October 10, 2013
 6 Cheshvan 5774
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In This Issue
Tikkun Olam and Sisterhood
Youth and Family Activities
Learning Opportunities


Rabbi David Hoffman

Imagine the following request: leave your home, your family, everything that you know and cherish and go - completely walk away from the world of your ancestors. And if that was not difficult enough, then imagine being asked to separate yourself from your future, from the world of your children.

Such was the life of Abraham our forefather.

Martin Buber, the great philosopher, notes that the phrase - "lekh l'kha" - "Go forth, leave" occurs only on two occasions in the entire Bible. Both times this divine command is addressed to Abraham, and Buber suggests that the two times this phrase appears serves as important book ends for Abraham's life.

The first time God speaks to Abraham, God calls out - "lekh l'kha" - "Go out and leave your past." God's demand comes before any relationship is established between God and Abraham. These are the very words that begin their relationship. God says to Abraham in essence, "Pick up and leave your country, the community that you have known all your life, your family and 'Go.' Leave everything that has been in your past and that has made you who you are - your friends, your community, your family and go to a land that I will show you! What I offer you in return is a promise," God says. "A promise that I will give you children and make you into a great nation that will surpass in number even the stars! Abraham," God promises, "I will make your name great and the world shall experience blessings through you and your children."

The second time God sends Abraham out with the command, "lekh l'kha," occurs at the end of Abraham's life. God demands that Abraham let go of his dreams and the hopes for the future that God had promised! The second time Abraham hears the words "lekh l'kha" "Go out," God tells Abraham to take his beloved son Isaac - the son through whom God has promised Abraham such a glorious nation and future - and kill him. This demand constitutes the cancellation of the promise. With the second "lekh l'kha" Abraham is asked to let go of his hopes for a future that has kept him going all these long, hard years.

Abraham has been asked to walk away from his past and let go of his dreams for his future.

What happens when we are asked to put aside our personal histories and all the narratives from our past that, perhaps, keep us imprisoned? What happens when we are simultaneously asked to give up the scripts that we have written about our futures? "I thought I would be a partner at this point in my life. I thought my children would be... I thought I would be ready for retirement. I thought I would be married." We all have scripts from our pasts and for our futures.

God asks Abraham to put down these scripts and just be. Just be present in the moment. Don't think about your past or your future - just appreciate the blessings of this moment that may never occur again.

And it is at this moment, Buber suggests, when Abraham learns how to be present in his own life - not encumbered by future hopes or his personal past - he then can most deeply feel God's presence.

I submit that this is one of the challenges that Abraham's life offers us. Can we put down our scripts for ourselves, our families, and children and be present, really present for our lives and the people we love?

Abraham's life suggests that this is the key to our ability to most acutely see and appreciate all the great blessings God has given each one of us.


These words of Torah were taken from The JTS Torah Commentary archive: 
May Their Memories Be For a Blessing 

October Yahrtzeits

10/10/2013 (6 Heshvan)

Marilyn Breitman

10/11/2013 (7 Heshvan)

Martha Faxstein

10/14/2013 (10 Heshvan)

Morris Lantor

10/15/2013 (11 Heshvan)

Jerome Lipowica

Arthur Aaron Lovinger

10/16/2013 (12 Heshvan)

Kayla Kapen

Philip Dines

Joseph Irving FriedmanGertrude Nusholtz

10/21/2013 (17 Heshvan)

Manny Chudnow

10/23/2013 (19 Heshvan)

David Harris

10/24/2013 (20 Heshvan)

Naomi Lillian Markowitz

Irving A. Rubin

Martin Segal

10/25/2013 (21 Heshvan)

Nathan Weiner

10/26/2013 (22 Heshvan)

Serena Weiss

10/28/2013 (24 Heshvan)

Mary Katz

Robert Braverman

Alvin Jacobson

10/29/2013 (25 Heshvan)

Fara Caplan Baer

10/31/2013 (27 Heshvan)

