Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow
"The Lord spoke to
, saying: Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him (yidvenu libo)...And let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them."
The Israelite people is commanded to build a sanctuary (mishkan) for God.
God gives Moses this command during the period of forty days that Moses is on the mountain top. Simultaneously, the people, waiting for his return, lose hope and go to Aaron, his brother and the High Priest, for reassurance.
The Golden Calf
While Moses is receiving the command to collect materials from the people for the building of the Mishkan and the detailed plan for the Mishkan, Aaron aids the people in circumventing this process. He collects gold from the people for the building of the Golden Calf. The people willingly give up their gold for the calf and then worship before it. There are no values or commitments connected with this worship. They worship their own gold in the form of an idol--an egocentric and self indulgent act. The people later flock to give the requested supplies for the building of the Mishkan, which will house the tablets on which the Ten Commandments are written--including the commandment against idolatry.
In both cases the people give willingly. In the case of the Golden Calf, Aaron takes their gold and casts it into a Golden Calf; in the case of the Mishkan, all the skilled artisans among the people are called forth to do the work of building. The Mishkan will serve as a reminder and a physical presence for a God who has communicated a vast code of ethics and behavioral norms. The building of the Mishkan is an effort by people to reach beyond themselves toward communal good.
The Mishkan is built from our free will offerings and the labor of our hands. This is our creation story, in which we imitate God's creation of the world and create a vessel for the presence of God in our midst. The function of the Mishkan is to make tangible God's presence in the camp of Israel such that people can direct themselves, their actions and their hearts, toward the contents of the ark, the Ten Commandments.
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Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow was ordained at JTS, where she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. She served as the National Program Director of Spark: Partnership for Service, is the American founder of the Bavli-Yerushalmi Project, and worked as a Program Officer/Educator at the Jewish Life Network/Steinhardt Foundation. She is currently the Rabbi/Director of Religious Services at Hebrew SeniorLife, a multi-faceted organization serving seniors in the Boston area.
for additional insights on this week's parsha and others, visit The JTS Torah Commentary archive: http://www.jtsa.edu
Upcoming TKA/BI Joint Opportunities
SOUTH OAKLAND SHELTER
HOUSING OF GUESTS AT TKA/BI,
MARCH 23-30, 2014
TKA will once again be housing guests for one week from South Oakland Shelter. There are many ways to get involved and help. Everyone's help is needed!
May Their Memories Be For a Blessing
2/1/2014 (1 Adar I)
2/5/2014 (5 Adar I)
2/6/2014 (6 Adar I)
2/8/2014 (8 Adar I) Wesley Brown
2/9/2014 (9 Adar I)
2/10/2014 (10 Adar I)
2/12/2014 (12 Adar I) Theodore Jacob Levine
2/13/2014 (13 Adar I)
Sol Reichberg Taub
2/14/2014 (14 Adar I)
2/16/2014 (16 Adar I)
2/17/2014 (17 Adar I)
2/18/2014 (18 Adar I)
2/20/2014 (20 Adar I)
Doris Barahal Tron
2/22/2014 (22 Adar I)
2/26/2014 (26 Adar I)
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Friday, January 31st
6 p.m. Kabbalat Shabbat/Maariv, Chapel
Saturday, February 1st
9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary
10 a.m. Supervised Youth Activities, Room 3 for ages 12 and under.
11 a.m. Shabbat Children's Workshop, Room 8
11 a.m. Teen D'var Torah Cocoa Cafe, Social Hall
Kiddush Lunch is sponsored by the Kiddush Lunch Fund. *
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To Libby and Andy Beider on the birth of their new grandson, Matthew Eli Freedman, born to parents Shoshana and Aaron Freedman last Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia.
Purim is just around the corner.
