B'nai Israel Synagogue - West Bloomfield
February 7, 2013
27 Shevat 5773
In This Issue
Shabbat Services: Mishpatim
Learning Opportunities
Upcoming Youth and Family Activities
Upcoming Community Events/TKA/BI Joint Opportunities
Daily Minyan


An Eye for $100, A Tooth for About Ten Bucks

Several interpretations of "an eye for an eye" all provide valuable insights into ethical lessons of the Torah.

By Rabbi Ben Lanckton

"If everyone lived by 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,' the world would be blind and toothless." --Tevye, Fiddler on the Roof 
Tevye may not have realized it, but he summarized, very accurately, the Talmud's understanding of "an eye for an eye," which first appears in this week's Torah portion, Mishpatim.


Last week, we heard Aseret Hadibrot, the Ten Commandments, the headlines of Jewish belief and ethics. Imposing and impressive, they convey moving moral messages. Yet they say little about the details of how to live an ethical Jewish life.

This week, the Torah turns its attention to the details of Jewish law and practice: "Mishpatim" = ordinances, rules, regulations. There are more specific mitzvot (commandments), more explicit commands, in this week's portion than in almost any other.

The abundance and variety of these mitzvot reinforce an ancient insight of Judaism: there is an innate connection between the ritual and the spiritual, between the ethical and the ethereal. In our portion, "mundane" matters of diet and farming mingle with "profound" issues of personal sacrifice and capital punishment. Every moment, mundane or profound, carries the potential for holiness.

The potential for holiness actualizes most acutely in matters of justice, deciding between right and wrong. In matters of personal injury, Mishpatim sets out one of the most (wrongly) infamous passages of the Hebrew Bible. Consider this oft-quoted phrase in its actual context:

Exodus 21:22-21:27

(translation Everett Fox, The Five Books of Moses)
When two men scuffle and deal a blow to a pregnant woman, so that her children abort-forth, but other harm does not occur, he is to be fined, yes, fined, as the woman's spouse imposes for him, but he is to give it only according to the assessment.

But if harm should occur, then you are to give life in place of life--eye in place of eye, tooth in place of tooth, hand in place of hand, foot in place of foot, burnt-scar in place of burnt-scar, wound in place of wound, bruise in place of bruise . . .  Click here to read the remainder of the article. 


Rabbi Lanckton received his BA in Theater Studies and Philosophy from Yale College in 1990 and his rabbinic ordination, with a major in Talmud, from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1996. He served at two Jewish Community Centers and a Hillel Center before joining the Chaplaincy at MGH and beginning his time teaching at the Boston Synagogue.


For further insight on the parsha, please visit:
May Their Memories Be For a Blessing 

February Yahrtzeits

2/2/2013 (22 Shevat)       

Rina Benisty

2/4/2013 (24 Shevat)       

Betty Crone 

2/6/2013 (26 Shevat)       

Jospeh Langnas

2/7/2013 (27 Shevat)        

Isaac Faxstein

2/11/2013 (1 Adar)           

Oscar Kuhn, Arnold Lada

2/12/2013 (2 Adar)            

Julius Shuback

2/15/2013 (5 Adar)            

Sylvia Cohen, Henrietta Hamburger

2/16/2013 (6 Adar)    

Rose Lovinger Columbus,Gussie Friedman, Jack Gruber

2/18/2013 (8 Adar)               

Wesley Brown, Marvin Rosen

2/19/2013 (9 Adar)               

Max Silverstein, Sharon Florence Weisberg

2/20/2013 (10 Adar)             

Nancy Fischer, Rhea Lazarus, Klara Stark

2/22/2013 (12 Adar)             

Theodore Jacob Levine, Betty Margolis, Leah Yudell

2/23/2013 (13 Adar)             

Gloria Braverman, Sol Reichberg Taub, Leo Weber

2/24/2013 (14 Adar)             

Wolfe Brown, Esther Nusbaum

2/26/2013 (16 Adar)             

Yetta Langfelder 

2/27/2013 (17 Adar)             

Ann Doneson, Maurice Katz, Esther Wolok

2/28/2013 (18 Adar)             

Alan Breitman, Rose Lifshitz

To make a donation to commemorate a yahrtzeit, please click here.  If you are a member of the synagogue and a yahrtzeit for your loved one is not on the list, please contact the synagogue office so the information can be added to our records.


Please contact the synagogue office if you wish to permanently memorialize a loved one by purchasing a yahrtzeit plaque.     


USCJ logo
 B'nai Israel Synagogue 
is affiliated with The 
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. 

Quick Links

B'nai Israel Synagogue on Facebook, click here.

:: (248) 432-2729




Special Shabbat Study Sessions 
February 9 and 16 
TKA/BI Social Hall during Kiddush Lunch
Rabbi Berger will be continue his in-depth study of Rabbi Danny Nevins's recent teshuvah on the use of electricity on Shabbat.  The class will meet during kiddush lunch in Room 2. Please 

rsvp to the synagogue by e-mail 

or phone (248-432-2729) to insure space. Please print and bring your own copy of the teshuvah, found here.

This Saturday Evening:

An Evening with Rabbi Ethan Tucker from

Mechon Hadar:  "Can Judaism be Unethical?"

Saturday, February 9th, 8:30-10p.m 

at the home of Susan Knoppow and David Saperstein

Please click here for event flyer.

