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November 27, 1987 - Image 96

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-11-27

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

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Continued from Page 35



in Israel, particularly in
Jerusalem where the events
of the Chanukah story took
place more than 2000 years
ago. In Israel, one's loyalty is
not divided, and there is
nothing to compete with our
own national and religious
holidays. Almost every
Jerusalem home is bedecked
with a Chanukah memorah
during the eight days of the
festival, and each evening the

little candles are a beacon of
light as voices all over the ci-
ty sing Maoz Tsur.

The miracle we are pro-
claiming is not an act of
supernatural grace. Our
miracle is that the Jewish
people and the State of Israel
continue to survive, and that
our light will never be

World Zionist Press Service

Artists Create New,
Unusual Chanukiot

10-5:30 Mon.-Thurs.

10-7 Friday

WINDSOR. ONTARIO N9A 5N9 (519) 256-3530

10-5 Sat.

12-5 Sun.

Light in its varied forms
plays a major role in Judaism.
Some lights are "nerot mitz-
vah," commanded lights;
others, although not cited in
halacha, ritual law, have
become part of the culture
through tradition. One holi-
day, Chanukah, is even called
the Festival of Lights.
Each of the Jewish com-
munities in the Diaspora
developed its own style of
menorot, lamps, for ritual use
in their synagogues and devo-
tional use in their homes. In
many cases, their lamps and/
or candleholders were in-
fluenced by the culture which
surrounded them.
In recent years, a small
group of artists, artisans and
craftsmen specializing in
Judaica has produced
beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces
of Judaica — usually in
precious metals — but their
product is beyond the finan-
cial reach of most individual
families and many
The Israel Museum in
Jerusalem, home of the most
extensive and comprehensive
collections of Judaica, be-
lieved that action was re-
quired to develop innovative
and interesting ritual objects
which could be

It called upon a group of ar-
chitects and designers in the
international art world — the
United States, Italy, England
and Japan — to create
designs and prototypes for
mass-producible Jewish
ceremonial art. Most of the
group had never worked in
this field before.
For balance, the museum
challenged five Israeli
designers, many of whom
work in this area, to create
new products which could be
mass produced as well.
lb round out the project, it
asked Alex Ward, head of the
department of gold and
silversmithing at the Bezalel
School of Art and Design in
Jerusalem, to enlist seven of
his students to participate.
The result was the exhibi-

tion entitled "Nerot Mitzvah:
Contemporary Ideas for
Light in Jewish Ritual."
Amalyah Zipkin, curator of
the exhibition, emphasized
that the purpose of the proj-
ect was to encourage the crea-
tion of new ideas and pro-
totypes for original, afford-
able objects of a high level of
design quality.
The items on display, she
said, were not intended to be
one-of-a-kind finished prod-
ucts, but design ideas, models
and prototypes. Even the
sketches and working draw-
ings were included in the
The items involved just
about every form of light:
candles, oil, electricity, even
Each participant in the ex-
hibition was sent an explana-
tion of the traditions and
halachic regulations relating
to light in the Jewish ritual.
These were the only limits set
for the participants; other-
wise, their imagination was
given free rein.
There were no elements of
competition, no prizes and no

The participants included
Richard Meier, New York Ci-
ty, architect and designer; Et-
tore Sottsass, Milan, Italy, ar
chitect and designer; "guru"
of the famous "Memphis"
group of designers in Italy;
and Kenji Ekuan, lbkyo,
designer; head of G.K. In-
dustrial Design, lbkyo.

Glaring Omission

While the author of 1 Mac-
cabees reveals a deep devotion

to Jewish laws and ideals, the
words "God" and "Lord" are
conspicuously missing,
although the divine Presence
pervades the volume. This
avoidance appears to have
been deliberate on the part of
the author.

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