August 15, 2013
 9 Elul  5773
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In This Issue
Parshat Ki Teitzei
Learning Opportunities
Parshat Ki Teitzei
Rabbi Irving Greenberg

Every Act Is Significant

The reward of long life for the seemingly simple commandment of shooing away a mother bird before taking her young teaches us that no act is trivial.

By Rabbi Irving Greenberg

This parasha has the largest concentration of mitzvot (commandments) of any portion; 74 out of the traditional 613 commandments are found in it. Of all these commandments, one stands out. "If [walking] along the road, you chance upon a bird's nest . . . and the mother is sitting over the fledglings or on the eggs, do not take the mother together with her young. Let the mother go and take only the young, in order that you may fare well and have a long life" (Deuteronomy 22:6).

The Talmud labels this mitzvah the "lightest" (the most insubstantial) of all the commandments, probably because it takes little effort to perform. Sending away the mother might well involve merely making a loud noise. Indeed, just walking close (or advancing menacingly) might induce the mother to fly away.


Commentators in every generation have wondered why there is so extravagant a reward (a good, long life) for so "trivial" an act! Indeed, one Talmudic commentator points out that the same reward is specified in the Torah for honoring parents. Yet fulfilling that commandment takes a lifetime and often involves money, emotion and effort without limit. He concludes that the equality of reward is the point. The "lightest" of commandments rewarded as much as the "weightiest" to teach us to treasure and observe all commandments equally--for the reward of any mitzvah is incalculable.

Through this commandment, the Torah teaches that every act is of immense significance. Therefore, no act is inherently trivial. When you eat, you can choose food and prepare it to express reverence for life or commitment to being a Jew.  When you speak, you can say a word of encouragement, truth or love or you can say a word of malicious gossip, falsehood or degradation.

Maimonides writes in his laws of repentance that every person should consider himself or herself as perfectly balanced between good and bad and the world as perfectly balanced between good and evil. The next action you do--however trivial--can tilt you and the whole world toward the side of good and life or to the side of evil and death. Choose life!


May Their Memories Be For a Blessing 

August Yahrtzeits 

8/15/2013 (9 Elul)

Reinald Freedman

8/17/2013 (11 Elul)

Ernest Gans

Arthur Markowitz

8/18/2013 (12 Elul)

Alex Kuhn

8/19/2013 (13 Elul)

Pearl Leah Naimark

8/21/2013 (15 Elul)

Rabbi Carl L. Manello

8/23/2013 (17 Elul)

Yosef Garber

8/24/2013 (18 Elul)

Leo Orel

8/27/2013 (21 Elul)

Douglas Cohen

8/30/2013 (24 Elul)

Lawrence Sklar

8/31/2013 (25 Elul)

Mary Friedman

Lawrence Sklar



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.  

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

Shabbat Services: Ki Teitzei

Friday, August 14th

Saturday, August 15th
9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary
Bar mitzvah of Adam Gordon
Shabbat Table
Kiddush Lunch is sponsored by Vernon and Karen Gordon and Donna Sklar in honor of their son and grandson, Adam, becoming a bar mitzvah.  Kiddush Lunch is also sponsored by Tammy and Steve Dines in honor of their 25th wedding anniversary.
  Adam is the son of Karen and Vernon Gordon and brother of Syndney.  Adam is also the grandson of Donna and the late Lawrence Sklar and the late Maurice and late Maxine Gordon.
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.  

Community Wide Selichot Service
Saturday Evening, August 31st
"Understanding Loss at the Days of Awe."
Guest speaker:  Rabbi Daniel Greyber
 9 p.m.  Light Refreshments
 9:30 p.m. Program
10:30 p.m. Selichot Service led by Hazzan Dan Gross, Marty Liebman and the Adat Shalom Choir.
Sponsored by The Michigan Region of the Rabbinical Assembly, Adat Shalom Synagogue, Congregation Beth Ahm, Congregation Beth Shalom, B'nai Israel Synagogue, Congregation B'nai Moshe, Congregation Shaarey Zedek and Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue.
B'nai Israel Synagogue High Holiday Tickets

Tashlikh, First Day of Rosh Hashanah
4:45 p.m., meet at the home of Mark and Loraine Kuhn. Click here for details.
Rosh Hashanah Carry-Out, Dish Kosher Cuisine 
Lulav and Etrog  
Lulav and Etrog Sales
Deadline:  September 2nd. 
Assistance Needed for High Holidays:
Silver polishing and church set up, Please e-mail the synagogue if you are able to assist with any of these activities.
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.


Learning Opportunities   
Adult Education
New and returning education opportunities will begin in October.  Watch your bulletins and e-mails for details.
Upcoming Community Events
and TKA/BI Joint Opportunities

Community Wide Selichot Service
Saturday, August 31st, Adat Shalom Synagogue

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 Thank you.
Mazel Tov 
Happy Birthday!

Birthday Cake

August Birthdays

15  Andy Beider

15  Kayla Kapen

15  David Saperstein

16  Marlene Margolis 

16  Marcia Seigerman 

19  Katie Rosen

19  Sally Soverinsky

21  Stefani Chudnow

21  Adam Gordon

22  Maya Rosenberg 

23  Vernon Gordon

25  Rabbi Jonathan Berger

26  Robyn Hoffenblum

27  Noah Marcotte

27  Cary Rosen

27  Melvin Toby

29  Edward Chudnow

Jewish Wedding
August Anniversaries 

15  Richard & Lois Wonboy

17  Philip & Eileen Epstein

18  Jonathan & Laura Berger

18  David & Louise Lazarus

20  Michael & Debbie Balkin

25  Jerry & Sharon Knoppow

30  Roy & Robin Rosen


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.