July 11, 2013
 4 Av  5773
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In This Issue
Parshat Devarim
Learning Opportunities
Parshat Devarim
Shabbat Hazon
(Isaiah 1:1-24) 
Rabbi Mordechai Silverstein


In the Tanach, the three largest prophetic books are arranged in chronological order: Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. The Talmud (Bava Batra 14b) however, arranges these three books differently: Jeremiah, Ezekiel and then Isaiah. When asked to justify this arrangement, the Talmud gives the following explanation: Since the book of Jeremiah contains only prophecies of destruction, it comes first; Ezekiel is a book which contains in part prophecies of destruction and in part prophecies of consolation, so it comes in the middle. Isaiah is a book filled entirely with consolation, so it is last. The book of Isaiah which the Talmud says is filled exclusively with prophecies of consolation nevertheless opens with the harshest rebuke found in all of the prophets. It is this prophecy which gives its name to the Shabbat preceding Tisha b'Av - Shabbat Hazon. 

Why should a book which is filled with consolation open with rebuke? Why introduce Tisha b'Av with a haftarah condemning the behavior of the victims of the destruction rather than its perpetrators? Maimonides, in his great legal work, the Mishneh Torah, asserts that the recognition that tragedy occurs because of the misdeeds of the community is an important step in the process of Tshuva - repentance. (see Hilchot Taanit Chapter 1) Maimonides's insight is an integral part of the Jewish approach to tragedy. He chooses to see tragedy as a means for facilitating repair and improvement. 

Isaiah's biting critique of his society is read before Tisha B'Av for this very reason. Isaiah reproves the people for their disloyalty to God in terms unparalleled in their harshness. He compares their loyalty to God unfavorably with the loyalty of animals to their masters: "An ox knows its owner, an ass its master's crib: Israel does not know, My people takes no thought." (Isaiah 1:3) 

The Radak explains that animals, even though they are not discerning creatures, have the ability to refrain from injury and to seek out benefit. Human beings, at the very least, should be loyal to God for these same reasons. Unfortunately, they are not. 

The implications of this disloyalty are reflected not only in the sincerity of our worship (verses 11-15) but more significantly in our daily behavior. Our relationships with others, our treatment of the needy, our justice and our compassion are equally a barometer of our cognizance of our responsibility to God (verses 16-17). Isaiah's message is not one of despair. We do not enter into our state of mourning without hope. Rather we are comforted with the following image: "Come let us reach an understanding, said the Lord. Be your sins like crimson, they can turn white as snow, be they red as died wool, they can become like fleece." (verse 18) 

Our problems and shortcomings should not overcome us. Rather we should turn our tragedy to our advantage. Through soul-searching and tikkun - repair - we can reestablish our relationship with God and restore our spiritual health as individuals and as a people. We can rebuild and become whole again. We can turn tragedy into consolation.

Rabbi Mordechai (Mitchell) Silverstein is a senior lecturer in  Talmud and Midrash at the Conservative Yeshiva.  He is a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.  

May Their Memories Be For a Blessing 

July Yahrtzeits

7/11/2013 (4 Av) 

Herman Stark

7/18/2013 (11 Av). 

Tilly Rose 

7/20/2013 (13 Av)Mr. 

Simon Aaron Kapen

7/21/2013 (14 Av)

Rose Feibus

7/22/2013 (15 Av)

Mayme Lawson

7/24/2013 (17 Av)

Moishe Glazier

Phillip Nusholtz

7/25/2013 (18 Av)

Lillian Handler

7/28/2013 (21 Av)

Theodore P. Mason

7/29/2013 (22 Av)Dr. 

Joel D. Hamburger, 

Bennie Magy

7/31/2013 (24 Av)

Bertha Chitkin

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.  

Join Our Mailing List
To make a donation to the synagogue, 
click here 
phone:  248-432-2729

Shabbat Services: Shabbat Hazon/Devarim

Friday, July 12th

6 p.m. Services, Chapel
Saturday, July 13th  
9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary
Shabbat Table
Kiddush Lunch is sponsored by the B'nai Israel Synagogue 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.  

MAZEL TOV to Alan and Barbara Funk on the birth of their grandson, Bradley Gabriel, to proud parents Asher and Lori Funk.

Community-Wide Service

Tuesday, July 16th Services at B'nai Israel Synagogue
Shacharit, 7 a.m., Chapel
Mincha, 6 p.m., Chapel.  
Maariv, 9:30 p.m., Chapel.  Fast ends at 9:45 p.m.

Yahrtzeit candle
Plaques to be dedicated on Shemini Atzeret, September 26, 2013. 

