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October 24, 2013 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-10-24

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

Walled Lake Schools

metro

invites you
to attend our

Community Performances

WL Northern HS Performing Arts Center to host

MICHIGAN

PHILHARMONIC

Innovative Judaism

"A Phantom, A
With and A King"

"Open Orthodoxy" rabbi talks of
viewing Torah "outside the box."

Halloween Pops Concert

October 25, 2013, 7:30 p.m.,
WL Northern HS

• Featuring the Michigan
Philharmonic with music director
and conductor Nan Washburn
• Special performances by Walled
Lake Schools student choirs

Stacy Gittleman

Special to the Jewish News

W

For ticket information,
go to wlcstickets.com
or call 248-387-9160.

WL Western HS Performing Arts presents

'44\

"Shrek -
*/ The Musical"

November 14-17 & 21-24, 2013
7:30 p.m., WL Western HS

For ticket information,
go to wlcstickets.com
or call 248-387-9160.

WL Northern HS Performing Arts presents

.1

'4 \

"David and Lisa"

November 14-16, 2013
WL Northern HS

For ticket information,
go to wlcstickets.com
or call 248-387-9160.

WL Central HS Performing Arts presents

"You Can't Take it
With You"

f

December 5-7, 2013
7:30 p.m., WL Central HS

For ticket information,
go to wlcstickets.com
or call 248-387-9160.

WL Central, Northern & Western HS
choirs, bands and orchestras present

Collage Concerts
•December 10, 2013 -
WL Western HS band & orchestra
•December 11-12, 2013 -
WL Northern HS choirs, band
& orchestra

•December 17 18, 2013 -

-

WL Central

& orchestra

HS choirs, band

WL Western HS choirs

For ticket information,
go to wlcstickets.com
or call 248-387-9160.

WL Northern HS Performing Arts Center to host

Holiday Pops with the Phil

Presented by the Huron Valley
Council for the Arts

December 13, 2013
WL Northern HS

Featuring the Michigan Philharmonic
with music director and conductor
Nan Washburn.

PHILHARMONIC

Ca30/

For ticket information,
go to www.huronvalleyarts.org
or call 248-889-866o.

1865320

24

October 24 • 2013

Balancing Old And New

Within innovation, Lopatin cautioned
that Jewish thinkers need to balance
new ideas against the old.
"Every new idea should be presented,
but some may be rejected. Eventually,
a few will be so powerful that they will
eventually be accepted:'
While some in the audience expressed
concern about the further splintering of
Judaism, Lopatin refuted this by saying

Rabbi Asher Lopatin at Akiva with
Professor Howard Lupovitch

that even in Talmudic times there were
different schools of thought, such as the
well-recorded disputes between Rabbis
Hillel and Shammai.
On a question about congregants
within one synagogue wanting more
than style — or length — of religious
services, Lopatin condoned synagogues
creating a welcoming environment by
providing a variety of minyanim under
one roof.
Lopatin, citing changes in Judaism
that are coming from each end of the
observance spectrum, advised the audi-
ence that innovations come from both
the right-leaning haredi Jews to the left-
leaning Reform movement.
"The Jewish world from the left to
the right is very open to innovation and
change. If we are all learning and speak-
ing up, eventually we will come up with
a tradition that God commanded us:'
Amongst the audience, Amy Cutler,
69, of West Bloomfield, came out to hear
Lopatin because she likes his views of
Judaism as a "living religion:'
Cutler, who teaches curriculum design
at Oakland University, said, "I like his
open-mindedness and his open question-
ing type of approach to learning:'



A Family's Detroit Ties

•December 19, 2013 -

Wo.un, Mus Ovenx

hen God gave the Jewish
people the Torah at Mount
Sinai, did Moses get it right
the first time, or will it take genera-
tions of Jews asking the right questions
to more completely reveal Halachah
(Jewish law) for modern times?
Rabbi Asher Lopatin posed this per-
plexing question in his lecture "The
Tradition of Innovation in Halachah"
on Oct. 10 at Akiva Hebrew Day School
in Southfield. Through texts and com-
mentary from historic Jewish scholars,
Lopatin enthusiastically discussed the
paradox of transmitting Jewish tradition
to the next generations while encourag-
ing them to think about the Torah "out-
side the box:'
"We will not be able to access the
Torah's light if we just concern ourselves
with what was physically in the box:'
said Lopatin, referring to the Holy Ark
where the Torah scrolls are kept. He
contrasted that metaphor with another
synagogue symbol, the open, expansive
arms of the menorah.
"We cannot accept the status quo:' he
said. "We must take advantage of find-
ing opportunities to teach Torah wher-
ever that may happen. We also need to
listen to people as they learn; who stand
up and say, 'I have a different way of
understanding [Torah].:"
Lopatin is the president of Yeshivat
Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in
Riverdale, N.Y. The yeshivah promotes
the idea of "open Orthodoxy:' a plural-

istic approach to Modern Orthodoxy
that pushes a number of envelopes in
Orthodox practice — including the role
of women in leadership positions —
while maintaining a commitment to tra-
ditional modes of rabbinical study and
Orthodox ideology.
The Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic
Studies at Wayne State University
co-sponsored the lecture with Akiva.
Lopatin was introduced by Professor
Howard N. Lupovitch, the center's new
director.
Scott Cranis, Akiva executive director,
said, "We are happy to have provided a
forum for the wider Jewish community
to come together and listen to Rabbi
Lopatin's fresh way of thinking:'
Throughout Jewish history, innova-
tive Jewish thinkers such as Moses
Maimonides and Rashi were, at first,
chastised for their views but then later
accepted as some of the greatest Torah
scholars. Lopatin said these scholars
early on understood the importance of
Jews becoming enlightened in secular
studies to deepen their understanding
of Torah.

R

abbi Asher Lopatin has a soft
spot for Detroit. He was appre-
ciative of the audience of 200
who came out to hear him speak.
After all, he knew he was compet-
ing against the Detroit Tigers, who
were playing the Oakland Athletics
and would advance to the American
League Championship Series that
very same night.
Most of all,
Lopatin's love for
Detroit is because
Rachel Tessler
Lopatin, his wife
and life partner in
Jewish renewal,
was raised in West
Rachel Tessler
Bloomfield. She is
Lopatin

the daughter of Warren Tessler and
the late Charlotte Tessler.
Like her husband, Rachel Lopatin's
life is steeped in Jewish education.
It started at Hillel Day School in
Farmington Hills and involved the
Conservative United Synagogue
Youth and Camp Ramah in Canada
and went on to undergraduate and
advanced degrees in Judaic stud-
ies at the University of Michigan,
Hebrew University in Jerusalem and
the Conservative Jewish Theological
Seminary in New York City.
It seemed natural that as two
people planning to devote their
lives to Jewish professions, she and
Lopatin would meet in Chicago as
Wexner (Jewish leadership) fellows,

fall in love and "program themselves
a life together," said Lopatin, who is
mother to four children ages 6-12.
Though the Lopatins have lived
in many cities, Rachel still feels she
owes the formation of her identity
to the Jewish community in Detroit.
In Chicago, she was program
director of Anshe Emet synagogue
for six years. She was also instru-
mental in founding a Jewish day
school and a mikvah.
Rachel Lopatin now volunteers
as a modern-day matchmaker at
www.sawyouatsinai.com and said
she is "always happy to work with
Jewish Detroiters" looking for
their match.



- Stacy Gittleman

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