On Holidays

Salt Lake Tribune - 12/04/1993
Hanukkah: `Fun, Bright, Festive,' and Significant Jewish Holiday
...``Hanukkah represents the idea that if we are committed to our religion, nothing can stand in our way,'' says Rabbi Benny Zippel, director of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah. ``As we light an additional candle each day, it shows the idea of constant growth in our religious experience. We cannot be complacent in our religion.''
...   Chabad Lubavitch of Utah will hold its Giant Menorah lighting ceremony Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. in the atrium in front of ZCMI II at Foothill Village, 1400 S. Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City. The event features music, dancing and games.
   Because of the popularity of last year's program, Rabbi Zippel says a second Giant Menorah will be placed at the John W. Gallivan Utah Center Plaza in downtown Salt Lake City. Chabad Lubavitch of Utah is a Jewish outreach organization that is part of the New York City-based Hasidic Lubavitcher movement.

Salt Lake Tribune - 12/19/1992
Theme of Dedication Important to Utahns
   ...``The theme of dedication is appropriate at this time of year,'' he said. ``It is a time of dedication to religious ideals, just as the Maccabees were dedicated to preserving the purity of Judaism in their day.''
   Rabbi Benny Zippel, director of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah, said Hanukkah represents the practice of religious freedom. Chabad Lubavitch is a New York City-based Hasidic Jewish movement. The Salt Lake City center is dedicated to strengthening Jewish awareness and identity.

Salt Lake Tribune - 11/26/1994
Candles Pierce Darkness on Jewish Holiday
   ...In Salt Lake City, Chabad Lubavitch of Utah will conduct its annual public Menorah lighting ceremony Sunday at 5:30 p.m. in the ZCMI II Atrium in Foothill Village, 1400 S. Foothill Drive.
   Also, the giant Menorah at the John W. Gallivan Utah Center Plaza in downtown Salt Lake City will be lighted nightly at 6 through the eight days of Hanukkah.
   Last year, the Gallivan Center Menorah was a focal point of dissention. Critics fearing its presence linked religion with Salt Lake City government objected to its presence and demanded its removal. The city refused.

Salt Lake Tribune - 03/30/1996
Passover Marks Israel's Escape From Bondage
   ...The freedom celebrated during Passover is more than an event fixed in time.
   ``The counterpart of the liberation from Egypt is the liberation of the divine soul from the constraints of its physical environment,'' wrote the late Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, spiritual leader of the Hasidic Lubavitcher movement, in remarks printed in the April 1996 issue of The Chabad Times, the newspaper of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah. ``And when it is achieved, as it must be, with the help of God who freed our people from Egypt, and through a life of Torah and Mitzvot, a great spiritual anguish is ended,'' he wrote. ``The inner conflict between what is physical and what is divine in the Jew's nature, is transcended. And then, only then, can he enjoy real freedom, the sense of serenity and harmony which is the prelude to freedom and peace in the world at large.''

Salt Lake Tribune - 09/03/1994
Rosh Hashana Means Reflecting and Paying Dues
   ...Even so, Cliff White, a Salt Lake City businessman and conservative Jew, is troubled by ``a policy that uses a security guard to check to see if you have a ticket before he lets you in.''
   White prefers the ``Lubavitch approach,'' referring to the new Jewish synagogue in Salt Lake.``If someone wants to come and pray, that's the most important thing.''
   Chabad Lubavitch is a missionary Hasidic movement started in Russia 200 years ago. Adherents believe redemption comes from increased observance of Judaic law and tradition. It emphasizes mysticism, prayer, ritual strictness and religious zeal.
   The Lubavitch community is holding high holy days services in its new synagogue at 1433 South 1100 East in Salt Lake. The center was named Bais Menachem in memory of Menachem Schneerson, worldwide leader of the Lubavitch movement who passed away three months ago.
   Their services will follow a strictly Orthodox pattern and will be given in Hebrew. The services are free of charge.    ``If you want to come and pray, all are welcome,'' said White. ``And if you can contribute financially, it would be appreciated.''

