100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

September 08, 2011 - Image 62

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-09-08

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

spirituality >> Torah portion

sh Hashanah

,kroptinT

Weighing In
On Honesty
In Business

Continue

69-yeah bachtionf

Wish family and friends and the entire
Jewish community a Happy New Year!

For information, call 248.351.5107

Please clip and send the coupon below with remittance
Greetings arriving after the deadline will run in the following edition.
For private party advertising only. Businesses are not eligible.

Ad Deadline: Sept. 15, 2011

Published: Sept. 22, 2011



May the New Year
bring to all our friends
and family
health, joy, prosperity and
everything good in life.

Rosh Hashanah



May the coming year be filled
with health, happiness and prosperity
for all our family and friends.

2011
5772

— name —

S175

3

Name

(PLEASE PRINT NAME TO APPEAR IN GREETING)

Address

City/State/Zip

Phone

Email

Personal Check Enclosed

Visa/MC/AmEx

Exp. Date

Amount

Signature

Please Circle Ad Desired:

#1 - $125 — #2 - $150 — #3 - $175

Please fill out this form completely and send with your check or charge card information to:

JN Rosh Hashanah Greetings 2011
29200 Northwestern Hwy. Suite 110
Southfield, MI 48034

or fax to: 248.304.0049

54 September 8 • 2011

A

beautiful story finds its origin
in this week's parshah, which
says, "You shall not have in
your pouch alternate weights, larger
and smaller. You shall not have in your
house alternate measures, a larger and
a smaller. You must have completely
honest weights and completely honest
measures ..." (Deuteronomy 25:13-15).
While the call for honesty is
relatively simple and direct, the
repetition and change in lan-
guage indicates the Torah's con-
cern about the issue. This story
may highlight why that is.
In the midst of a drought so
terrible that the community had
begun to say special prayers and
to fast, the rabbi of a certain
town had a vivid dream. He
dreamed that he was instructed
to invite Yankel to lead the con-
gregation in prayer. The rabbi
woke with a start and laughed to himself,
"Yankel? A good man but he is not well
educated. He wouldn't be able to lead the
congregation in prayer."
The next evening, the rabbi had the
same dream. And by the following eve-
ning, while the drought persisted, the
rabbi's dream was even clearer; a voice
said, "There will be no rain until Yankel
leads the congregation in prayer!' The
rabbi wasn't laughing any more.
At the time for the morning davening,
when everyone was ready to begin, the
rabbi rose from his seat and approached
Yankel. Just having the great rabbi so
close made Yankel shy and embarrassed.
"Please lead the congregation in our
prayers today, Yankel," said the rabbi.
Yankel said nothing. The rabbi insisted.
"But, Rabbi, I don't know how to lead the
prayers. I am not worthy, nor am I able.
whispered Yankel.
Encouragingly, the rabbi told Yankel
not to worry. "Whatever you do will be
acceptable before God. Only your prayers
will bring us the rain for which we are so
desperate," said the rabbi. Yankel seemed
to shrink down even further in his seat
but then quickly stood up and ran from
the synagogue. The rabbi walked back to
his seat and sat down. The rabbi waited
and so did the congregation.
Eventually, the congregation watched
Yankel walk down the aisle of the syna-

gogue. In his hands he held a scale. You
could hear the snickers as he made his
way to the bimah where the leader of the
prayers would stand. What was this igno-
ramus doing with a scale in synagogue?!
But when Yankel reached the bimah
there was quiet. At first, Yankel seemed
unsure of what he would do next. But
then he raised the scale, offering it up
and called out in a strong
voice. "Master of the
World," he said, "I am an
unlettered man. I do not
know how to lead the con-
gregation in prayers. But
each day, I use this scale
to measure my goods. If I
have ever cheated anyone
with this scale, may I suffer
punishment. But if I have
treated people fairly and
honestly, then please send
us rain."
All was quiet as Yankel finished speak-
ing to God. Soon, the room grew dark.
The rain that came down that day began
to ease the drought. The community
breathed a sigh of relief and thanked
God. But as the community prepared to
move forward with life, almost impercep-
tible corrections were made to the scales
in many of the shops in town ...
The issue of honest weights and mea-
sures is not only an ancient issue. The
weights and measures of the modern
marketplace are more complex than
Yankel's scale. But you only need read the
news to know that the issue of honesty in
the marketplace is a live issue today.
Ultimately, Yankel's story is not about
the big swindle, it is about the impor-
tance of remembering that the "small"
dishonesty that creeps into a society,
eventually (but tragically) can become
the norm. II

Steven Rubenstein is rabbi of Congregation

Beth Ahm in West Bloomfield.

Conversations

• When have you acted with
integrity even when no one else
was around?
• Do you think that most people
generally act honestly in financial
matters?

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan