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November 18, 1988 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-11-18

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

OPINION 1

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Havdalah

Continued from Page 7

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 1988

J

rings out and everything goes
haywire.
Even the rabbi, usually in-
sulated in his Talmudic tones,
was stunned.
"Who told you" I asked,
hoping for an unreliable
souce.
"A neighbor came by. It was
on the television."
I was hungry for details, but
it was still the Sabbath and I
was at the rabbi's for a
reason. We began to read the
alien Aramaic script. For an
hour, we tried to forget the
world outside, but its vibra-
tions could be felt on every
line we read.
I rushed home, told my
parents the news and begged
them to turn on the TV. They
refused. The spiritual prevail-
ed — at least for one more day.
I missed the famous broad-
cast when Chrles Mitchell,
Ireland's leading newscaster,
read with tears flowing down
his cheeks the news. of Ken-
nedy's death.
Thus we remained in-
sulated in our little world of
the Sabbath.
In the morning, the paper
arrived, but already we sens-
ed it was out of date as events
tumbled hectically one after
the other and speculation ran
rife.
The day passed slowly and
with dread. Being Orthodox
we walked everywhere, so I
had the chance to gawk
fleetingly in shop windows
and briefly hear sounds, from
the televisions and radios.
But nothing was clear.
We waited with impatience
for the Havdalah ceremony
which marks the end of the
Sabbath — just in time for the
6 p.m. news.
As usual, we gathered
around my father. He held an
overflowing wine cup in his
hand; the lights of the room
were put out and we could on-
ly see by the flame of the
braided candle that I held as
"high as I wanted my bride to
be!" We sniffed a box full of
spices to revive our spirits
which, according the mystics,
were weakened by the depar-
ture of the extra soul that had
joined us for the Sabbath.
The words of the service
had a peculiar ring that I was
absorbing subconsciously for
the first time. The words of
the Havdalah prayer stuck
with a new and darker mean-
ing: Hamavdil beyn kodesh
lechol, beyn or lechoschech —
"He who divides between the
sacred and the profane, and
between light and darkness!'
Somewhere deep down —
further down than I could
possibly comprehend at that
moment — as the light of the
candle was extinguished in
the wine, I sensed that those

words no longer contained the
whole story. There was no
easy way to block out the
physical, to make a simple
distinction between the forces
of good and evil.
All that followed in that
decade, therefore, all the
other cruel blows to our hope
and faith, seemed inevitable
and even necessary — certain-
ly lacking in surprise.
No wonder. An emptiness
had begun to creep in — a
feeling that only those who
had hoped for so much only to
have it wrenched away could
ever understand.

NEWS immim's

Anti-Zionist
Changes Tune

New York (JTA) — A top of-
ficial of a Soviet propaganda
organ long critical of the
Jewish emigration movement
has repudiated his group's
work. But a Jewish New York
City councilman nevertheless
is under fire for welcoming
him at a reception here.
Councilman Noach Dear on
Sunday strongly defended his
decision to host a reception
for a visiting Soviet delega-
tion that included Samuil
Zivs, co-chairman of the Anti-
Zionist Committee of the
Soviet Public.
In past visits to the United
States, Zivs has been shunned
by Jewish groups because of
his support of previous
Kremlin policies considered
to violate the rights of Soviet
Jews.
The reception, which took
place Saturday night at the
Park Avenue Atrium in
Manhattan, included a
visiting Soviet delegation of
five, as well as three represen-
tatives of the Soviet Mission
to the United Nations and
Soviet Embassy in
Washington.
Zivs, who was asked to re-
nounce the Anti-Zionist Com-
inittee, did so publicly at the
reception and by telephone to
Malcolm Hoenlein, executive
director of the Conference of
Presidents of Major Anierican
Jewish Organizations.

Plane Crash
Is Investigated

Tel Aviv (JTA) — The Civil
Aviation Administration has
appointed an investigation
team to look into the fatal
crash of a light plane in the
Negev Monday.
The pilot, Boaz Haderi, 24,
and his passenger, Yitzhak
Vaaknin, 56, were killed
when the Cessna aircraft they
were flying in crashed after
taking off from Eilat.

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