Reservation required: events@mechonhadar.org


Special Youth Activities:  February 9th and 10th: Limo Scavenger Hunt and Sky Zone.  

See Youth Activities section. below for details.


Purim is Coming!  click here for event flyer.

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  

Shabbat Services: Mishpatim

Friday, February 8th

6 p.m. Services, Chapel

Saturday, February 9th

9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary

Kiddush Lunch is sponsored by the Kiddush Lunch Fund.
Kiddush Lunch is available through the generosity of weekly sponsors. Please e-mail or call Mindy Shuback (248) 752-6046 or call the synagogue office if you would like to sponsor a kiddush lunch.  You may also make a donation to the synagogue specifically for the Kiddush Lunch Fund by clicking here.
Learning Opportunities   
Siddur Appreciation/Learning 
with Dr. Mitch Parker 
This class is held on Shabbat mornings in the lower level, Room 9. 
February 9 and February 23, 10 a.m. 

Upcoming Youth and Family Activities
MCUSY Limo Scavenger Hunt
8th-12th Graders
Saturday, February 9th, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
Drop off and Pick up at Adat Shalom Synagogue
$25.00  Contact Ilana Wolf to rsvp:  248-207-0364

B'nai Israel Synagogue Kadima (grades 6-8) 
February 10th, 1-2:30  SkyZone
Ultimate trampoline park!

Unmatched, out of this world high flying fun, wall-to-wall trampolines for free jump and sports play courts! 

Click here for event flyer.  
RSVP required to attend:kadima@bnaiisraelwb.org.  
For a calendar of Kadima events for the remainder of the school year, click here.  For more information,e-mail kadima@bnaiisraelwb.org.  
for more information.

Upcoming Youth Services  

Supervised Youth Activities,  Room 3, lower level 

February 9 

February 16 (special program), February 23

To stay current on all youth and family activities, contact Ilana Glazier  to join the B'nai Israel Families Facebook Group.
Upcoming Community Events
TKA/BI Joint Opportunities
BOOK CLUB (Adults)

Book Club meets on the third Sunday of every month. All are welcome.   

Sunday, February 17th Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit by Joseph Epstein (non-fiction)  

Sunday, March 17th:  The Invisible Bridge
by Jullie Orringer (fiction)
Sunday, April 21st
: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (memoir)

TKA Sisterhood Day of Beauty:
February 10th, 12p.m.-3p.m. 
Nordstrom, Somerset
$25.00 includes lunch and beauty consult.
RSVP by February 1st to Connie Silver:  248-851-2149 or 
LEARNING OPPORTUNITY WITH PROFESSOR HOWARD LUPOVITCH:  "One Book, Three Traditions- Jewish, Christian and Muslim Views of the Bible."
4 Wednesdays in February: 6, 13, 20 and 27.
7:30 p.m., Congregation Beth Ahm, $5.00/session
February 6:  Abraham, Ishmael, David:  Bearers of the Covenant. (available on recording)
February 13:  Moses and Elijah:  Conduits of the Divine
February 20:  Miriam and Esther:  Women as Heroes and Leaders
February 27:  Roundtable discussion:  The Bible as a Foundation Stone
(Each lecture is self-contained, but missed sessions will be available on dvd)Click here for event flyer. 
KNITTING has returned!
Not a knitter?  All stitchers are welcome.  Bring your needlepoint, crochet hook or cross stitch and join the group. There is no charge to attend.

7 PM at the TKA/BI building. 

FUTURE DATES:  2/13, 3/13, 4/24/ 5/21, 6/10

Just drop-in! No registration required.  For more information, e-mail Gail Raben.



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

6 p.m., Temple Israel.  Click here for complete program information and downloadable reservation form. 

Dietary laws observed.


Daily Minyan

Monday and Thursday mornings, 7:00 a.m.

Rosh Chodesh mornings, 7:00 a.m.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, 7:15 a.m.

Monday-Friday evenings, 6 p.m.     

Sunday Morning, 8:30 a.m.

Sunday evenings, 5 p.m.   

Legal Holidays, 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.  

Please e-mail the synagogue or call the office (248) 432-2729 with any questions.  

Caring Community Information

Our caring community reaches out to one another in a variety of ways.  We welcome our new members warmly with a special visit and gift.  We provide shiva minyan leaders.  We call/visit/provide meals for members who are ill or home-bound, bring a home-cooked shiva meal to mourners in our community, and help to drive members who need a ride to synagogue services and events.  If you would like to help in any way, please call or e-mail the synagogue.  

Refuah Sh'leimah/Wishing a Speedy Recovery

Please e-mail the synagogue office or contact the synagogue:  248-432-2729, if you have a name that needs to be placed on the mishebeirach list or needs to be removed from the list.  
Mazel Tov
February Birthdays

  2 Hanna Berlin

  4 Murray Baruch

  7 Jeremy Pappas

12 Constance Victor

14 Jeffrey Eisman

14 Rebecca Tron

16 Benjamin Eisman

16 Brian Newhouse

16 Miriam Saperstein

17 Michael Golob

20 Colton Graub

22 Seymour Manello

25 Toby Chudnow

25 Sheila Kurland

25 Sharon Rosen

26 Aaron Orel

February Anniversaries

 2 Jerry & Gail Beale  

To make a donation in honor of someone's anniversary, please click here.

If your birthday or anniversary information is not listed, please email the synagogue so it can be added to our records. 


Join Our Mailing List 

To make a donation to the synagogue  click here.