September 18, 2013
 14 Tishrei 5774
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In This Issue
Kohelet and Sukkot
Learning Opportunities
Hag Sameach and SHABBAT SHALOM

  Kohelet (Ecclesiastes)

and Sukkot

 Rabbi Dr. Louis Jacobs (z"l)


Kohelet, often called "the preacher," is read in the synagogue on the holiday of Sukkot. One traditional explanation is that Kohelet, who is writing in the autumn of his life, is comparable to the Fall harvest. The autumn is a reminder of the winter to come, and the death of plants and trees. Kohelet's views are those of a mature individual, closer to the end of life than to the beginning which would be represented by the buds of Spring. 


The opening verse of the book: 'The words of Kohelet, the son of David, king in Jerusalem' were under­stood in the Jewish tradition to mean that the author was none other than King Solomon but modern biblical scholarship is unanimous in holding that the book was compiled at a much later date, although opinions differ as to when and by whom the book was actually composed.


The Talmud (Shabbat 30b) states that, at first, the sages wished to hide the work (i.e. they refused to endow it with the sanctity of sacred Scripture) because some of its statements contra­dict the Torah and are even self-contradictory. Eventually, however, the book was accepted as a biblical book on the grounds that it begins and ends with "the fear of heaven." In other words, for all the book's skepticism and pessi­mism about the human condition, the teaching which shines through is: "Fear God and keep His commandments" (12: 13). The usual Mid­rashic interpretation of the book is that the description of all human life "under the sun" as "vanity of vanities" applies only to earthly pur­suits ("under the sun"), not to the way of the Torah, which is "above the sun," eternal and beyond time.


Ecclesiastes is read in the synagogue on the festival of Tabernacles [Sukkot], the festival of joy; an odd choice on the face of it, for a book that seems to question life's values. But, here again, the interpretation holds good that the philosophical probings of the book do not lead ultimately to unbeliefbut, on the contrary, to an appreciation of the higher values which promote true happiness. The book has served as a reminder that Judaism does not necessarily frown on a sincere quest for life's meaning and significance. For this reason, the book is, in a sense, the earliest encounter between faith and reason, a debate which has been continued by the philosophically inclined throughout the history of Jewish thought. The very admission of such a book into the Bible demonstrates how precarious it is to try to draw a picture of Judaism in simple terms.


Rabbi Dr. Louis Jacobs (1920-2006) was a Masorti rabbi, the first leader of Masorti Judaism (also known as Conservative Judaism) in the United Kingdom, and a leading writer and thinker on Judaism.  

Learning Opportunities   
Adult Education
"Reflections on the Siddur," with Dr. Mitch Parker
Saturdays, 11-11:45 a.m.
October 5, 19
November 9, 23
December 7, 14
Mitch will focus on Ashrei, Aleinu, the Kaddish, Adon Olam, Yigdal, Hallel and Birkat Hamazon. 
Class meets in the lower level, Room 9.
May Their Memories Be For a Blessing 

September Yahrtzeits

9/16/2013 (12 Tishrei)

Barbara Simon Lucia

9/18/2013 (14 Tishrei)

Irving Morris Wiseman 

9/19/2013 (15 Tishrei)

Jerome Burbank

Sophie Kuhn

Anita Harris 

9/25/2013 (21 Tishrei)

Fryda Lipowicz 

9/26/2013 (22 Tishrei)

Oscar Altshuler

9/27/2013 (23 Tishrei)

Evelyn Gruber

Lucylle Wonboy

9/28/2013 (24 Tishrei)

