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December 10, 1982 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-12-10

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Sabbath Scriptural Selections

This Sabbath, the 25th day of Kislev, 5743, is the first day of Hanuka
and the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:

Pentateuchal portion, Genesis 37:1-40:23, Numbers 7:1-17.
Prophetical portion, Zechariah 2:14-4:7.

Hanuka Scriptural Selections

Sunday, Numbers 7:18-29; Monday, Numbers 7:24-35;
Tuesday, Numbers 7:30-41; Wednesday, Numbers 7:36-47;
Thursday, Numbers 28:1-15, 7:42-47; Dec. 17, Numbers 28:1-15, 7:48-53.

Candlelighting, Friday, Dec. 10, 4:43 p.m.

VOL. MOOCH, No. 15

Page Four

Friday, December 10, 1982


Menoras will be kindled for eight nights, beginning before sunset this evening, in Jewish
homes throughout the world. The observance has never been interrupted since the Maccabean era.
The Hanuka lights will not be dimmed, not even on the outskirts of the Kremlin. Muslim countries
will not extinguish the 'lights that are a functioning tradition in the Jewish homes and in the
The lighting of the Hanuka candles. is accompanied by admonitions. The Maccabees were
military victors. Their triumphs were spiritual and cultural as much as military. The heroes of old
battled to preserve the Jewish spiritual heritage, the right to worship in the traditional Jewish
manner, and therefore symbolized rejection of the aim of oppressing rulers to impose strange
observances and habits upon them. Therefore, the Maccabean triumph was a victory for freedom,
and the perpetuation of the liberties attained remains the chief lesson of a festival associated with
such Jewish idealism.
Therefore, the basic ideal: the right to be different, the predominant demand for an avoidance
of conformity, a demand that grants freedoms to all who seek adherence to the libertarianism that
is at the very root of humanism and social justice. The right to be different, applied to mankind,
assures the protective for all peoples and faiths, so long as it is rooted in peace, even when, as in the
instance of the Maccabees, it is won by the sword.
In the Jewish experience there is an impressive lesson even in this tragic period for Israel,
world Jewry, the Middle East and mankind. There is a war in progress, and what had been hoped as
Israel's contributions towards an end to terror for Lebanon is being perpetuated into a fratricide. In
the quest for peace and for a Lebanese-Israel accord, an obstacle has been erected: the head of the
state Israel helped liberate now shuns the Israelis with a refusal to negotiate in Jerusalem because
it would recognize the status of the Holy City as the capital of Israel.
Must war continue unabated because of hatreds that have emerged at fratricide, -Maronite
fighting Druze, Christian battling Muslim, and the Jew who strives for an end to terrorism in the
middle as a sufferer from the consequences?
Therefore, the admonition on Hanuka for Jews, for the Israel that was reborn in glory, to strive
for an end to the embroiled difficulties that make Israel the major sufferer in a world conflict.
Maccabean glory was a military triumph. Israel's rebirth was a military triumph. Both were,
and their lessons remain, the cultural triumphs, the spiritual successes, the right to be different
and to live in peace in a world at war while insisting on the right to differ.
Therefore a hope emerging from the admonitions: that Israel, compelled to be on the defensive,
will not be primarily an arsenal state.
After the Israel War of Liberation in 1948, a Jewish idealist uttered a message that carried
with it something much higher than militarism. A Hanuka address was addressed to his comrades
in arms, upon Israel's triumph on the battlefields, by the late Itzhak Sadeh, who was the Hagana
leader and trainer and leader and an organizer of the Palmach:
"Each one of us remembers how the Maccabees appeared in his childish imagination as
gigantic supermen with muscles of steel and thunderous voices. How can we compare with them?
"But an hour of trial came and what was required of us was no less than the challenge which
faced the Maccabees. And we have stood the test and will continue to stand it. It is a comforting
thought that we are as good as our heroic forebears. For we must understand that the real
Maccabees were a far cry from the Maccabees of our childish dreams. They were in reality plain
men, steeped in a thousand and one daily cares, aside from their Maccabean adventures.
"That is how a gold miner works: He takes from the depth of the earth clods of ore and grinds
them into fine dust. This dust he washes in flowing water. The light slag is washed away, and the
miner's reward is the‘few grains of pure gold, which neither strong acid nor time (the strongest acid
of all) can tarnish.
"Thus time has polished and washed clean the historic figures of the Maccabees. It has
removed from them the trivial, the unessential, and left only the necessary, the significant, the
pure gold — the 'Blood of the Maccabees.' And This Blood — let us say it confidently and simply—
flows in our veins also. In this respect, we are all alike. Each drop of our blood which falls upon the
soil of our homeland raises a small red poppy which is named after them, the 'Blood of the
Maccabees.' You are not heroes, my friends, not giants on the earth, but simple people, engrossed in
daily chores, in a thousand simple tasks. Yet you have inherited the grains of pure gold — the
Heritage of the Maccabees."Itzhak Sadeh's call was for a higher goal, for lessons to be learned from
militarism to end the arsenal status so that peace can be assured by reaching into the hearts of
human beings.
It is a Hanuka admonition to have such aims. Such attainments will spell glory for mankind.
To be free, peoples have a right to be different. To end wars and especially fratricidal practices,
human beings must utilize their aims for enlightenment with handshakes instead of grenades.
As long as there are delays in such aspirations, the Maccabean spirit must predominate. The
spiritual remains in the background, and the Hanuka lesson, bathed in militarism, admonishes
never to abandon the human factor. Such is the Hanuka 18 centuries after the Maccabees.


