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February 22, 1991 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-02-22

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

NOTEBOOK

EBEL

Looking For Miracles
On Holiday Of Purim

the architects of time

have increased their retail prices
up to 20% as of February 15, 1991.

GARY ROSENBLATT

Editor

Robert Alexander Jewelers

has the largest selection
of EBEL watches
in the Detroit area

AT THE OLD PRICES!!

Which, at Robert Alexander Jewelers,
have always been a bargain!
Now is also the time to come in and talk about
upgrading your existing EBEL-
adding a new dial, diamond dial, diamond bezel.

SALE ENDS MARCH 2nd

Sale on current stock only for the length of the sale. No special orders.

Robert ALEXANDER

Jewelers

AWARDED CERTIFICATE BY GIA IN DIAMOND GRADING

32419 Northwestern Highway Farmington Hills, Michigan 48334
Located between Middlebelt and Fourteen Mile Road
313.855-0040 Hours: Monday-Saturday 10.5 Thursday 10.8
A Third Generation of Quality and Tradition in Diamonds and Diamond Jewelry, passed down from Norman Allan

1984 500 SL Signal Red wlTan, 2 tops, A.C., phone,
new style alloy, just arrived
1986 420 SEL Gold metallic, books and records,
MUST BE SEEN
1987 XJSC Champagne/Brown leather, wire wheels,
A.C., LOW MILES
1956 THUNDERBIRD Peacock blue, fully-restored,
body-off restoration

B"H

$24,750.

S21,750.

$21,700.

$34,750.

Contact BILL or DOUG ZIEGENBEIN

548-8911

MOTORS Ltd.

31675 Stephenson Hwy., Madison Heights

Between 13 and 14 Mile Roads

Specialties

11, PURIM IS COMING ...
... FEBRUARY 28TH tt
CELEBRATE THE "SIMCHA"

eautiful
liountiful

B

BASKETS & TRAYS
FOR EVERYONE!

KOSHER-PAREVE

Under supervision of the
Council of Orthodox Rabbis

932-4161

Local & Nationwide Delivery

20

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1991

It began when
my nine-year-old
son came home
with a joke he
heard in school.
How is Sad-
dam Hussein dif-
ferent from
Haman, the villain of the
Purim story?
With Haman, went the an-
swer, first we hung him and
then we put on masks .. .
Pretty sophisticated, I
thought, for a fourth-grader.
And then I took a closer look
at the Book of Esther, which
we will be reading next
Wednesday night as we
usher in the holiday of
Purim, and was struck by
the relevance of the megila
in light of the current Gulf
war.
The Book of Esther is the
most modern of the 24 books
of the Bible, not only
chronologically but in its
story and tone. For cen-
turies, rabbis have discussed
why God's name does not
appear even once in the
story. One answer is that in
post-biblical times, when
God no longer reveals
Himself to us directly, we
must search for His
miracles.
A skeptic would call them
coincidences — whether they
involve Esther, a Jewess, be-
ing chosen as queen of Per-
sia, or an Iraqi Scud missile
landing in a small vacant
lot, within yards of heavily
populated apartment
houses, in 1991 Tel Aviv.
Some of us read of the
many near-misses in Tel
Aviv, the missile attacks
that have produced relative-
ly few deaths and serious in-
juries, and call it luck. But
who is to say these are not
miracles?

A primary theme of Purim
is to reflect on the ironies of
life and to celebrate God's
intervention on our behalf.
A key phrase in Megillat
Esther is venahafach hu, lit-
erally "turned upside
down," referring to how, on
the 13th day of Adar, when
the Jews were to be executed
at Haman's command, the
opposite happened. Haman
was hung and the Jews
prevailed. (Esther, 9:1)
As a result, we celebrate
on Purim by making merry,
even being told to drink
enough so that we cannot

distinguish between blessed
Mordechai and cursed
Haman.
The Purim story can be
read as farce, with the wick-
ed Haman, clever Mordechai
and beautiful Esther one-
dimensional characters in a
carefully crafted melodra-
ma. But that is to misread
the eternal examples of
human nature: of Haman
who comes to hate the entire
Jewish people because one
Jew refuses to bow down to
him; of Mordechai, who
warns Queen Esther not to
think for a moment that she
will be spared in a pogrom, if
it comes; and of Esther, who
sought prayer and counsel
before approaching the King
with her people's destiny in
her hands.
How were the Jews in-
structed to mark their

In the end, Saddam
Hussein will suffer
the fate of many
Hamans before
him.

triumph over Haman? By
feasting and expressing joy,
but also by giving tzedakah
and mishloach manot, send-
ing food to the poor.
Now, once again, the Jew-
ish people are under threat
of destruction by a modern-
day Haman simply because
they are Jews. And just as
Queen Esther was forced to
intercede on behalf of her
people, in this war Israel is
putting her fate in the hands
of the Bush administration
and its coalition for protec-
tion — at least for now.
In this war of venahafach
hu, of topsy turvy ironies for
Israel, Jews head from Tel
Aviv to Gaza for safety,
peaceniks support the war,
and the army is praised for
not fighting.
Locked in their sealed
rooms, separated from socie-
ty, Israelis have only inten-
sified their feelings of
closeness for each other as
they endure this nightmare.
In the end, though, the
forces of good will again
triumph over those of evil,
and Saddam Hussein will
suffer the fate of many
Hamans before him. And
once again we will celebrate.
The message of Purim re-
mains clear: God's presence
in history is real. We need
only seek out the miracles
and we will find them. 0

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