To our rabbinic search committee for their hard work and dedication these past 5 months. We look forward to welcoming Rabbi Mark Robbins, his wife Amy, and their children Adina and Coby to our synagogue family this summer. We gratefully acknowledge committee co-chairs Frank Ellias and Vicki Freedman, and the entire committee: Ed Avadenka, Alan Funk, Ilana Glazier, Mark Kuhn, Martin Kurland, Warren Lada, Ruby Robinson, and Lou Soverinsky.
Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe
This week's Torah portion contains the directive to the Jewish people: "Kedoshim tihiyu," always translated as "You shall be holy."
The English word "holy" indicates G-dly, otherworldly, a state of being that is fundamentally different from the norms of everyday life. Indeed, the OED suggests that the word's etymology is derived from the same root as "wholly"-something entirely dedicated to G-d.
When we turn, however, to that which this week's reading describes as "kadosh" (holy), we notice that mixed in with laws about the Temple and the like (your typical "holy" stuff) we have laws about leaving a portion of our fields to the poor and laws about not lying to each other. We have laws about theShabbat; one of whose most important precepts is to enjoy ourselves, physically, on that day-it is mandatory. We have an absolute obligation to aid an innocent third party being attacked and laws against bearing grudges and engaging in vendettas.
These laws are not devoted to divine and spiritual matters alone. They are about managing the realties of our everyday life in a "kodesh" manner.
The actual meaning of the Hebrew word kodesh is "separated." But separated in the sense of refinement. When we refine something we separate the substance we desire from extraneous substances that are mixed in with it.
The things that are kodesh are the ordinary events and stuff of life; remaining so, but separated from undesirable elements that would dilute and weaken them.
So the doctrine of kodesh declares: "Don't abandon the world and everyday life-refine it!"
Kodesh tells us:
Don't eschew business and live out of dumpsters-but separate all dishonesty and fuzziness from your marketing.
Don't hesitate to appreciate a really nice wine-but separate it from the rest of your bottles and save it for Shabbat.
Don't live in as state of dreamy oblivion as to your neighbor's shortcomings-confront them as necessary. But separate the momentary experience out of your long-term "ledger" and don't bear grudges.
Don't strangle ambition, indeed strive to attain economic success, but separate out the impurities of greed and arrogance and you will be left with gratitude to G-d and generosity to those who lack.
Don't get close to G-d by leaving your everyday life, get close by bringing G-d in to your everyday life. We bring G-d into the places in our being cleared by separating out the "impurities," the negative character traits, the selfishness, and the shallowness.
So, don't be holy; make your life "kadosh."
Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe
is Scholar-in-Residence to Chabad at Harvard, and dean of the Institute of American and Talmudic Law in New York, N.Y. Rabbi Yaffe has lectured and led seminars throughout North America, as well as in Europe and South Africa.
Thank you to everyone who brought Passover Food to donate to Yad Ezra. We delivered 130 pounds of food. Thank you to the Eismans for collecting and delivering for us. Thank you as well for your continued tzedakah donations at morning minyan, which go directly to Yad Ezra to help those in need.
May Their Memories Be For a Blessing
4/21/2013 (11 Iyar)
4/28/2013 (18 Iyar)
4/29/2013 (19 Iyar)
Rabbi Moshe Funk
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.
Shabbat Services: Acharei Mot/Kedoshim
Friday, April 19th
6 p.m. Services, Chapel
Saturday, April 20th
9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary
Kiddush Lunch is sponsored by Cheryl and Arnie Berlin in honor of Cheryl's 50th birthday.
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.
Condolences to Robin Pappas, Jeremy and Abbie and Kayla Pappas on the death this past week of their cousin, Dr. Martin Ira Apple. May the memory of Dr. Martin Ira Apple always be for a blessing.
Todah Rabbah to the following individuals for sponsoring minyan breakfast: Ellen Kershenbaum in memory of Leah Yudell, Goldie Chaner, Esther Patent, Leonard Kershenbaum and Aaron Wineberg; Ilene Miles in memory of Lillian Sonenshein; Gail Kaye in memory of Rose Kaye; and Carol Wiseman in memory of LIllian Ruth Levin. Anne Budaj in memory of her mother.
SAVE THE DATE:
B'NAI ISRAEL SYNAGOGUE ANNUAL MEETING
MONDAY, MAY 20TH, 7 P.M.
Upcoming Youth and Family Activities
Our B'nai Israel Synagogue
participants on the
Hillel Day School
Sunday, April 21, 1-3 p.m.
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:
Supervised Youth Activities, Room 3, lower level
April 20th and 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.
Attention BI Families with high school seniors
Upcoming Community Events
and TKA/BI Joint Opportunities
Laurel Park Place, Livonia
April 21-28, 2013
Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
or call 248-645-7840, ext. 365
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
The format for book club for the coming year will be discussed at this meeting. All input is welcome.
All stitchers are welcome.
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
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.
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.
This event is co-sponsored by Temple Emanuel and The Metropolitan Detroit Federation of Reform Synagogues.
SAVE THE DATE:
2013 WALK FOR ISRAEL
SUNDAY, MAY 5TH, hosted by Temple Shir Shalom
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
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
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
If your birthday or anniversary information is not listed, please email the synagogue so we can update our records.
B'nai Israel Synagogue is affiliated with USCJ,
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.