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May 30, 2013 - Image 34

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-05-30

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Born To Run

Metro Detroit's Jewish running
community is tightknit and strong.

Harry Kirsbaum Contributing Writer


n the early morning hours of
May 5, two groups of Jewish
runners — one organized by
committee to honor Israel's
65th birthday, one organized
on the fly to donate money to
One Fund Boston — combined
their "sweat equity" on the
West Bloomfield Trail.
The Run for Israel 5K was part of a
daylong Temple Shir Shalom/Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit-
sponsored event that included a
kosher lunch and Walk for Israel later
in the day. T-shirts were issued for
the 100 runners who participated.
Run for Your Life was organized
by one runner on Facebook. Runners
ran at their own pace between 5K and
18 miles, and ran "at least one minute
in solidarity with Boston." There was
no official T-shirt, and no way to
calculate the number of miles run or
money donated to the fund because it
was left up to the individuals involved.
But the run — and the three stories
that follow — show that, official or
not, the Jewish running community
is strong.


If you happen to be running on
the West Bloomfield Trail early on a
Friday afternoon, don't be surprised
if you get passed by three rabbis run-
ning stride-for-stride, talking about
their sermons or philosophizing
Rabbis Josh Bennett, of Temple
Israel, Michael Moskowitz and Daniel
Schwartz, both of Temple Shir Sha-
lom, have been running 3-6 miles
together almost every Friday since
2008 as a way to prepare for Shabbat.
"Besides the enjoyment, friendship
and motivation, often the time is good
to clear our heads to mentally prepare
for the Shabbos and the business of
our weekends," Moskowitz said. "But
the time is looked forward to by all

34 June 2013

I itrn TUMID

Rabbis Daniel Schwartz, Josh Bennett, Michael Moskowitz and Aaron Starr

"Michael, `5K' means
5 kilometers, not 5,000 miles."

— Pam from The Office

three of us as an opportunity to
change our 'pace' and share some time
Moskowitz ran cross country
in high school and ran in college.
Schwartz ran middle distance and
steeplechase in college. Bennett
started running in middle age after
the birth of his first child.
"At the time, I was meeting with a
couple who were about to get married.
They became engaged on the finish
line of the Chicago Marathon, and I
was inspired," Bennett said. "I came
home that day and announced to my
wife that I planned to run a marathon
as well ... and her response was skep-
tical, at best?'
He bought a running book, and
one year later he ran his first of five
"Running for me is a spiritual
venture each time I go outside," he
said. "I do not listen to music, instead
choosing to become in tune with the

natural world. It is a meditation, of
sorts, and I am restored by the experi-
Schwartz has run one marathon
— ironically named the Flying Pig
Marathon in Cincinnati — and also
trains for an annual five-day bike ride
in Israel.
"Running helps me appreciate
God's gifts — both beauty of the
world around us and our personal
physical abilities," he said. "Inter-
preting a Maimonides quote — 'If
we live a sedentary life and do not
exercise, throughout our lives we will
be subject to aches and pains and our
strength will fail us: I don't believe
that Maimonides was simply refer-
ring to our physical strength. Routine
exercise also strengthens our mental,
emotional and spiritual strength?'
Moskowitz said that wherever he's
been, his running shoes go with him.
"This winter, with a family mission
to Israel, as Jerusalem was closing

down before Shabbat, I took six indi-
viduals with me for a run around the
city and shared some of my favorite
places and places of my own 'history'
in my favorite city" he said. "We three
rabbis the past three years have been
attending the annual AIPAC Policy
Conference in Washington, D.C. —
and during a break, we, along with
10 of our congregants who were at
the conference, did a great 5-mile run
around the Mall.
"I find running to be personal,
spiritual and communal," Moskowitz
added. "I enjoy going out for a run
to clear my mind, but I also love the
opportunity to connect with others in
the midst of a good run."


After watching this year's Boston
Marathon play out on television,
runner Miriam Silverstein of West
Bloomfield decided to contact her
914 Facebook friends and organize an
impromptu group run she called "Run
for Your Life" on the West Bloomfield
Trail, with donations going to One
Fund Boston.
Silverstein said she tried to calculate
mileage and provide runners with
a general route that would equal 18
miles — to celebrate life.
Because numbers and small details

"No matter
how slow I
am, I'm still
faster than
my couch."

— Anonymous


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