rabbi emeritus: Efry Spectre. Cantor:
Yevsey Gutman. Cantor emeritus: Larry Vieder. Services:
Friday 6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m., 6:15 p.m.; weekdays 7:30
a.m., 6 p.m.; Sunday 8:30 a.m. Men's Club Shabbat.
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 am.
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
31840 W. Seven Mile, Livonia, (248) 477-8974. Cantor:
David Gutman. President Larry Stein. Vice presidents:
Marlin Diskin, Al Gittleman. Services: Friday 8 p.m.;
Saturday 9 am.
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., 6:25 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m., 5 p.m.; week-
days 7 a.m., 6:30 p.m. Board of Directors Shabbat.
CONGREGATION BETH AHM
BETH TEPHILATH MOSES
G-5240 Calkins Road, Flint, 48532, (810) 732-6310.
Cantor emeritus: Sholom Kalib. President Dr. Harold
Steinman. Services: Saturday 9:30 am., 6 p.m.; weekdays
7:30 am., 6 p.m.; Sunday and legal holidays 8 a.m., 6
p.m. Ivriah religious school (810) 732-6312.
5075 W. Maple, West Bloomfield, 48322, (248) 851-6880.
Ritual director. Joseph Mermelstein. Rabbi emeritus: A.
Irving Schnipper. Cantor Emeritus: Shabtai Ackerman.
Guest rabbi: Aaron Bergman. Visiting scholar. Dr. Howard
Lupovitch. Services: Friday 6 p.m.; Saturday 9:30 am.,
5:45 p.m.; weekdays 7 a.m., 7 p.m.; Sundays and civic
146 South Ave., Mt Clemens, 48043, (586) 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
5:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 am., 5:30 p.m.; Monday-Friday 7
a.m., Monday-Thursday 6 p.m.; Sunday and legal holidays
9 am.; Sunday 5:30 p.m. Bat mitzvah of Doree Kreitman,
daughter of Kevan and Barbara Kreitman.
DOR CHADASH U. OF MICH.
Here, in the midst of their own camp,
Israel tolerated this Golden Calf.
Revolutions don't succeed by cod-
dling the enemy. The threat had to be
put down. Once Moses returned to
lead the people, it was. Yet it took his
leadership to rally enough of them to
More than 140 generations have
gone by since Israel burst forth from
Egypt. Our duty now as then is to
make ourselves — as individuals and as
a people — holy, by learning what
God wants of us and then doing it.
One of the many lessons this por-
tion teaches is that in the face of dire
threats to God's honor and our own
national integrity we can't afford to
wait passively for a Moses to rush
down to us from Sinai.
Does "revolutionary" help describe
the Jewish people's role in history?
Did Moses smash the Tablets of
the Covenant to keep them from
becoming objects of idolatry?
How does refusal to worship or
believe at all in God compare to
worshipping a false god?
Services: Saturday 9:30 am. A liberal, egalitarian congre-
gation serving the tri-cities area. Religious and Hebrew
education programs for children and adults.
U-M Hillel; 1429 Hill St., Ann Arbor 48104, (734) 769-
0500. Rabbi: Jason A. Miller. Co-chairs: Naomi Karp, Perry
Teicher. Egalitarian Carlebach-style service 5:30 p.m.
Fridays. Monthly Shabbat morning service. Monthly
Shabbat Minchah-Seudah Shlishit. Check Web site for
ISAAC AGREE DOWNTOWN
(313) 882-6700. Rabbi: Nicholas Behrmann. Cantorial
soloist Bryant Frank.
1457 Griswold, Detroit, 48226, (313) 961-9328. Chazan:
Cantor Usher Adler. Baal Kriah: Howard Marcus. Cantorial
soloist Neil Bards. 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, Eric S.
Yanoff. 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 5:30 p.m.; Friday
6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m., 5:45 p.m.; Sunday 8:30 a.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 a.m.; daily 6 p.m.; Friday 6 p.m.; Saturday 9
am., 5:45 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. Bat mitzvah of Dori
Kaufman, daughter of Robin and Larry Kaufman.
2300 Center Ave., Bay City, 48708; (989) 893-7811.
Cantor: Daniel Gale. President Dr. Jonathan Abramson.
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.
GROSSE POINTE JEWISH COUNCIL
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 ABRAHAM
15751 W. Lincoln, Southfield, 48075, (248) 552-1971.
Rabbis: Dov Loketch, Asher Eisenberger. President: Irwin
ANN ARBOR CHABAD HOUSE
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.
ANN ARBOR ORTHODOX MINYAN
1429 Hill St, Ann Arbor, 48014. Rabbi: Rod Glogower.