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September 06, 2002 - Image 54

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-09-06

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

RECYCLE
YOUR
BAR/BAT
MITZVAH
STUFF FOR
A GOOD
CAUSE

Tight Wad Dad is
looking for your
Bar/Bat Mitzvah
leftovers:
printed
yarmulkes,
napkins,
t-shirts
"give-away"
stuff, etc.

For JET'S upcoming
Bar Mitzvah season
celebration,

Sunday,
Nov. 3rd
2002

You've never seen a
Bar Mitzvah like
this before...
Trust Us!!!
No donation too
weird or small
248.788.2900

P.S. JET is a 501c-
not-for-profit
corporation in case
that kind of stuf
matters to you.

9/ 6
2002

54

OTHER VIEWS

What Grandparents Want

Salem, Mass.
ery few people know that
the second day of Rosh
Hasha-nah on Sunday, Sept.
8, is also National
Grandparents Day in America. A
pity, I think, and not because it
might raise the sales of greetings
cards, candy or flowers.
President Jimmy Carter, in 1978,
proclaimed National Grandparents
Day for celebration every year on the
first Sunday after Labor Day.
Even if this seems to be a national
holiday without many celebrants, we
can at least ask one basic question:
What do grandparents wish from
their grandchildren?
The answer is time and memories.
They wish their grandchildren would
spend time with them while they are
alive and remember them when they
are gone.
A grandparent's love for grandchil-
dren is most often an intense _passion.
Those who don't care to see their

Dov Burt Levy is a writer dividing his
year between Israel and the United
States, which happens to be where his
grandchildren live. His e-mail is:
dblevy@columnist.com.

grandchildren, to hold and
I remember watching my
marvel at them, are in a small
friend, Marty, in Jerusalem,
minority.
a crusty and cynical guy in
Pretentious, workaholic men
his last years, as he fed his 2-
and women have been known
year-old grandson: his face
to lay down on the floor for
shone, his eyes gleamed, his
hours at a time, playing blocks
mouth puckered and smiled.
with a small grandchild.
The boy, in return, gave
DOV BURT Marty his full attention and
Few novels feature grand-
LEVY
parent-grandchildren themes.
ate with joy and smiles.
Special
However, listen to Simon
Until about age 6, grand-
Commentary
Katz; the despicable con man
children accept all the. atten-
character in British writer
tion and affection we have to
Bernard Kops' novel, Settle Down
give. I think we had trouble loving
Simon Katz:
our own children in the same unqual-
Katz has only one redeeming fea-
ified way. We were often very busy
ture, his intense love for his grand-
when our own children were growing
daughter. He never worked an honest
up. They may have been joys, but
day in his life; he scams his son,
were also burdensome to our time,
harasses his daughter-in-law, refuses
careers and money. And though we
to pay bills and kicks his cat daily.
loved and cared about them deeply,
But about his granddaughter, he
we could not give them the unquali-
says, "Being Sharon's grandfather was
fied attention we give now to our
preferable to any other occupation in
grandchildren.
the world. As he imagined the face of
When we were between the ages of
Sharon, he could not help himself
20 and 40, we did not dwell on our
kissing the photograph of Betty [his
children as our posterity. We were our
dead wife] ... the spitting image of
own future. We had little sense of our
own mortality. We lived, as Zorba the
the child, the same smiling face, the
same eyes ... 'Sharon,' He spoke her
Greek advocated, as if we would live
forever.
name aloud ... his most beautiful and
only grandchild."
Grandchildren, after they start talk-

A Rosh Hashanah Parable

New York

abbi Levi Yitzchak of
Berditchev was asked:
"What is the right spiritual
path, that of sorrow or that
of joy?" He replied: "There are two
kinds of sorrow and two kinds of joy.
When a man broods over the misfor-
tunes that have come upon him, it is
a bad kind of sorrow. But the grief
that comes when a man knows what
he has lost is honest and good.
"The same is true of joy. One who
chases empty pleasures is a fool. But
one who is truly joyful is like a man
who is rebuilding his house after a
fire. He feels his need deep in his
soul, and with each stone laid, his
heart rejoices."
On Sept. 11, we will mark the
yahrtzeit [anniversary] of the thou-
sands of Americans who perished in

R

Rabbi Daniel S. Brenner is a senior

teaching fellow at CLAL-The National
Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.
His e-mail address is dbrenner@claiorg

extended family.
senseless acts of terror. Each
month of this coming year,
Many Challenges
yahrtzeit candles will be lit too
We'll need to retain this
in the homes of hundreds of
sense of unity, both as Jews
Israeli families who lost loved
and as Americans, to meet
ones to the bombs and bullets
some of the tough chal-
of terrorists.
lenges that lie ahead.
But while this past year was
RABBI
In Israel, there are serious
a time of sorrow, it was not a
DANIEL S.
concerns about military
time of despair.,
BRENNER
strategy, fences, settlements,
Americans came together in
Special
leadership, human rights,
public ways to affirm our
Commentary
democracy, religious diversi-
commitment to freedom and
ty, economics and the envi-
our resolute strength in the
ronment.
face of those who threaten our secu-
In America, we face many ques-
rity.
tions about trust in government, civil
National unity and civic pride
liberties, security and shifting politi-
moved to the forefront, with a dis-
cal alliances. With such a diversity of
play of patriotism not seen in many
opinion on all of these issues, there is
years.
both potential for undermining the
During the last two years, Jewish
profound" unitythat we have forged
unity was at its strongest- since the
and the potential to form creative
1972 Yom Kippur War. Rabbis and
ways of imagining the future.
other Jewish leaders put aside long-
If, according to the parable, true
standing divisions to respond to the
joy is like rebuilding after a fire, then
crisis at hand. Thousands of Jews
it will be in the process of rebuilding
came together to support Israel and
that we'll find our new year's bless-
provide for the basic needs of our

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