Betty Segal 

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
Erev Sukkot Services

Wednesday, September 18th

6 p.m. Minha/Maariv, Chapel

Sukkot Day 1 
Thursday, September 19th
9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary  
6 p.m. Minha, Chapel
Sukkot Day 2
Friday, September 20th
9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary
6 p.m. Minha/Kabbalat Shabbat/Maariv, Chapel
Shabbat Table
Hol Hamoed Shabbat Sukkot
Saturday, September 21st
8:30 a.m.* Services, Sanctuary
  *please note change in start time.
Sunday, September 22nd
8:30 a.m., Chapel, bring your lulav and etrog
5 p.m., Chapel
Monday, September 23rd Lulav and Etrog
7 a.m., Chapel, bring your lulav and etrog
6 p.m., Chapel
Tuesday, September 24th
7 a.m., Chapel, bring your lulav and etrog
6 p.m., Chapel
Wednesday, September 25th
    Hoshanah Rabbah
7 a.m- 8:30 a.m. (approx.), Chapel, bring your lulav and etrog
Erev Shemini Atzeret
Wednesday, September 25th
6 p.m., Chapel 
Shemini Atzeret
Thursday, September 26th
Simhat Torah (morning)
Friday, September 27th
9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary
Shabbat Bereisheet
Friday, September 27th
6 p.m. Minha/Kabbalat Shabbat/Maariv, Chapel
Saturday, September 28th
9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary
Kiddush Lunch following services sponsored 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.  

To Renee (Jay) Kozlowski on the death of Renee's mother, Ingrid Holloway.
Tikkun Olam
          Repair the World  
One of the outcomes of the September 16th meeting of our Sisterhood was members stepping up to chair additional committees and volunteer opportunities for our synagogue.  those opportunities will be listed here.  Additional ideas and volunteers are always welcome.  Contact Betsy Wolf, 248-207-0408.

Prepare and serve dinner to families staying at Ronald McDonald House while their children receive treatment and care at Children's Hospital.  This is a family friendly activity.  Please e-mail Davida (DeDe) Robinson if you wish to participate in this mitzvah.  Available dates:  
     October 13, November 10th, December 8th.

Tools to Teach Your Students to Love Learning
For new and Veteran Volunteers
Friday, October 4th, 10 a.m.-noon
West Bloomfield Public Library Meeting Room
Light breakfast/no charge.  Space is limited. Contact Linda Foster or call 248-642-2656
Sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council, Detroit Jewish Colation for Literacy, Repair the World and Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
Upcoming Youth and Family Activities
Upcoming Shabbat Youth Activities 

Supervised Youth Activities,  Room 3, lower level 

       provided for ages 12 and under

Shabbat mornings, 10-11:45 a.m.

Sukkot, Day 2, September 20th, 10-11:45 a.m.

Shemini Atzeret, Thursday, September 26th, 10-11:45 a.m.


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





2013-14 Grades 9-12 are eligible.

Registration begins September 23rd.

Questions?  Contact Danielle S. Longo or call 


Upcoming Community Events
and TKA/BI Joint Opportunities

An Evening or Conversation and Song with Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary)
Sunday, October 6th, Temple Kol Ami
Doors open 6p.m., Show begins 7 p.m.
Tickets:  $36.00 ($20.00 ages 13 and under)
$100.00 tickets include exclusive Meet and Greet with Peter Yarrow 5:30-6:30 and reserved seating. Buy tickets online: or call Robin: 248-851-0463. Sponsored by the Michigan Interfaith Power and Light and Temple Kol Ami in support of Sustainability and Faith.

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 mishebeirach list. 
Congregant looking for a ride to services 
West Bloomfield congregant is looking for a ride to morning or evening minyan and/or Shabbat services.  Please contact Rabbi Robbins at (610) 574-5179 or Thank you.
Mazel Tov 
Happy Birthday!

Birthday Cake

September Birthdays   18  Daniel Chudnow    

 19  Carol Wiseman      

 20  Madeline Jacobson           

 20  Edith Kozlowski      

 20  Samuel Saperstein

 23  Allan Lovinger

 25  Frances Chudnow  

 27  Erika Finn       

 27  Warren Lada

Jewish Wedding

September Anniversaries

4 Jack & Bernice Friedman

4 Matt & Lori Orel

      5  Howard & Trudy Jacobson

      5  Randy & Brenda Soverinsky

    14  Jay & Renee Kozlowski


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.