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September 26, 2003 - Image 132

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-26

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Arts & Life

The Best Of Everything

Talking Or No-Talking?

Call your shot for the best High Holiday synagogue seats.

Even Jack Gorov thought seriously of
getting into the mushroom synagogue
act with his Wilshire Motor Sales in
Detroit on Dexter ... but his showroom
was considered too small ... and whoever
heard of inviting folks to come in for a
test prayer?"
Basements in homes were available ...
at a price ... for "small gatherings" ... but
those "small gatherings" usi laity turned
into much standing room only ... and
with no air conditioning or windows to
open they were disasters ... But what
came first, asked the homeowner ... com-
fort in prayer or them making money
THE YOM KIPPUR Night dance at
one time held annually in the Jewish
community here was a tradition that
young folks thought would never end.
In fact, no one ever really knew why
they stopped.
They served such a wonderful purpose
in bringing people together ... always-
crowded events eagerly awaited by so
The rhythmic strains of local bands
seemed like Pied Piper music as friend-
ships blossomed ... love bloomed ... and
the Day of Atonement ended on such
happy notes.
IT WAS AT one of the Yom Kippur
Night dances that she walked in wearing
a polka dot dress.
Wow, he thought, what a dish! ... And
it didn't take long before he got himself
introduced to her.
They danced and danced and danced
... even when the music stopped ... into
each other's heart.
He was so handsome in his army uni-
form with the two stripes on his left arm
... and both seemed to know right then
and there that someday they would
become man and wife ... Which they
In the first year of their marriage, he
went overseas ... and wrote that he
would count the seconds until returning
to hold her in his arms again.
But the plane on which he was a gun-
ner was shot down ... and he was listed
as missing in action.
One day a knock came on her door ...
It was Western Union with a telegram ...
Her hands shook as she opened it ... and
read the wire with tears streaming down
her face.
Tears of joy ... "May I have the next
dance?" it asked.
TIME WAS WHEN Jewish inmates
at Michigan prisons like the formerly
named Jackson State Prison that became
State Prison of Southern Michigan ... '
and in 1997, Southern Michigan
Correctional Facility (SMCF) ... always



ow that Rosh Hashanah and
Yom Kippur are here and the
scurrying for synagogue "best
seats in the house" have
passed ... the thought comes as to
whether or not something like this will
ever happen.
From readers Melissa Litvin, Avery
Warnick and others comes this interest-
ing bit ...
In order to prepare the seating
arrangements for the High Holidays,
synagogue searing request forms
would be printed for the many indi-
viduals who expressed concern over
seating arrangements at their syna-
So people may be placed in a seat
which will best suit them, they would
be asked to complete something like
the following questionnaire ... circling
their preferences and returning it to
the synagogue office:
1. I would prefer to sit in the (circle
one): talking section or no-talk-
ing section
2. If talking, which category do
you prefer? (Indicate order of
interest): stock market, sports,
medicine, congregant's secret
medical tragedies, general gos-
sip; or specific gossip (choose):
the rabbi, the rabbi's wife, the
cantor, fashion news, what oth-
ers are wearing, why they look
awful, your neighbors, your rel-
atives, your neighbors' relatives,
sex (state preference), who's
cheating on or having an affair
with whom.
3. Which of the following would
you like to sit near for free pro-
fessional advice? ... Doctor,
dentist, nutritionist, psychia-
trist, child psychiatrist, mother-
in-law, podiatrist, chiropractor,
stockbroker, accountant, civil
lawyer, criminal lawyer, real
estate agent, architect, plumber,
buyer (specify store), sexologist,
golf pro.
4. I want a seat located (indicate
order of priority): On the aisle,
near the exit, near the window,
in Aruba, near the bathroom,
near my in-laws, as far away
from my in-laws as possible,
near the pulpit, near the kid-



dush table, near single
your submissions highly enter-
men, near available
taining and we look forward to
women, near anyone
seating each and every one of
who's available — I'm
you in the synagogue's 900
just not particular,
aisle seats.
where no one on the
YEARS BACK, mushroom
bimah can see or hear
synagogues for the High
me talking during
Holidays sprung up at the
services, where no one
most unlikely places ... Like the
will notice me sleep-
time when the Star Recreation
ing during services,
in Detroit on Linwood and
Local Columnist
where I can sleep dur-
Blaine, owned by Henry
ing the rabbi's sermon
Abrams, father of the former
(additional charge).
Oak Park councilman and last year's
5. I would like a seat where: I can
mayor pro-tem Ray Abrams, and partner
not see my spouse over the
Tom Zientek, was the site of services.
mechitzah, I can see my friend's
Few who saw the closed awning can
spouse over the mechitzah, my
forget it inviting folks to "come in and
spouse cannot see me looking
play billiards" ... (No, the ticket prices
at my friend's spouse over the
did not include snooker or eight-ball.)
Sometime before that, Henry and
6. Please do not place me anywhere Tom had a Star of David in gold letter-
near the following people:
ing on the window ... but a rabbi came
(Limit of six. If you require
and said there was no way that a Star of
more space, you may wish to
David can be on a pool hall window ...
consider joining another con-
So they inserted the word "Star" instead
... Does that mean having High Holiday
7. If you would like us to tell your
services was OK, but not a Star of
in-laws that there are no more
David? ... Hmm!
seats available, please let us
Catering halls were much-wanted sites
know. (There is an extra charge
for High Holiday prayers ... and kosher
of $100 for this service.)
caterers like Larry Horowitz, Bill Kozin,
Heartfelt thanks to the three fami-
etc., stopped at little to make their places
lies (you know who you are) who
desired spots ... (Menus not included in
submitted their reservation forms
the ticket prices.)
without editorial comment, without
Although catering halls turned a neat
special seating requests, without
profit, restaurants were considered off
drawing seating diagrams and with-
limits because of the feeling that some
out citing Supreme Court precedent.
crumbs might still be hiding in cracks ...
and this wouldn't sit very well on Yom
As for the rest of you, we found

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