Please e-mail Cheryl Berlin with your student's address, phone and e-mail address for the 2013-14 school year by July 31st.  


  Detroit Tigers
Join us for a night at the ballpark!
Tuesday, August 20th
Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins
5:45 bus leaves TKA/BI.  
Jerusalem Pizza, transportation and tickets all included in the price of the evening.

B'nai Israel Synagogue High Holiday Tickets

Yizkor Book 5774/2013-2014

To place names in the book for the coming year, 

Click here for a downloadable form.  Deadline:  July 14th.


 Shabbat in the Park 2013

 6 p.m. 

Bloomer Park, West Bloomfield


August 2nd.

Bring your dairy or pareve picnic and join us for Shabbat music, food and fun!


Upcoming Youth and Family Activities
Upcoming Youth Services  

Supervised Youth Activities,  Room 3, lower level 

Parent volunteers staff the youth room during the summer months.

To stay current on all youth and family activities, contact Ilana Glazier  to join the B'nai Israel Families Facebook Group.


VOICES NEEDED, Youth ages 10+ 
to accompany our hazzan during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services.  
E-mail the synagogue if your child would like to participate.
Learning Opportunities   
Non-Jews, Shabbat, and the Exclusive Privileges of Being Jewish
Saturday, July 20 between lunch and mincha
Mechon Hadar
Offered by Joel Goldstein, University of Michigan Yeshivat Hadar Scholar

Learn to Read Hebrew with Michael Wolf
Monday evenings, 7-8:30, July 8th-August 19th
BI/TKA Library  Materials Fee:   $36.00
Class size is limited. This class is for adults with limited or no Hebrew reading knowledge.  Click here for registration form.  Non-members of B'nai Israel are welcome to attend.

Sacred Remnants:  Rediscovered Treasures of the Jewish Past with Professor Howard Lupovitch
Four Wednesdays in July, 7:30 p.m., Beth Ahm

July 10: "The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New View of Ancient Judaism"         

July 17:  "The Cairo Geniza:  The Day to Day Lives of  the Jews of Islam"      

July 24:  "The Aleppo Codex: The Real Text of the Torah" 

July 31:  "The Soviet Archives: The Unknown World of Eastern Europe" 

$15 per session or $50 for the series

RSVP nancyellen879@att.net or call 248-851-6880

Women in Tanach:  A Four Part Lecture Series 
Sarah:  Mother of a Nation click here for a detailed flyer
offered through Partners in Torah
Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., July 10 and 17 at the home of Susan Feber
5041 Greensward Court
West Bloomfield, MI  483232
Registration required:  248-583-2476 or info@partnersdetroit.org
Upcoming Community Events
and TKA/BI Joint Opportunities

Mitzvah Opportunity
Adat Shalom Synagogue is housing families from South Oakland Shelter in July and needs assistance.  
Please contact Evva Hepner  or phone: 248-798-7673 for information on how you can help.

Save the Date:  
Road Rally
Road Rally with TKA and BI 
Sunday, July 28th, 5:30 p.m.
Prizes and kosher dinner included.
Send your reservation and full payment, payable to Temple Kol Ami by July 21st: 
5085 Walnut Lake Road, West Bloomfield, MI  48323
For further information, e-mail Sallyjo or call 248-851-7267.

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:   e-mail Gail Raben.

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 
e-mail the synagogue.

Congregant looking for a ride to services
West Bloomfield congregant is looking for a ride to morning or evening minyan and/or Shabbat services. The congregant lives behind Crosswinds Mall (Kroger), just north of Lone Pine Road. If you are available to assist, please contact Rabbi Robbins at (610) 574-5179 or rabbi@bnaiisraelwb.org. Thank you.
Mazel Tov 
Happy Birthday!

Birthday Cake July Birthdays

11 Monte Schloss

13 Coby Robbins

16 Tammy Dines

16 Elan Rosenberg

18 Howard Jacobson

19 Randall Soverinsky

20 Miles Singer

21 Adina Berger

24 Leslie Chudnow

24 Bernice Handler

27 Barbara Kappy

28 Francine Stark-Hundiak

29 Robin Jacobson

29 David Lazarus

30 Hannah Finn

30 Ian Robinson

31 Brandon Kappy

31 Noah Weingarden

July Anniversaries  
Jewish Wedding

16 Evan & Leslie Chudnow

16 Irvin & Barbara Kappy

19 Allan & Karen Lovinger

30 David & Gloria Ruskin



If your birthday or anniversary information is not listed, please email the synagogue so we can update our records.
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B'nai Israel Synagogue is affiliated with USCJ, 
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.