Rabbi Lisa Gelber, JTS
When I close my eyes to picture my grandfather, he is standing beside a long olive green bookcase, swaying and shokeling [swaying in prayer], his slight frame enfolded within his tallit, tefillin protruding from his forehead and wrapped about his arm, deeply engaged in conversation with God. At those moments, it always seemed that he had been transported to a different place and time. Perhaps it was that magic cape, I thought, the one with the strings attached.
As a little girl, I yearned to wear a tallit, and so it is no surprise that some of my fondest childhood memories are of sitting with my grandfather in shul on Shabbat and sharing his tallit. Throughout the service, I would play with the tzitzit, enjoying the feel of the fringes as they slipped between my fingers, methodically adding new knots and removing them again before the conclusion of the service, each knot a blessing for myself or my family. My grandfather was a humble man, dedicated to his store, his family, and his God. He embodied a love for education and humanity. I knew that those cornerstones of his existence were somehow bound up within those carefully constructed knots.
It was not until some years after my grandfather's death that I learned the third paragraph of the Shema, recited twice each day, morning and evening, and found in this week's parashah, Shlah, commanding us to wear the tzitzit.
"Adonai said to Moses as follows: Speak to the people of Israel and tell them to make for themselves fringes, tzitzit, on the corners of their garments throughout their generations; let them attach a cord of blue to the fringe at each corner. That shall be your fringe; look at it and recall all of Adonai's commandments and observe them so that you do not follow your heart and eyes and be seduced or led astray.
Thus you shall be reminded to observe all My commandments and to be holy to your God. I, Adonai, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I, Adonai your God" (Numbers 15:37-41).
God is clear, the tzitzit are not an adornment set aside for special occasions. They are a necessary part of our daily existence throughout time. Designed to help us remember, to keep us connected, the tzitzit challenge us to actively engage in our story as Jews so that we might become holy. One of the first steps towards that sense of kedushah, holiness, is a willingness to set ourselves apart, to distinguish ourselves as Jews.
In the most obvious way, the tallit is an external sign of our place within a larger history. It is a marker of our commitment as individuals to the needs of our community. Each morning, as we recite the
Rabbi Lisa Gelber is the associate dean of The Rabbinical School at The Jewish Theological Seminary
May Their Memories Be For a Blessing
6/2/2013 (24 Sivan)
6/4/2013 (26 Sivan)
Evelyn Wolock Eisman
Deborah Phyllis Vernick
6/6/2013 (28 Sivan)
6/8/2013 (30 Sivan)
6/10/2013 (2 Tammuz)
Rose Arbit Magy
6/11/2013 (3 Tammuz)
6/12/2013 (4 Tammuz)
6/13/2013 (5 Tammuz)
6/14/2013 (6 Tammuz)
6/18/2013 (10 Tammuz)
6/19/2013 (11 Tammuz)
6/21/2013 (13 Tammuz)
6/22/2013 (14 Tammuz)
6/23/2013 (15 Tammuz)
6/25/2013 (17 Tammuz)
6/27/2013 (19 Tammuz)
6/29/2013 (21 Tammuz)
6/30/2013 (22 Tammuz)
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: Sh'lach Lecha
Friday, May 31st
6 p.m. Services, SANCTUARY
Saturday, June 1st
9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary
Kiddush Lunch is sponosred by Fran and Ed Chudnow in honor of the aufruf of their son, David and the upcoming marriage of David to Dr. Heather Goldstein.
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.
To Adam (Meredith) Weingarden, Noah and Emilie on the death of their father and grandfather, Stanley M. Weingarden.
To Chuck (Marcia) Seigerman on the death of Chuck's mother, Victoria Esther Seigerman.
To Hilda Hamburger for sponsoring minyan breakfast in honor of her 80th birthday.
To Fran and Ed Chudnow on the upcoming marriage of their son, David, to Dr. Heather Goldstein, daughter of Sally and Howard Goldstein.
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)
THIS 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
June 15, 10 a.m. Final Class until the fall
Upcoming Community Events
and TKA/BI Joint Opportunities
Save the Date:
Road Rally with TKA and BI
Sunday, July 28th, 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
31 Irvin Kappy
2 Rachael Hoffenblum
3 Paula Balkin
4 Sidney Kaye
5 Naomi Lupovitch
5 Joshua Saperstein
7 Melanie Soverinsky
9 Robert Breitman
9 Lowell Schmeltz
12 Laura Berger
13 Bess Glazier
14 Marla Schloss
16 Ilana Glazier
20 Davida Robinson
21 Carol Golob
21 Marni Jacobson
22 Jonathan Lowe
23 Daniel Kuhn
24 Jessica Singer
25 Max Feber
26 Herb Lantor
26 Karen Rosenberg
28 Madeline Kaufman
28 Ruth Webber
30 Ed & Fran Chudnow
30 Steve & Linda Jacobson
5 Jonathan & Beth Lowe
10 Murray & Linda Baruch
10 Mark & Ruth Webber
12 Dan & Miry Serlin
13 Andy & Libby Beider
13 Rabbi Mark and Amy Robbins
20 John Marcotte & Vicki Freedman
22 Steve & Joan Freedman
22 Leonard & Sharon Rosen
24 Belmont & Gertrude Kershenbaum
25 Lowell Schmeltz & Ilana Glazier
26 Ron & Sharon Gadoth-Goodman
27 Ken & Shula Brown
27 Lenny & Robin Jacobson
28 Robert & Laurie Kimmel
28 Noel & Judy Lawson
29 Mark & Loraine Kuhn
30 Alan & Barbara Funk
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.