Linda Kozlowski

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,  
phone:  248-432-2729
Shabbat Lekh-Lekha
Friday, October 11th
 6 p.m. Minha/Kabbalat Shabbat/Maariv, Sanctuary
Saturday, October 12th
Shuttle Parking from Prince of Peace.
 9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary
10 a.m., Youth Room for ages 12 and under.
This Shabbat we will celebrate the bar mitzvah of Sammy Saperstein, son of Susan Knoppow and David Saperstein, and brother of Miriam and Josh.  Sammy is also the grandson of Sharon and Jerry Knoppow and Lynda and Dr. Stanley Saperstein.  Mazel Tov!
Kiddush Lunch is sponsored by Sharon and Jerry Knoppow in honor of their grandson Sammy becoming a bar mitzvah.
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.  
*SHUTTLE PARKING NOTE:  PLEASE DO NOT PARK in front of people's mailboxes in the neighborhoods or on Walnut Lake Road.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation. PLEASE USE THE SHUTTLE to avoid any conflicts.  Future Shuttle Date: 
October 19th.
NOVEMBER 8TH AND 9TH. musical notes
Tikkun Olam
TIKKUN OLAM/Repair the World
MITZVAH DAY 2013:  December 25th
Registration begins November 1st. 
B'nai Israel Sisterhood is blooming with ideas to make our synagogue and community even better!  Please join us at our next meeting: 
We will continue planning events and elect officers.

BOOK CLUB NIGHT at the Book Fair.
Monday, November 11th, 7:30 p.m.
West Bloomfield JCC
B'nai Israel Sisterhood plans to attend this event, when author Elizabeth L. Silver will discuss her book:  The Execution of Noa P. Singleton.
Click here for registration form or contact the Book Fair office for more information:  248-432-5442.
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. 

To stay current on all youth and family activities, contact

Ilana Glazier to join the B'nai Israel Families Facebook Group.




Sunday, October 13th,  Paradise Park

4-6 p.m.  Space is limited.  Please pre-register:  248-432-5680 (Lindsey Rosenberg) or e-mail lrosenberg@bbyo.org

 Sponsored by Hebrew Memorial Chapel and BBYO.


American Idol B'nai Israel Synagogue Style
Talent Show featuring B'nai Israel Youth Ages 3-18
Saturday, December 14th
6:45 p.m. Havdalah, 7 p.m. Show




2013-14 Grades 9-12 are eligible.

Registration begins September 23rd.

Questions?  Contact Danielle S. Longo longo@jfmd.org or call 



USY Summer Programs

USY Summer Programs Registration is now open.  9-12 Graders eligible.

Programs include USY on Wheels, Mitzvah Missions, Israel Adventures, Italy/Israel Pilgrimage, Israel/Poland Seminar, Eastern Europe/Israel Pilgrimage.  

Visit www.usy.org/escape/apply for more information and to download an application.

Upcoming Community Events
and TKA/BI Joint Opportunities

Knitting has returned! Knitting
All stitchers are welcome.  
Meet in the TKA/BI Library.
October 14th, November 5th, 
December 4th, January 7th
Learning Opportunities   
Adult Education
"Reflections on the Siddur," with Dr. Mitch Parker
Saturdays, 11-11:45 a.m.
October 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.

Shabbat Shiur Series
Shabbat Afternoons, last Saturday of the month following lunch and prior to minha.  Shiur (class) will meet in the chapel.  All our welcome.
October 26 "The Laws of Mourning," Rabbi Mark Robbins 
Future Dates:  November 30, December 28, January 25th, February 22nd.

Caring Community Information

Refuah Sh'leimah/Wishing a Speedy Recovery.  

Please e-mail Michael Golob or call the synagogue: 248-432-2729 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  rabbi@bnaiisraelwb.org. Thank you.
Mazel Tov 
Happy Birthday!

Birthday Cake

October Birthdays 

 11 Jonah Wolf                         12 Naomi Reiter

 15 Erin Graub

 16 C. Michael Graub

 16 Roxane Newhouse

16 Jordan Weiss

17 Lenny Jacobson

18 Steve Kaufman

19 Kenneth Brown

19 Ruth Kozlowski                                                             

20 Adam Marcotte

21 Annie Jacobson

23 Jerome Beale

23 Carrie Roth

24 Steven Dines

25 Ruby Robinson

26 Stacy Gittleman

28 Edith Wolok

29 Libby Beider

29 Adina Robbins

30 Philip Epstein

31 Benjamin Chudnow

31 Yael Duer

Jewish Wedding

October Anniversaries

10 Michael & Marybeth Rosen                     

13 Howard & Karen Rosenberg             

14 Arnie & Cheryl Berlin             

18 Jordan & Inez Stevenson                                    

22 Warren & Sandy Lada

29 Ehud & Debi Kapen

To make a donation in honor of someone's birthday or anniversary, please click here.
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.