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April 17, 1992 - Image 44

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-04-17

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

PURELY COMMENTARY

MR. AND MRS. MERTZ

and

MR. AND MRS. WEISS

Wish All Our
Friends & Customers
Sincere Best Wishes
for a Happy,
Healthy and
Peaceful
PASSOVER

SHOP

Redemption, Exodus:
The Holiday Theme

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor Emeritus

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44

FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 1992

our Chag Sameach

— "Happy Passover"
noc salutation is the
basic route of our identifica-
tion as Jews. It is the liber-
tarianism that dominates our
history from its very genesis.
It is always recorded with the
Exodus and the principles of
it.
There is always the em-
phasis on Passover as one of
the three Pilgrim Festivals,
together with Shavuot and
Sukkot.
It is because of the
interlinked significance of
the three that this emphasis
is provided as one of the
defined "Jewish concepts"
by Dr. Philip Birnbaum:
The home observance of
the seder and many other
mitzvot has strengthened
family ties and made Jew-
ish home life beautiful.
From the day the Jews
left Egypt and were fash-
ioned into a people out of
a mass of slaves, they
have shared in common
memories and hopes, as
well as an attachment to
their Torah, language and
country. They regarded
the three of these as holy
across the more than thir-
ty centuries of maintain-
ing an existence as a
distinct people.
Most importantly, every-
thing ascribed to the
Passover theme is related to
the exodus and redemption
from Egypt. The major
prayers and religious obser-
vances are always linked
with them.
While we are always under
this influence every time we
recite a prayer or turn to any
page in the siddur or
mahzor, we should be kept
aware of this fact as we ap-
proach the seder table. No
one should ever overlook
this reality as defined by Dr.
Birnbaum:
Though Passover, like
Shavuot and Sukkot, is in
certain respects reminis-
cent of an agricultural
feast, its historical
character as a festival
marking the birth of the
Jewish people is fre-
quently emphasized in the
Torah. Indeed, the Torah
associates the liberation
from Egypt with every
kind of legislation, re-
ligious as well as ethical.
The very Decalogue
begins with a statement

concerning the exodus. In
Deuteronomy 5:15, even
the Sabbath, the most
sacred day in the Jewish
calendar, is connected
with the exodus from

Egypt.

With this historically real-
istic commitment, we turn to
the seder table with the
knowledge that exodus
spells duty. Exodus was
made a subject for pride
when we rescued Ethiopian
Jewry from submission to
tyranny. We are in the pro-
cess of continuing the exodus

Everything related
to the Passover
theme is ascribed
to the exodus and
the redemption
from Egypt.

as fulfilment and as one of
our great mitzvot in the lib-
eration of our fellow Jews
from the former Soviet
Union.
As we celebrate Passover
and rejoice in the seder
lessons, let us keep in mind
that exodus always sym-
bolizes redemption and lib-
eration. Let us turn to the
seder jubilations in the
knowledge that redemption
is a duty never to be shirked.
That's the way of properly
welcoming the great festival
of Passover, lending its pride
and nobility as we greet each
other with Chag Sameach.

Rechevsky's Fame:
Detroit Notoriety

A tribute to the memory of
Samuel Rechevsky, the
champion chess player, who
died April 3 at the age of 80,
would be incomplete without
recording his sensational
beginnings in Detroit.
He came to the United
States in 1921 at the age of
10 and less than a year later
•he and his deeply devoted
Orthodox parents found a
home in Detroit thanks to
the help and encouragement
from Julius Rosenwald, the
famous philanthropist who
founded Sears-Roebuck.
The Rosenwald interest in
Sammy was shared immedi-
ately by Morris Steinberg,
an organizer of chess and
checker clubs and the
publisher of books on the
game. Mr. Steinberg,
together with his brother
Myron, provided all means
available to assure Sanu-ny's

recognition and welcome by
all interested in chess. It was
more than a recognition; he
suddenly became a sensa-
tion.
At the invitation of the
Detroit News and under the
friendship of Morris
Steinberg, Sammy was in-
vited to confront 40 of the
most prominent chess
players in as single meeting
held in the newspaper's con-
ference room. At age 11, on
that occasion, he was in-
troduced to his opponents
seated at the large table re-
quired to accommodate the
participants. He walked
around from player to player
and they all, later, expressed
amazement at how he gain-
ed dominance and beat them
all.
The Detroit triumph by
Sammy Rechevsky was one
of the thousands he acquired
on a global scale with a U.S.
championship achieved
seven times.
Sammy Rechevsky retain-
ed his residence in Detroit
for more than 20 years and
together with his father was
an admired activist in the
Orthodox community. He
remained an Orthodox loyal-
ist all his life. ❑

••••11 NEWS 1

1•""

Moscow Shul
Is Attacked

New York (JTA) — The
Lubavitch synagogue in
Moscow was firebombed,
causing extensive damage
but no casualties.
There was no claim of
responsibility for the attack.
Rabbis Boruch Cunin of
Los Angeles and Joseph
Aronov, of Kfar Chabad in
Israel, both in Moscow, said
workers had been in the
Polyakov Synagogue
finishing a renovation job in
preparation for Passover
when a kerosene bomb was
tossed through a window.
The bomb landed in a front
office in an area where a
rabbi usually sleeps.
Workers put out the flames
but walls were blackened.
The rabbi who sleeps in
that room, Yitzhak Kogan,
had been in St. Petersburg to
supervise the kosher slaugh-
ter of chickens, said Rabbi
Cunin.
The attack was also re-
ported from Kiev by Leonid
Stonov, the chairman of the
Moscow-based International
Bureau on Human Rights.

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