October 23, 2014
29 Tishrei 5775
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Abraham is the Tower of Babel. With this episode theTorah turns its attention from the universal to the particular, from the history of humanity to the descendants of Shem, Noah's firstborn son.

As preserved, the story is but nine verses--brief, insignificant and unedifying, not much more than a dismissive satire on Babylon. At best, we try to connect this fragment to the mystery of human language. If we are all progeny of Noah, how did we come to speak so many different languages?

But that question has a slightly academic ring to it. What is really missing at this juncture in the narrative of the Torah is an etiology of polytheism. Given that the polemic against polytheism plays such a central role in the Canon of ancient Israel, why is there no speculation in narrative form as to how humanity strayed from monotheism to polytheism?

How Humanity Lost Its Way

Indeed, the early chapters of Genesis assume that our first ancestors were monotheists. They sensed intuitively that the built-in multiplicity of reality emanated from a single supreme deity with whom they could readily communicate. Adam and Eve "heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of day" (3:8). Cain and Abel and Noah after them offered sacrifices spontaneously to express their thanksgiving to God (4:3-4, 8:20). In short, we are left in the dark by the Torah as to how humanity lost its way theologically.

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. 


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B'nai Israel Synagogue  
5085 Walnut Lake Road
West Bloomfield, Michigan  48323
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Friday, October 24th
6 p.m. Services, Chapel
Saturday, October 25th
9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary
10 a.m.  Supervised Youth Room
11 a.m. Children's Workshop (ages 7-12), lower level
11 a.m.  Teen D'var Torah Cocoa Cafe, Social Hall
Kiddush is sponsored by Sandy and Warren Lada in honor of Warren's birthday and their anniversary.  Kiddush Lunch is also sponsored by the Im Tirtzu Campaign.
This Shabbat, we are pleased to welcome our Scholar in Residence, Rabbi Jason Rubenstein
Rabbi Rubenstein will teach on Friday Rabbi Jason Rubenstein
evening following Shabbat Dinner and Saturday afternoon prior to minha. There will also be an informal gathering with Rabbi Rubenstein on Saturday evening 8 p.m., at the home of Cheryl and Phillip Litt.  Click here to let the Litts know if you will be attending on Saturday evening.
Welcome, hebrew
B'rucheem Ha Ba'eem
We warmly welcome new members,
Howard and Sharon Friedman,  to our synagogue family.

Mazel Tov 
to Linda and Murray Baruch on the recent 
engagement of their son, Adam, to Tali Ribnick.  Mazel Tov to the entire Baruch family, and to Tali's parents, Jerry and Louise Ribnick.
hot cocoa2 D'var Torah Cocoa Cafe (8-12 graders) and Shabbat Children's Workshop (ages 7-12) have returned! 
Future dates: 10/25, 11/8, 12/76, 1/10, 2/7, 3/7, 4/11, 5/9  PLEASE WATCH THE WEEKLY SHABBAT BULLETIN FOR DETAILS.
To stay current on all youth and family activities, contact Ilana Glazier to join the B'nai Israel Families Facebook Group.
Shabbat morning study with Dr. Mitch Parker: 
"Reflections on the Siddur:  Hallel, Birkat Hamazon and Beyond." 
10:30-11:15 a.m.  Future dates: 11/8, 11/22, 12/6, 12/20, 1/10, 1/24, 2/7, 2/21, 3/7, 3/21, 4/11, 4/25, 5/9, 5/23.

Mazel Tov 
Happy Birthday!

Birthday Cake


 23 Jerome Beale

 23 Carrie Roth

 24 Steven Dines

 25 Ruby Robinson

 29 Libby Beider

 29 Adina Robbins

 30 Jeremy Baruch

 30 Philip Epstein

 31 Benjamin Chudnow

 31 Yael Duer

      Jewish Wedding

If your birthday or anniversary information is not listed, please email the synagogue so we can update our records.
May Their Memories Be For a Blessing 


10/23/2014 (29 Tishrei)          

Milt Fishman

10/24/2014 (30 Tishrei)          

Isaac Knoppow

Anna Murray

10/25/2014 (1 Heshvan)          

Alfred Benkoff

Aaron Soverinsky

10/26/2014 (2 Heshvan)          

Sam Thomas Balkin
Edith Rosenberg

10/27/2014 (3 Heshvan)          

Renee Rochlin

10/28/2014 (4 Heshvan)          

Mr. George Kohn

10/29/2014 (5 Heshvan)          

Harry Handler

10/30/2014 (6 Heshvan)          

Marilyn Breitman

10/31/2014 (7 Heshvan)          

Martha Faxstein

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.