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May 06, 2010 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2010-05-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

pee4de

TORAH PORTION

vd

AN EVENING WITH SENATOR
GEORGE McGOVERN AND
PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN

From Mount Sinai,
A New World Order

Tuesday, June 8th 7:30 pm Sanctuary

Temple Beth El
7400 Telegraph at 14 Mile Road

Parshat Behar Behukotai: Leviticus
25:1-27:34; Jeremiah 16:19-17:14.

revealed with the introductory words,
"The Lord said to Moses, `You are to
fashion the two tablets of stone ..."'
nd the Lord spoke to Moses
(Exodus 34:1). In this second revela-
on Mount Sinai saying,
, "... when you enter the
tion; you, Moses, representing the
leadership of the Israelites
land which I am giving to
throughout the generations,
you, the land must rest a
are have a hand in the for-
Sabbath year unto the Lord
mation of the tablets. This
..." (Leviticus 25:1).
Revelation will leave room
The classical interpreter
for an Oral Law, replete with
Rashi asks, "Why does the
interpretations, decrees and
Bible specifically link the
enactments of the Rabbis in
laws of the Sabbatical year
every generation.
to the revelation on Mount
The laws of the Sabbatical
Sinai?" After all, were not
year
and the Jubilee express
all of the 613 command-
Rabbi
Shlomo
a
magnificent
view of a
ments given at Sinai not
Riskin
world
order
in
which every
only those pertaining to
Special
to
the
individual
is
returned
to his
the Sabbatical year?
Jewish
News
ancestral
land
and
home-
He answers that just
stead, debts are rescinded
as the general rules and
and
freedom
reigns supreme. This is
specifically deduced details of the
the
goal
of
Jewish
law, the messianic
Sabbatical laws were given at Sinai, so
dream
of
perfecting
society; this is the
too, the general rules and specifically
picture
with
which
Maimonides
con-
deduced details of all of the com-
legal
com-
Mishneh
Torah
cludes
his
mandments given at Sinai.
pendium because he understands that
His answer only further begs the
this is the purpose of our law and the
question: If all the commandments
true mission of Israel. And the Scroll
were given with all their details on
of Ruth demonstrates how the agricul-
Mount Sinai, why does the Bible only
tural
laws created such a society that
mention this in the context of the
supported
its poor in dignity!
Sabbatical laws?
If
we
fail
in the laws of the
Furthermore, I would question the
Sabbatical
year
and the Jubilee, we will
very premise of Rashi's answer. Were
not
be
worthy
of
owning the land or
the details of all of the command-
living
on
it,
so
it
will
be taken away
ments given at Sinai?
from
us.
And
if
we
fail
to make the
We have previously explained that
values
of
a
Sabbatical
year
relevant to
there is a distinction between the ini-
an
industrial
society
as
well,
we will
tial tablets of the Revelation — which
be
losing
the
indelible
connection
Moses smashed — and the second
between the practical laws we keep
tablets — which endured. Indeed,
and the spirit of those laws as enunci-
the Midrash suggests a fundamental
ated at Sinai.
distinction between the "substantive
This is the force behind the eter-
essence of Torah" in each of these rev-
nal
words of Rashi and the Midrash,
elations.
"just
as the general rules as well as
The first tablets revealed a Torah that
the
specifically
deduced details of the
was solely the work of God, written by
Sabbatical
laws
were given at Sinai, so
the Lord — a Divine product of His
were
the
general
rules as well as the
hands (as it were). The Israelites played
specifically
deduced
details of all of the
no role in the formation of this Torah,
commandments
given
at Sinai." The
and they could not claim any scintilla
Sabbatical laws and Jubilee stand out as
of ownership over it. Therefore, it was
the model for perfecting society!
doomed to fail as indeed happened
with the worship of the Golden Calf
Shlomo Riskin is chancellor of Ohr Torah
only 40 days after that Revelation.
Stone and chief rabbi of Efrat.
The second tablets, however, are

Efrat, Israel

A



• Decorated WWII Bomber Pilot
• Professor of History and Political Science
• First Director of The Food For Peace Program
• United States Senator
• Presidential Candidate

Senator McGovern will discuss his latest book
Abraham Lincoln
and answer questions before a book signing.

Sponsored by
The Theodore & Mina Bargman Foundation and
Helen Rowin in Memory of Gerald Rowin and
Milton Alexander

Susan and Barry Lepler, Chairs

THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THIS EVENT,
BUT TICKETS ARE NECESSARY FOR ADMISSION

TEMPLE

BETH EL

For tickets, please call
248-865-0617, press I

May 6 • 2010

31

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