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October 16, 1987 - Image 68

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-10-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

God's Advertisement

Continued from preceding page

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Find the hidden Hebrew words, across, up and down or diagonally.
From KTAV Publishing, Word Find, A Hebrew Puzzle Fun Book

r ot,

to enjoy the fruit of this tree, as will
their children after them. Just as
previous generations have toiled for
me, so too must I toil for the
generations to come." We, like the
old man of our Midrash, are
partners in the process of creation.
Just as our ancestors preserved
God's creation for us, so must we
preserve it for our children.

So, too, must we enjoy it with
our children. During this season of
harvest, of renewal and of joy,
spend time with your family out of
doors. Go on picnics, take walks,
climb trees. Look carefully at the
world around you, for, if you do, you
will surely see God's
"advertisement" of beauty and of
order in the world.
This is the message of Succot
and of Simchat Torah. It is the
message which we hear as we sit in
our succot and peer through the
skhach (branches which cover the
succah) to the stars above. It is the
message which we hear as we
emerge from our succot to a new
appreciation of the wonders of
nature. It is the message which we
hear when we turn the scrolls on
Simchat Torah and read once again
the story of Creation. What better
time then to commit ourselves, as
individuals and as families, to the
sacred task of ensuring that our
precious gift of natural beauty will
be passed on to the next generation
as a heritage for all time.

Havdalah Ritual Separates Sacred And The Profane

By RABBI DAVID NELSON
Cong. Beth Shalom

At the end of Yom Kippur,
hundreds of young children crowded
the dimly-lighted sanctuary of Cong.
Beth Shalom, in what started as an
orderly Havdalah procession, and as
it wound down the aisle, with each
child holding a battery-operated
candle, the rabbi intoned the special
blessings of the Havdalah ritual.
The grandparents had awaited this
moment as they carried their young
grandchildren onto the bimah and
he cantor sang Eliyahu Hanavi.
When its lively melody was
completed, the wine cup was raised
the proper blessing was recited.
Then
Then a spice box was lifted. And
finally the congregation held up its
hands to the light of the candle. The
kiddush was recited and the candle
Was extinguished.

Do these young people have to
wait another year for such an
mpressive ceremony? We can't
nave a second Yom Kippur, but we
can and do recite Havdalah at the

L - 2 FRIDAY, OCT. 16, 1987

destroy." They reasoned that if the
trees of the Canaanites were
protected from destruction, then
surely all of God's creations should
be similarly protected. Al tashchit,
the rabbis declared: do not destroy.
Ecology, it would seem, was a
Jewish value long before the word
existed.
In modern times, we too are in
the process of "conquering" or
settling the land around us. We are
putting up housing developments
and shopping centers, building
roads and providing services. In this
process, however, the principle of Al
tashchit must be ever before our
eyes. The preservation of nature is
an obligation which is incumbent
upon us all. If we fail to take action
today in order to preserve our
communal future, we will one day
look up and, like the prophet
Jeremiah, hear in our hearts the
voice of God, or perhaps of our own
conscience, saying: "Behold, I
brought you into a land of fruitful
fields to eat the fruit thereof; but
when you entered, you defiled my
land and made my heritage an
abomination."
There is a wonderful story in
the Midrash in which an emperor
comes upon an old man who is
busily planting a tree. "Old man,"
he chuckles, "do you really believe
that you will live to eat of the fruit of
that tree?" "I may, if I am worthy,"
the old man counters, "but more
importantly, my children will be able

conclusion of every Shabbat and
festival of the Jewish year.
What is Havdalah? The name
Havdalah is derived from the
Hebrew word meaning "to divide,"
and the ceremony takes place at
the conclusion of the Sabbath or
festival, dividing the special or holy
day from the ordinary weekdays. As
the Sabbath is ushered in with
candlelight and a blessing over
wine, so too is its departure
accompanied by candlelight, wine
and prayer. We also inhale the
fragrant spices contained in the
Besamim Box, symbolizing our hope
that the coming week will be sweet,
pleasant and filled with light.
Havdalah means separation
between the sacred and the
mundane, light and darkness,
Sabbath and the rest of the week.
The ending of Shabbat should
prompt us to recall in our prayers
the main ideas and programs we
have heard and struggled with
during the earlier parts of the day.
What is the history of
Havdalah? The Babylonian Talmud

says that the Havdalah blessing was
today, the blessing over the wine
originally included in the Amidah.
itself stems from the duty to recite
In the Jerusalem Talmud, there
Havdalah over a cup of wine. The
are three different possibilities given
wine is permitted to flow to the brim
for the origin of Havdalah. The first
of the cup to symbolize the
explanation is that originally the
overflowing blessing hoped for in
Havdalah blessing might have been
the coming week.
included in the Amidah and then
In the words of Maimonides, a
transferred to the cup of wine "for
Continued on Page L-7
the benefit of the children." Another
explanation is that the Havdalah
blessing may have first been recited
with the wine or it may have been
instituted in both the home and the
synagogue simultaneously.
According to most of the
Havdalah will be celebrated at a
Tannaim (rabbis of Palestine before
special community-wide gathering at
200 C.E. whose interpretations are
7 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Jimmy Prentis
found in the Mishnah and other
Morris Branch of the Jewish
sources contemporary with it), the
Community Center in Oak Park.
practice is to recite the Havdalah
The evening will include
blessing over the cup of wine, while
astronomers, who will conduct star-
only mention of it is made in the
gazing, refreshments, and dancing:
Amidah. In the Medieval period, the
one group for women, one group for
custom began of also reciting
men and a mixed group.
Havdalah over a cup of wine in the
The free event is co-sponsored
synagogue in order to exempt those
by the Jewish Center, Jewish
who had no wine.
Experiences for Families and The
In the Havdalah ceremony
Jewish News.

Community Will
Recite Havdalah

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