B'nai israel will be participating in a collaborative Purim Celebration with congregations Beth Ahm, B'nai Moshe and Adat Shalom. Services Saturday night will be held at Beth Ahm together with B'nai Moshe and Adat Shalom, with an adult afterglow event. Minyan and megillah reading Sunday morning will be held together with Beth Ahm at B'nai Moshe, followed by a Purim Carnival at B'nai Moshe staffed by our teens. A flyer with all of the activities being planned will be out soon! MEGILLAH READERS ARE NEEDED FOR BOTH SATURDAY EVENING AND SUNDAY MORNING! Please e-mail Rabbi Robbin if you would like to read megillah. Please e-mail Vicki Freedman if your 12 and older teens would like to help plan and work at the Purim Carnival. Adults of our teens are needed as well for planning and staffing assistance.
INTERCONGREGATIONAL MEN'S CLUB DINNER
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014
6 P.M. APPETIZERS AND COCKTAILS, 6:45 P.M. DINNER
ADAT SHALOM SYNAGOGUE
Featuring Charlie Langton, Legal Analyst for Fox Detroit and WWJ. $54.00/person. Please contact Ralph Woronoff (248-487-2600 or Joe Lebovic (313-949-9921) for more information.
JTS GUEST SPEAKER FEBRUARY 19TH
7:30 P.M., TKA/BI SANCTUARY
Upcoming Youth and Family Activities
FAMILY CAMP 2014 MARCH 21st-23rd
Family Night at Minyan, one Sunday/month.
Bring your family to help make minyan at 5 p.m. and enjoy pizza dinner in the social hall following services. MARK YOUR CALENDAR: 3/9 (we will assemble Mishloach Manot for BI seniors), 4/27, 6/1
Upcoming Shabbat Youth Activities
SHABBAT CHILDREN'S WORKSHOP DATES for youth ages 7-12. 30 minutes of tefilla and parsha fun.
11-11:45 a.m., ROOM 9
FEBRUARY 1ST, MARCH 1ST, APRIL 5th, MAY 3 (10:30 A.M.) JUNE 7 YOUTH SHABBAT
SHABBAT TEEN ACTIVITIES
D'VAR TORAH COCOA CAFE for ages 13-17, 11:00-11:45 a.m., Social Hall
Listen to the D'var Torah in the main sanctuary, then give your take over cocoa and cider. Kiddush lunch following, with Spirited singing and Birkat Hamazon led by teens.
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
FEBRUARY 1ST, MARCH 1ST, APRIL 5TH, MAY 3RD
To stay current on all youth and family activities, contact Ilana Glazier to join the B'nai Israel Families Facebook Group.
31 Robin Pappas
2 Hanna Berlin
12 Constance Victor
14 Jeffrey Eisman
14 Rebecca Tron
16 Benjamin Eisman
16 Brian Newhouse
16 Miriam Saperstein
17 Michael Golob
17 Leia Serlin
20 Colton Graub
22 Seymour Manello
25 Sheila Kurland
25 Sharon Rosen
26 Aaron Orel
If your birthday or anniversary information is not listed, please email the synagogue so we can update our records.
Developing Your Character Through Mussar
TKA/BI Room 2
Monday, February 3rd, 7-8:30 p.m.
Join Rabbi Robbins and explore Mussar, the ancient Jewish practice of self-examination and character development through the prism of Biblical exemplars and rabbinic texts. Delve into traits such as humility, patience and gratitude.
$36.00 for the series/$18.00 for individual session.
"Reflections on the Siddur," with Dr. Mitch Parker
Saturdays, 11-11:45 a.m.
February 8 and 22 March 8 and 22
April 12 and 26 May 10 and 24 June 7 and 21
Mitch will focus on Ashrei, Aleinu, the Kaddish, Adon Olam, Yigdal, Hallel and Birkat Hamazon.
Class meets in the lower level, Room 9.
Lunch and Learn Series
with Hillel Buechler, Ramah Fellow
First Tuesday of every month
Next session: 12:15 p.m., February 4th
Meet at Barnes and Noble on Orchard Lake Road Bring your own lunch. There is no charge to attend. Future Dates: March 5th, April 9th. Please e-mail Hillel Buechler if you plan to attend.
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. There is no charge to attend.
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.
Shiva assistance: To assist in providing a shiva meal for BI member families and/or if you are able to lead a shiva minyan, please e-mail the synagogue.
B'nai Israel Synagogue is affiliated with USCJ, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.