Salt Lake Tribune - 04/03/1996
Passover: Dietary Rules Govern Seder
   ...Diana Warsoff and her husband, Arthur also make special preparations for Passover.  Although they are Conservative Jews, they asked Orthodox Rabbi Benny Zippel of Bais Menachen congregation to kosher their kitchen when they moved to Salt Lake City 18 months ago. 
   While it is an ancient ritual, times have changed.
   ``For Passover, I kosher my microwave oven by boiling water in it,'' Warsoff said.

Salt Lake Tribune - 09/07/1996
Shofar Sound Like Cry From The Soul
   ...Rabbi Benny Zippel of Bais Menachim, Utah's only Orthodox congregation, will blow the shofar himself this Friday. He is not a trained musician, but said the key is in the meaning, not the sound.
   ``Being able to play a musical instrument has nothing to do with it,'' Zippel said. ``It is not a matter of blowing skill but concentration and understanding.''
   According to Jewish scholars and prophets, the shofar has multiple uses and analogues:
   — It proclaims the coronation of God as King of the Universe.
   — It awakens Jews to repent and return to God.
   — It reminds believers of the shofar heard at Mt. Sinai, when God gave the Torah to Moses.
   — It represents the simple, primal outcry from the depth of the soul.
   — Because the shofar was blown as a war-alarm when the temple was destroyed, it should remind Jews of the destruction of the temple.
   — Because God used a ram as a substitute sacrifice for Isaac, the ram's horn reminds Jews how Isaac and Abraham were prepared to give up all their hopes and dreams for God's sake.
   — Since the shofar will be blown on the great day of judgment, blowing it now reminds us that every day is a day of judgment.
   — It enlivens faith in the Messiah, who will revive the dead.

Deseret News - Saturday, December 8, 2001

Hanukkah festival is Sunday at WJCC

  ...Rabbi Benny Zippel of Chabad Lubavitch agrees.

   "The message of Hanukkah is the triumph of light over darkness," he said. "September 11 is a demonstration that darkness is still very thick. We need light now more than ever."

   Utah's Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Jews take part in a Hanukkah festival each year at the WJCC. Between 500 and 600 Jews are expected to attend the festivities.

   ...Moshe Yess, a Jewish musician who appeals to both children and adults, will play at Sunday's JCC Hanukkah event. The Hollywood-trained performer has 20 years of musical experience. There will also be singing and dancing.

   ...Chabad Lubavitch of Utah will have candle-lighting events each night and will also seek to involve troubled youth and other such groups during the eight days.

Deseret News - Saturday, March 7, 1998
Purim is a boisterous fest to celebrate Esther's feat
    ...When it comes to a boisterous religious celebration, Purim's hard to beat.
    The ``Feast of Esther'' celebrates the joy of a community whose lives were spared, after they faced certain annihilation at the hands of the ``evil Haman,'' who hated Jews and intended to eradicate them, according to Rabbi Benny Zippel of Chabad Lubavich of Utah and the Bais Menachem synagogue.
    ...The festivities will be raucous and joyful at Bais Menachem, too. According to Rabbi Zippel, the festivities will begin Thursday, March 12, at 5:30 p.m. at the new Jewish Community Center, 2 Medical Drive.
    The reading of the Megillah - the Book of Esther - starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and a program that includes a live klezmer band and a magic show. Reservations can be made by calling 582-0220.
    They will also celebrate with a reading of the Megillah at 7 p.m. the night before, on Wednesday, March 11, at Bais Menachem, 1433 S. 1100 East, as well as a reading Thursday, March 12, at 7 a.m. That will also be held at Bais Menachem.

Deseret News - Saturday, December 13, 2003

Hanukkah feels pull of Christmas undertow

      ...Through the ages, says Rabbi Yossi Mandel of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah, Hanukkah was celebrated more privately, "simply because Jews didn't want to attract attention," because attention sometimes led to persecution. These days, though, Hanukkah is now a public as well as a private celebration.
      In the Salt Lake Valley, that celebration includes Hanukkah on Ice with a menorah lighting at the Kearns Olympic Ice Oval on Sunday, Dec. 21, 3 to 5 p.m. The event is open to the public and includes skating, doughnuts and traditional latkes.