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September 18, 2008 - Image 41

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2008-09-18

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High Holiday Mission:
Mend Links With Others

udaism really should have
The important aspect is what you do
ended with the destruction
about it.
of the Second Holy Temple in
Let me show you how the rabbinic
the year 70 C.E.
model of Torah, prayer and
The Temple was the
acts of loving kindness
center of Jewish life. It was
might be useful in our own
where the people came to
families and friendships.
connect each other as a
The first is Torah. Jews have
community. Primarily, it
studied the Torah in great
was the only place in which
detail for thousands of
the Jews could atone for
years. Every word is criti-
their sins to God and gain
cal; every idea is taken seri-
ously. We need to think of
No relationship with God
our loved ones as worthy of
' Rabbi Aaron
would be possible without
kind of thought.
the sacrifices offered in the
we know what mat-
Temple. The end of the sac-
them? Do we know
rificial system should have
what hurts them? If we do
created a permanent barrier
not know that, how do we
between God and the people, leading
even know when to ask for their for-
inevitably to the abandonment of the
The next idea is prayer. Prayer is
We are blessed that our sages of
speaking to God directly, sharing
the time, the rabbis who created the
our deepest feelings and hoping to
Talmud, refused to give in to despair.
understand God's expectations. Prayer
They said that God wanted the rela-
helps us define the priorities in our
tionship with us to
relationship with God.
continue, and to endure
We need to speak to
eternally. They created a
our loved ones directly
substitution for Temple
and clearly. We must
sacrifice, which has
ask for forgiveness and
allowed Judaism to con-
demonstrate that we
tinue to this day. They
understand we what we
said that God wants us
did that may have been
to study Torah, offer
our prayers and do acts
Finally, there are acts
of lovingkindness. I
of lovingkindness. This
believe this model also
is about surpassing
creates powerful and
our responsibilities to
lasting relationships
others. Doing what we
between people.
need to do just makes
I have seen a lot
us ourselves. Doing
of loving, successful
more than what we
families, and I have
have to do makes us
seen some that have
better and more caring
fallen apart altogether.
people. We will prob-
Each family is unique,
ably have less for which
but one of the main reasons some
to apologize when we show this kind
families seem to do well while others
of consideration for others.
do not seems to be linked the family
This Saturday night during the seli-
members'ability or willingness to for-
chot service, we will be offering wishes
give each other. There are clearly hor-
to be forgiven by God.
rible pains that people inflict on each,
Let us use the example set by our
and for which there may not be any
sages and begin the process of healing
easy forgiveness. However, what breaks all of our most important connections.
up most connections are significant,
It saved Judaism in the past.
but smaller hurts.
It also just might save our families
No one is perfect. If you have deep
today. ❑
connections to other people, you are
going to be hurt from time to time
Aaron Bergman is a rabbi at Adat Shalom
— and you are going to hurt others.
Synagogue in Farmington Hills.


Let us use
the example
set by our sages
and begin the
process of
healing all
of our most

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