THE TRUMPET BLASTS
Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky
This portion teaches us two very important lessons. First, we learn the proper time to light the lamps on the lampstand of the tabernacle. This physical act is meant to light the Tabernacle and thereby bring God's divine light into the presence of the people. To emphasize the importance of the task, the lampstands are made of hammered gold (8:1-4).
Later in the portion are we taught when and how to blow the horns to summon the community, as well as the meaning behind each of the blasts. Again, to emphasize the importance of the task, the trumpets are made of precious metal--this time, hammered silver (10:1-8).
These two responsibilities are both given importance for they both speak to the survival of the Jewish people.
The acknowledgment of God's presence has been instrumental to our survival. This is represented by the light. Likewise, our own strength and fortitude has also carried us forward. This is demonstrated by the various divisions set in motion by the blasts of the trumpets.
Perhaps it is our modern sensibilities that would view the juxtaposition of these two elements as peculiar. After all, the first is relevant to the ancient Temple cult, while the second is related to readying the Israelites for battle. But from the perspective of the Torah, both are critical for Jewish survival, and thus equally vital.
What is it that precipitates the sounding of the trumpets? The alarm is not a siren that signals impending danger. In the Torah, it is a signal to advance against the enemy. The sounding of the trumpets summons the attention of the people and calls them to join together and advance as one.
In ancient times, the Israelites gathered to advance against an enemy. Today, the trumpet calls us to advance down a much more spiritual path. In the present day, for example, during the high holidays, the sound of the shofar motivates the people to repentance.
Perhaps it is time to sound the shofar once again--but not because an enemy is on the horizon. Instead, we should use the resonant blasts of the trumpets to motivate the people to gather together to consider the path ahead.
While we still have enemies to face, God's presence and our own strength (which we can bolster by allowing others to join our ranks) will ensure our survival. There is thus reason to be optimistic about the path in front of us. We can enhance the journey even more, and raise it to greater heights, however, by ensuring that, when the trumpets do sound, we do not leave anyone behind.
Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky is executive director of the Jewish Outreach Institute and the author of numerous books about Jewish spirituality.
May Their Memories Be For a Blessing
Please click here if you wish to permanently memorialize a loved one by purchasing a yahrtzeit plaque.
There is a Temple Kol Ami bar mitzvah this Shabbat. Please use shuttle parking on Saturday morning from Prince of Peace.
Shabbat Services: B'haalotecha
Friday, May 24th
6 p.m. Services, Chapel
Saturday, May 25th
9 a.m. Services, CHAPEL
Kiddush is sponosred by the Kiddush Lunch Fund.
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.
REMINDER: SPECIAL MINYAN TIMES
MONDAY, MAY 27TH: MEMORIAL DAY
8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
SAVE THE DATE:
Youth Shabbat, Saturday June 8th.
The Youth of our congregation will participate in and lead services. We will honor our graduating high school seniors.
Fridays at 6 p.m.,
Bloomer Park, West Bloomfield
June 7th, July 5th, August 2nd
Upcoming Youth and Family Activities
Supervised Youth Activities, Room 3, lower level
May 25 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.
(MCUSY-Motor City USY in the Detroit area,
UNITED SYNAGOGUE YOUTH, 9TH-12TH GRADERS)
Sunday, June 2, 10-11:30 a.m.
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
This meeting is for parents from all Detroit-area conservative synagogues. Please plan to attend if you have a high school age child. Please e-mail Susan Knoppow
Youth Shabbat: Saturday, June 8th.
Children of all ages will be participating in the service. If your child would like to participate and has not yet been assigned a part, please contact Karen Rosenberg.
with Dr. Mitch Parker
This class is held on Shabbat mornings in the lower level, Room 9. May 25th, 11 a.m. June 15, 10 a.m.
Upcoming Community Events
and TKA/BI Joint Opportunities
Save the Date:
Road Rally with TKA and BI
Sunday, July 29th, 5:30 p.m.
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: 6/10
Just drop-in! No registration required. For more information, e-mail Gail Raben
Attention BI Families with high school seniors
Caring Community Information
Refuah Sh'leimah/Wishing a Speedy Recovery
Please email 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
26 Robin Rosen
27 Jay Kozlowski
28 Susan Birnholtz
28 Hilda Hamburger
30 Jordan Rosen
31 Irvin Kappy
If your birthday or anniversary information is not listed, please email the synagogue so we can update our records.
Join us at this year's Detroit Free Press Marathon as part of our team, Sunday, October 20, 2013!
Several spots on our two teams are still available. Once the spots fill up, they are gone. The marathon length of 26.2 miles is divided into five legs. The length of each relay leg is as follows: 6.2 miles, 6.0 miles, 6.7 miles, 2.9 miles, and 4.4 miles. Full details are available at:
B'nai Israel Synagogue is affiliated with USCJ,
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.