Novelized Historic Events:
Trend for Fiction Writers

Treating historic episodes as fiction is not new. Fiction writers
have drawn upon interesting occurrences and personalities to utilize
them as the chief characters in their novels.
An impressive example is utilization of the Oskar Schindler role
for a great dramatic story by Thomas Keneally. This is all fact and the
record is so brilliantly accounted for that the fiction aspect is quickly
Another such resort to novel writing is utilization by Leonard
Wolf of the Shabbatai Zevi chapter of dramatic occurrences in "The
False Messiah" (Houghton Mifflin).
The 17th Century event continues to stir the attention directed at
the Messianism that aroused hope in Jewish ranks, during eras of
great distress. The 17th Century Shabbatai Zevi drama was among
the most stirring of many such appeals to the Jewish hopes which
turned into tragedies.
Shabbatai was a prolific student of the Talmud as a youth in
Smyrna. Then came his Kabalistic yearnings, his several marriages,
his proclamations of messianism which began to dominate the masses
in many lands, in Holland, in Poland, in Ashkenazic as well as
Sephardic communities.
It was Nathan of Gaza who encouraged Shabbatai to declare
himself the anointed, the king, the Messiah.
So widespread was his activity and the delusions he created that
his followers emerged into a sect.
In Turkey, he was arrested as a political threat and he ended in
Wolf is not a Gershom Scholem. The immense biography of Shab-
batai Zevi by Prof. Scholem remains the great work on the subject of
Messianism and the False Messiah of Smyrna, Shabbatai Zevi. But
Wolf does depict the spirit of that age, of Jewish conditions in the 17th
Century, the hopes Jews entertained whenever there was even a
flicker of an approaching relief from the agonies under which they
Scholars denounced Shabbatai, yet his conversion to Islam to
escape the Turkish knout left many others as followers.
There is secularity as well as mysticism in this fictionalized ac-
count of a major character in the movement that counts many false
In Wolfs account of that tragic historic incident there is food for
study of Kabalism.
Parables and visions predominate in Wolf's dramatic story.
Wolfs poems and short stories have been widely published, and
he has won the 0. Henry Award. He is the author of "The Annotated
Frankenstein," "The Annotated Dracula" and "Bluebeard: The Life
and Crimes of Gilles de Rais." -
He is a Yiddish translator. He has translated Itzak Manger's
"The Book of Paradise" and has contributed to the "Oxford Book Of
Yiddish Verse," among other Yiddish anthologies.

Books for Young Readers

The bookshelves for young readers are expanding and Jewish
publishers are giving increased attention to the urgency of providing
the craved-for reading for the youth.
Union of American Hebrew Congregations keeps producing chil-
dren's books. In less than 30 pages a new brochure, "I Am Growing" by
Howard Bogot and former Detroiter Daniel B. Syme, is certain to
inspire young readers who grow up Jewish.
Houghton Mifflin produces an excellent biographical Bible story
in "Joshua in the Promised Land" by Miriam Chaikin. It has addi-
tional merit in the illustrations by David Frampton. This biographi-
cal story has great merit as an inspiration for further study of the
Bible and it inspires interest in Scriptures and Jewish history.


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