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December 06, 1991 - Image 46

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-12-06

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

Welcome to our new friends
in Oak Park and Southfield:

Jodi & Alan Adelman
Miriam & Chanoch Bresler
Debra & Raymond Barron
Stacey & Michael Byck
Donna & Jeffrey Cantor
Sara & Michael Eisemann
Galina & Yosef Feldman
Susan & Steven Friedman
Laurie & Phil Goldmeier
Robin & Harry Greenblatt
Miriam & David Kagan
Dina & Semyon Kostinsky
Mark Kushelman
Natalie & Sheldon Lempert
Denise & Arthur Levenson

Miriam & Menachem Levin
Sara & Kenneth Magier
Shelly & Mike Metzger
Janis & David Moss
Gila & Sasson Natan
Susan & Harry Nanes
Avigail & Aryeh Posner
Aviva & David Rider
Beverly & Les Raphael
Ivy & Larry Rood
Maya & Alexander Sigal
Lori & Glenn Taylor
Nancy & Louis Weinstein
Rivka & Arnon Wexler
Peggy Zlatkin

Chanukah Lights
Renew Our Faith

RABBI IRWIN GRONER

Special to The Jewish News

0

T HE

0 ny
it o 0

You, too, may be able to join your friends
in Oak Park or Southfield with
the help of The Neighborhood Project.

c>, o

For information call 967-1112.

SPONSORED BY THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF METROPOLITAN DETROIT

Announcing The Opening
Of A Novi Office

For

Geoffrey Trivax, M.D.
Daniel. Panush, M.D.
Keith Pierce, M.D.

In The

Providence Medical Center

39500 W. 10 Mile Road
Novi, Michigan 48375

442-0410

CUSTOM MIRRORS BY
GlasCrafters, Inc.

• Etched glass

• Shower

• Custom Railings enclosures
Mirrored
• Glass furniture • Walls & Doors

HOLIDAY SALE
25% DISCOUNT

1042 Benstein Road / Suite 107 / Walled Lake

46

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1991

855-5887

n Friday night before
the Sabbath, we light
the sixth Chanukah
candle. The rabbis of old had
a dispute about the manner of
lighting the Chanukah
candles. The school of Sham-
mai asserts: "The number is
successively decreased. One
begins with eight candles on
the first night, seven on the
second, and so on until the
last night, one candle is lit."
The school of Hillel states:
"The number is successively
increased, beginning with
one candle on the first night,
two on the second, until we
conclude with eight on the
last night."
When the sages of ancient
Israel disagree, their posi-
tions embody views on broad
questions, stances toward life.
• The school of Shammai
were hard-headed realists,
while the school of Hillel were
idealists. The controversy bet-
ween these two is as yet un-
concluded, for in one way or
another, each of us must
choose sides.
For the support of his view,
the realist can point to an
undeniable aspect of ex-
perience. In the world of
physical nature, the law of
diminution holds sway. The
tallest candle eventually
burns out.- The hardest, most
durable substance eventually
disintegrates. Everything
ultimately wears out. There-
fore, Shammai argues, we
begin with eight candles and
end with one.
This process can be seen no
less in the human sphere.
Whether we consider mar-
riage, education or a career, is
it not true that these are
launched in a bright glow of
enthusiasm and high resolve,
but the years take their toll,
and the radiance of the begin-
ning is extinguished.
King Solomon, the Midrash
tells us, wrote the "Song of
Songs," that rapturous poem
to the glories of love and
springtime, in his youth. In
the winter of his' life, he penn-
ed that sad dirge on the
vanities of life that we call Ec-
. clesiastes. So, if we are to be
realists, the law must be that
the candles burn out one by
one.
So far, the reasoning of Bet
Shammai, and who can deny
its cogency? But Jewish prac-

Irwin Groner is senior rabbi
at Congregation Shaarey
Zedek.

tice does not conform to this
theory. Instead of decreasing
the lights, we follow the opi-
nion of Bet Hillel, and we in-
crease them. Why?
In order to understand this
decision, we turn to a fun-
damental belief which ex-
plains it. Jewish faith is Mes-
sianic. The Jewish heritage
does not only look back to the
great and glorious past of the
Patriarchs, of Moses and the
Prophets. Jewish faith also
bears a vision of redemption.
From the beginning, vision
was linked to a future
brighter and more luminous
than either the past or the
present. The cultures of an-
cient man believed that the
world was sliding downhill;
that the Golden Age was
somewhere in the remote
past; and that mankind was
in a state of progressive
decline. But the Bible pro-
claimed a doctrine of hope —
hope for man, hope for the
world, hope for the realization

.

Shabbat Miketz
Gen. 41:1-44:17
Num. 28:9-15
Num. 7:42-47
Zachariah: 2:14-4:7

of our highest ideals. The
beliefs that a future of
greatness and glory was in
store for the Jewish people
.gave meaning to their strug-
gle and purpose to their
travail. The great days for
Israel and mankind lay ahead
of them, not behind them. In
the past, only a privileged few
were favored with the gift of
prophecy. In days to come, the
prophet declared: "I, the
Lord, shall pour out My spirit
on all flesh, and your sons
and daughters shall prophesy.
Your old shall dream dreams
and your young shall see
visions."
We celebrate Chanukah
this year in a mood of concern
and uncertainty. American
policy on the peace process in
the Middle East reflects, in
some instances, a disregard
for Israel's legitimate con-
cerns. Russian Jews continue
to pour into Israel, and World
Jewry is called upon to redou-
ble its efforts on behalf of this
miracle of our time. Anti-
Semitism manifestations are
increasing in the U.S. and
around the world. As Jews, we
continue to struggle with the
internal dangers of inter-
marriage, assimilation and
guidance.
In the midst of these

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