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December 14, 2006 - Image 48

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2006-12-14

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48

December 14 a 2006

:IN

T

his Friday night,
Judaism. On the one hand,
we will light the
the Temple is a physical
first candle on
place; but on the other
the Chanukah menorah.
hand, it is the house of God
Historically, Chanukah
and the center of Jewish
is a holiday that com-
spirituality.
memorates the triumph of
Although, as Jews, we
Judaism's spiritual values
focus on our spirituality, it
as embodied in the Torah
is impossible to completely
over Hellenistic civilization.
abandon the physical
Jere my Liss
Against great odds, the
world. The Temple was cer-
Specia I to the
Maccabees prevailed over
tainly a physical place; but
Jewis h News
the Greeks in a great war.
at the same time, it was the
Despite the Maccabees'
greatest concentration of
miraculous victory, our commemora-
Jewish spirituality in the world.
tion of Chanukah concentrates on the
While the Temple may no longer
miracle of the menorah and the oil.
exist, the lighting of the menorah each
Even though there was only enough oil Chanukah reminds us of this delicate
to light the menorah in the Temple for
balance between the physical and the
a single day, that small amount of oil
spiritual and of the ultimate victory of
lasted eight days until more oil could
the spirit. ❑
be produced.
Why is the menorah the focus and
Jeremy Liss, 15, of Southfield is a 10th-
the outer manifestation of Chanukah,
grade student at the Frankel Jewish
rather than the military victory?
Academy in West Bloomfield.
In this week's special Haftorah for
Chanukah, an angel shows Zechariah
Conversations
a vision of a menorah between two
Coniider other manifestations in
olive trees. The angel explains to
the Bible (the burning bush, the
Zechariah that "not through army and
water from the rock, etc.) that
not through strength but through My
show our stress on the spiritual
spirit" will the Temple be rebuilt.
over the physical.
The angel's message is that, as Jews,
our focus should be on God, the spiri-
tual. Therefore, we concentrate on the
Cantors To Perform
more spiritual aspect of Chanukah, the The JMCA Cantors Association
miracle of the oil, rather than the more of America and the Cantors
historical aspect of the holiday, a mili-
Conservatory of Tucson will present
tary victory.
a program of cantorial selections and
Later, the angel explains that the two
informative discussions 7 p.m. Sunday,
olive trees that Zechariah sees symbol-
Dec. 17, at Congregation B'nai Moshe
ize "the two anointed men who are
in West Bloomfield. Cantors Earl
standing by the Lord of all the land."
Berris, David Montefiore and others
Rashi clarifies that these two men are
will perform.
the king and the high priest who were
Visiting Detroit from Israel and tell-
both anointed with olive oil.
ing their stories will be representatives
Once again, we have the idea of the
Moti Sender and Rivka Goldschmidt
physical, the king, and the spiritual,
of the former Gush Katif-Ganei Tal.
the high priest. This time, however,
They will recount their experiences
the ideas are placed side by side. Why
with the Gaza disengagement, where
are the two aspects of Judaism placed
they lost their homes and their
together in Zechariah's vision?
attempts to rebuild in Yad Binyamin.
In the vision, between the two olive
There is no charge for the con-
trees is a menorah. This symbolizes
cert. Voluntary contributions will be
the Temple, which is a balance between accepted. For information, call Dr.
the physical and spiritual sides of
Gerald H Katzman, (248) 330-0941.

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