April 11, 2013
Rosh Chodesh Iyar/1 Iyar 5773
Click here for Daily Minyan Schedule

Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter
In This Issue
Parshat Tazria/Metzora
Learning Opportunities
Caring Community Information
Parshat Tazria/Metzora
Rabbi Bradley Artson

"The Leprosy Of Irresponsible Speech"


Learning to control our speech will enable us to transform the world into a community that respects the shared humanity of all people.


With this week's Torah portion, we learn a great deal about the ritual function of the kohanim (priests) in helping people cope with infectious disease. 


Particularly the illness of 'tzara'at,' leprosy, becomes the focus of sustained attention, presumably because it was quite common in the ancient Near East.


Basing themselves on a story found in the Book of Numbers, the Rabbis of the Midrash viewed leprosy as an external sign of an internal decay. Illness became a symbol for corruption, immorality and callousness.

The link between illness and a lack of ethics arises from the story of Miriam's criticism of Moses' wife for being a Cushite. Clearly, Miriam uses her sister-in-law's ethnicity as a pretext for attacking her brother. Whereas Jewish tradition goes so far in rejecting racism that the Rabbis of the Midrash and Talmud justify Moses' selection of an African woman as his wife, Miriam is unable to restrain her harmful comments and her corrosive bigotry.

In a condemnation that neatly parallels Miriam's criticism that Moses' wife is too black, Miriam is stricken with an illness that leaves her skin a flaky white. Since her 'tzara'at' resulted from her critical words, the Rabbis naturally associated the two.

Thus, the biblical laws on infectious disease became an extended metaphor for self-centeredness, critical or slanderous speech, and hateful deeds.


Things God Hates

Midrash Vayikra understands the law of leprosy as an allusion to seven traits the Lord hates: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked thoughts, feet that run eagerly toward evil, a false witness and one who sows discord among people. How many of these violations pertain to an irresponsible use of language!  

click here to continue reading. 


Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson is Vice-President of the American Jewish University in Los Angeles and Dean of its Ziegler School of Rabbinical Studies. He served as a congregational rabbi in Southern California for ten years.  

May Their Memories Be For a Blessing 

April Yahrtzeits

4/2/2013 (22 Nisan)             

Shmuel Muchkies

4/3/2013 (23 Nisan)             

Julius Abramson

4/6/2013 (26 Nisan)             

Ida (Huddle) Band

Lottie Kwiatek

4/8/2013 (28 Nisan)             

Sara Garber

4/12/2013 (2 Iyar)                

Avraham Gershon Wygoda

Devorah Leah Wygoda

4/13/2013 (3 Iyar)                

Anne Altshuler

4/15/2013 (5 Iyar)                

Allen Charlupski

Lillian Ruth Levin

Lillian Sonenshein

Aaron Wineberg

4/17/2013 (7 Iyar)                

Irving Victor

4/18/2013 (8 Iyar)                

Sarah Kurland Fridenberg

4/19/2013 (9 Iyar)                

Robert Perry Schloss

4/20/2013 (10 Iyar)              

Gabor Fenyes

Marc Silverman

4/21/2013 (11 Iyar)              

Avrum Greenbaum

Gertrude Greenbaum

4/22/2013 (12 Iyar)              

Evelyn Graub

Karen Waldman

4/25/2013 (15 Iyar)              

Marilyn Soverinsky

4/28/2013 (18 Iyar)              

Sylvia Isaacs

4/29/2013 (19 Iyar)              

Rabbi Moshe Funk

4/30/2013 (20 Iyar)              

Pearl Mirkin

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 we can update our records.


Please click here if you wish to permanently memorialize a loved one by purchasing a yahrtzeit plaque.  

Attention BI Families with high school seniors 
Please send us your child's full name, Hebrew and English, and post-high school plans.  We plan to honor or high school graduates during Youth Shabbat, Saturday, June 8th. click here to send your student's information.
Join Our Mailing List
To make a donation to the synagogue, 
click here 
phone:  248-432-2729
Shabbat Services: Tazria/Metzora

Friday, April 12th

6 p.m. Services, Chapel
Shabbat Table

Saturday, April 13th

9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary

Kiddush Lunch is sponsored by Cheryl and Mitch Parker in honor of the 50th anniversary of Mitch's bar mitzvah. Kiddush Lunch is also sponsored by Lou and Sally Soverinsky in honor of their 15th wedding anniversary.

