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May 10, 1968 - Image 21

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-05-10

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Weekly Religious Quiz

What Is the basis for observing
the Yahrzeit, the anniversary of
the death of one's parents?
Some attempt to find the basis
of this custom in the Talmudic
passage (Kidushin 31b) which
states that as much as it is re-
quired to honor one's father and
mother during their lifetimes, so
is it a requirement to honor them
after they have passed away. Ob-
serving the Yahrzeit is thus a
means of honoring one's parents
after they have passed on. Maimo-
nides in his commentary of the
Tractate Abot (otherwise known as
the Ethics of the Fathers) is
quoted as saying "The one who
loves doesn't forget and the one
who forgets does not love." Re-
membering one's parents every
year on the anniversary of their
death would be a means of ex-
pressing our love in the sense that
we demonstrate the fact that we
indeed have not forgotten them —
remembering even the regrettable
day of their demise. The Talmud
(Berakot 58b) states that the de-
ceased is not forgotten until twelve
months have passed and from that
time he begins to be forgotten.
This opinion is based on a passage
in the Book of Psalms which says:
"I am forgotten as a dead man out
of the heart; I am become like a
perishable vessel" (Psalms 31:13).
Some commentaries translate the
latter phrase to be a "lost vessel."
On this basis the Halahic principle
of the Talmud is recalled which
states that after twelve months
have passed the owner of a lost
article may be considered to have
renounced his ownership for all in-
tents and purposes. Remembering
one's parent by observing the anni-
versary of his death, is thus a
means demonstrating that even
though twelve months have passed
from the death or from the last an-
niversary, he has indeed not been
What do the different names
mean which are assigned to this
Our popular colloquial term is
"Yahrzeit," which means "a year's
time." The reason for this name is
obvious and requires no explana-
tion. In older sources this date was
called "Yom Hamisah" which
means the day of death." What is
interesting is the more recent term
used by people in Israel, "Yom
Haskavah." This could technically
mean the "day of lying down," or
in a more sophisticated translation
the "day of rest." Some trace this
to the attempt of the Talmud
(Baba Batra 116a) to see the ex-
pression of "rest" in reference to
one's death as a symbol of honor
and distinction. There is a verse
in the Bible (I Kings 11:21) which
speaks of David as having been
placed at rest while Joab is re-
ferred to simply as having died.
* * *
Why is it a custom to announce
the exact time of the New Moon
on the Sabbath before its appear-
Basically, this is in commemora-
tion of the practice of Beth Din in
Jerusalem in the days of the Tem-
ple of old when a messenger would
be sent from the Rabbinical Court
to the people to announce the ap-
pearance of the new moon which
had been witnessed by two spe-
cially designated witness. The Rab-
binic tradition considers this a
means of expressing the ideal that
man is the master of time and that,
therefore, the Rabbinic Court, the
agent of man in the form of the
community, has the responsibility
of declaring the coming of the new
month. Some commentaries con-
sider it important to know the ex-
act time of the appearance of the
new moon in order to ascertain
when the prayers of sanctification
for the new moon are to be recited.
According to one opinion in the

The monarch oak, the patriarch of
the trees,
Shoots rising up, and spreads by
slow degree:
Three centuries he grows, and
three he stays
Supreme in state; and in three
more decays.



(Copyright 1968, JTA Inc.)

Jewish Code of Law (Shulhan
Arukh, Orah Hayyim 426:'2), it is
forbidden to offer the sanctifica-
tion prayer until seven days have
passed since the moon's first ap-
pearance. It has been suggested
that knowing the time of the ap-
pearance of the new moon is a
key to the establishment of the
exact time of the beginning of a
season. It was considered a virtu-
ous act to reckon the time periods
of the various seasons so as to
come to realize the great Provi-
dence of the Almighty in directing
the affairs of the Universe and,
at the same time, making it pos-
sible for mortal man to discover
the great formulae involved.
* * •
Why does the text of prayer
offered for a sick person ask



Friday, May 10, 1968-21

Eilat-Ashdod Pipeline to Be Started Soon

for a recovery to be sent to him
from Heaven?
Basically, man realizes that only
God in Heaven can lend His heal-
ing grace to the afflicted. Thus,
man expresses his utter helpless-
ness in pleading for a recovery to
be sent from Heaven. Furthermore,
some have said that the heaven
represents a sense of peace and
harmony between two conflicting
elements—i.e., fire and water. The
human body may be said to be
diseased when its elements are
out of balance and not in. harmony
with each other. The prayer for the
ill thus asks the Almighty to re-
store the balance and harmony be-
tween the elements of the human
body just as He balances the op-
posing elements in the skies to
bring peace into the Heavens.

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

TEL AVIV — Construction is ex-
pected to begin soon on an oil pipe-
line from Eilat on the Gulf of
Aqaba to the port of Ashdod on the
Mediterranean, according to Ta-
hal, Israel's water planning com-
pany. Construction costs are esti-
mated at $113,000,000.
Tahal revealed it had completed
a survey for the 42-inch pipeline
which will shorten the oil route
from points east of Suez to Euro-
pean ports by some 12,500 miles.
Previously, with the Suez Canal
closed, ships transporting oil from
the Red Sea to European ports
were required to round the African
continent via the Cape of Good
Hope, a journey of close to 22,000

miles. With the new pipeline, row-
ever, the trip can be cut down to
about 9,500 miles.
In its first stage of construc-
tion, estimated at an invested
cost of $60,000,000, the pipeline
would be able to carry 20,00,000
tons of oil per year. However,
when the accessories are in-
stalled, including pressure equip-
ment and a pumping station, the
trans-Negev pipeline will be able
to pump three times as much to
the Mediterranean port.
According to Tahal, the opening
of the Suez Canal, if and when that
occurs, would not preclude the
usage of the new pipeline since the
canal is considered too narrow
and shallow for big oil tankers.



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