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August 18, 2005 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-08-18

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To Life!

On behalf of the Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit, we thank you for opening
your hearts and homes to our 100 Israeli
campers this summer.

Be Comforted,
My People


Marty & Ilene Abrin
Mark & Laura Adler
Andrew & Janet Belsky
Allan & Sandy Bittker
Stanford & Roz Blanck
Ricky & Carol Blumenstein
Jeffrey Busse! & Debbie Pevos
Bob & Robyn Canvasser
Jeff & Marlene Cohen
Darren & Regina Colton
Estelle Dolinka
Howard & Sharon Eisenshtadt
Jeffrey & Wendy Eisenshtadt
Neil & Bunky Elyakin
David & Susan Feber
Fred & Luba Findling
Steven & Jeri Fishman
Zvi & Siegal Golombek
Lorne & Gayle Gold
Raphael & Julie Goldstein
Sheldon & Sonia Gonte
Steve & Margo Goodman
David & Laura Gorosh
Michael & Rosalind Grand
Howard & Carolyn lwrey


respond to the commandments that we
have heard and to express our response
to God.
Some of the most memorable human
responses to the experience of the world
and the presence of God are contained
in the Book of Psalms. The psalms are
expressions of the soul: of yearning, of
celebration, of cries of agony and excla-
arshat Vaetchanan includes
mations of joy. Reading the psalms can
Moses' retelling of the story of
be extremely meaningful to us and can
the giving of the Torah and the
inspire our own creative attempts to
Ten Commandments which was first
communicate with our
told in the Book of
While the commandments
When I was a student at
themselves are described in the
Brandeis University in the
Torah as emanating from God,
1970s, I had the opportunity
it is essential within Judaism to
to study the Book of Psalms
view the revelation at Sinai as, in
with Dr. Nahum Sarna, who
fact, the beginning of a conver-
died in June. Dr. Sarna was
sation between human beings
an outstanding teacher and
and God.
scholar who helped us appre-
As soon as the words of God
were heard by our ancestors, we RABBI ROBERT ciate the intricate beauty and
fascinating literary history of
began to react to them. Our tra-
the psalms.
dition is based upon not only
Special to the
One of the specific ideas
hearing the word of God but
Jewish News
that Dr. Sarna shared with us
interpreting it, expanding it and
during our class, an idea
responding to that voice.
which is found in his book, On the Book
This Shabbat has a special name:
of Psalms, notes the difference between
Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of corn-
the Torah and the psalms. He ta ught
fort. Corning after the fast day of Tisha
that the Ten Commandments begin
b'Av, the haftorah begins with the
with the word Anochee, "I" (am the Lord
words: Nachamu, Nachamu Ami:"Be
your God) and end with the word ray-
comforted, be comforted my people".
acha "your neighbor."
This haftorah is the first of seven
By contrast, the psalms begin with the
haftorah readings of nechama, consola-
phrase Ashrei Haeesh "Happy is the per-
tion and comfort, leading up to Rosh
son" and end with the word Halleluyah
Hashana. All of these readings come
"Praise God."
from the later chapters of the Book of
Thus, while the paradimgatic text of
Isaiah, addressed to the people of Israel
Torah begins with God and ends with
following the Babylonian exile, prepar-
human beings, Psalms begins with a
ing them to return to the land of Israel.
human being and ends with God. The
There is a beautiful rabbinic com-
psalms are, therefore, our response and
mentary which links the first phrase of
an attempt to continue in a conversation
each of these seven haftarot together by
with the God of Sinai.
viewing them as a conversation between
This is an idea well worth considering
God, the prophet and the people of
at this time of year. As we begin to
Israel. If you look at each of the sen-
approach the High Holidays, let us be
tences, you can imagine this "trialgoue"
loyal to our tradition, which urges us to
between a passionate prophet, a weary,
listen for God's voice and let us respond
skeptical people and a comforting God.
to it with our words and, more impor-
That the people are involved in this
tandy, with our deeds. El
conversation is crucial. In Judaism, con-
versations with God are not just for
leaders; they are for each of us as indi-
viduals. We each must find a way to
In what situations are you most
likely to seek a "conversation"
Robert Dobrusin is rabbi of Beth Israel
Congregation in Ann Arbor.

Howard & Lilly Jacobson
Irwin & Ruth Kahn
David Katzman
Barry & Annette Kaufman
Jimmy & Sherri Ketai
Brian & Elyse Kolender
Ken Korotkin
Jakob & Esther Liwazer
Eric Lumberg
Shlomo & Rhonda Mandel
Stewart & Barbara Mandell
Alissa Pianin
Jon & Gale Poris
Robert & Elaine Robins
Warren & Carol Ann Rose
Nathan & Perri Rosen
Steve & Deborah Rosenthal
David & Susan Saperstein
Neil & Jackie Sefferman
Stuart & Eileen Sherman
Ted & Andrea Simons
Robert & Amy Singer
Bennett & Suzi Terebelo
Ron & Jodi Weiss

Shabbat Nachamu,
Parshat Vaetchanan:
Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11;
Isaiah 40:1-26


Steve Goodman - Chair
Ken Korotkin - Host Family Coordinator
Lilly Jacobson, Michelle Jacobson, Eric Lumberg -
Events Coordinators




This is Federation

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