Kiddush Lunch is available through the generosity of weekly sponsors.  Please e-mail 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.      




MONDAY, MAY 20TH,  7 P.M. 
Upcoming Youth and Family Activities
Detroit Zoo
Kadima Scavenger Hunt at 
The Detroit Zoo
Sunday, April 21, 1-3 p.m.
Cost:  $9.00/person
RSVP by April 17th  to 
IN CASE OF RAIN:  Meet at Meijer on Haggerty Road and Maple for a Scavenger Hunt through the store!
For further Kadima event information, 
contact Shira or Marni: 
Upcoming Youth Services  

Supervised Youth Activities,  Room 3, lower level 

April 13th, 20th, 27th supervised youth activities, lower level.  To stay current on all youth and family activities, contact Ilana Glazier  to join the B'nai Israel Families Facebook Group.

Upcoming Community Events
and TKA/BI Joint Opportunities

  Laurel Park Place, Livonia
April 21-28, 2013
Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.  For more information or to volunteer, please visit  http://www.bookstock.info
or call 248-645-7840, ext. 365
Book Club BOOK CLUB (Adults)

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

NEXT MEETING:  Sunday, April 21st: 

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls 

All stitchers are welcome.  Bring yourKnitting1 
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:  4/24/ 5/21, 6/10

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


JTS logo

an Evening of Learning with Rabbi Joel Roth: 

"Why Can't We Just Be Jews?:  What makes the Conservative Movement distinctive from the other Jewish religious movements and what is the value of recognizing those differences?"
Thursday, May 2nd, 7:30 p.m.
Congregation Beth Shalom, Oak Park
Admission is free, reservations are requested.
Register online: www.jtsa.edu/JustBeJews or call 248-258-0055.  

Bagels and Basics:  Sunday, April 28th
10 a.m., TKA Chapel
Dr. Joel M. Hoffman:  "A Short History of the Hebrew Language," based on his book, In the Beginning
RSVP to  julie@tkolami.org or 248-661-0040.
This event is co-sponsored by Temple Emanuel and The Metropolitan Detroit Federation of Reform Synagogues.

Israeli Flag
SUNDAY, MAY 5TH, hosted by Temple Shir Shalom
visit www.walkforisrael.org for more information.
Learning Opportunities   
Siddur Appreciation/Learnin
with Dr. Mitch Parker 
This class is held on Shabbat mornings in the lower level, Room 9. 
April 20th, 11 a.m.        April 27th, 10 a.m.

Israel Trip Opportunity Israel/Jerusalem
Mitch and Cheryl Parker are leading a study trip to Israel December 2013.  Overall trip theme:  "Who Are We and Where Have We Been?"  For further information, please contact Mitch directly if you wish to participate. Informational meeting:  Sunday, May 5th at 5:30

Tikkun Leil Shavuot
Erev Shavuot, Tuesday May 14th
All-night study sessions led by local rabbis and Jewish educators begin after maariv and conclude with a dawn shacharit service.  All are welcome.  Details coming soon!

Caring Community Information

Refuah Sh'leimah/Wishing a Speedy Recovery

Please e-mail Michael Golob or call the synagogue:  248-432-2729 if you wish to add a name to our communal list.  
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 
Mazel Tov 
April Birthdays
Happy Birthday!

12 Brianna Dines


12 Arica Jacobson

13 Regina Meisler

13 Matthew Orel

15 Eli Eisman

16 Jonathan Abramson

16 Jack Friedman

18 Karen Rosen

20 Cheryl Berlin

21 Rachel Kapen

21 Jeffrey Lupovitch

22 Marvin Finkelstein

24 Elianna Orel

26 Evan Chudnow

26 Marvin Kozlowski

27 Noel Lawson

27 Adam Weingarden

27 Shira Wolf

30 Charles Seigerman

30 Nathan Soverinsky


April Anniversaries
Jewish Wedding

19  Louis & Sally Soverinsky

27  Michael & Carol Golob

To make a donation in honor of someone's birthday or anniversary, please click here.
If your birthday or anniversary information is not listed, please email the synagogue so we can update our records.
USCJ logo
Quick Links

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