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September 20, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-09-20

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Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with issue of Juin 20, 1951

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Member American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers. Michigan Press Association, National Editorial Association.
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17515 W. Nine iMle. Suite 865, Southfield, Mich. 48075.
Second-Class Postage Paid at Southfield, Michigan and Additional Mailing Offices. Subscription $10 a year.


Editor and Publisher


Business Manager


Advertising Manager

Shabbas Shuva Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the fifth day of Tishri, 5735, the following scriptural selections
will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Deut. 31:1-30. Prophetical. portions, Hosea 14:2-10, Micah
7:18-20, Joel 2:15-27.
Yom Kippur Scriptural Selections
Pentateuchal portions: Morning, Leviticus 16:1-34, Numbers, 20:7-11 afternoon.
Leviticus 18:1-20.
Prophetical portions: Morning, Isaiah 57:14-58:14; afternoon, Jonah 1:1-4:11,
Micah 7-18-20.
September 20, 1974
Page Four
VOL. LIM. No. 2

The Confessionals of Yom Kippur


No one is absolved from atonement.
No one is free from sin.
Confessionals are for all, the faithful and the faithless, the believing and the skeptics.
Reciting the series of al heths (for the sins we havO committed . . . ) guilt, the singly
committed and the communally suffered, the confessor primarily examines his own soul, his
personal shortcomings, in anguish that leads to admission of failures to be consonant with
Al heth is related to the ancient definition:
On this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins
shall ye be clean before the Lord. Lev. 16:30.
How does one atone without cynicism, when there is so much to be cynical about?
In a world in travail, it is fortunate to be able to generate sufficient
patience not to become distemperate. This, too spells another al heth in a
period of extreme sanctity.
But how does one atone without anger, when, in mankind, there is such great need for com-
passion, in a sphere with evidence of people with much affluence begrudging the less
affluent the right to live?
Israel is an example, her neighbors are the proof of the greed and the passions and
the scramble for power.
They have everything — territory, wealth from oil, large populations, the submis-
sion of many nations to their whims and demands . . . They need literacy and health
for their own oppressed masses, but the powers for which the potentates crave
are more valuable than the needs of suffering hordes of people . .
And Israel is the victim! How, under such circumstances, does one atone for his own sins,
when the misdeeds of his neighbors are so monumental?
How, then, dbes one afflict himself with an al heth in the minds of the nations of the
world that give comfort to those who would deprive the most modest confessor of the right
even to confess?


The al heth list is a long one in the Mahzor . . . It grows with the massive guilts,
with governmental, inadequacies, with the Watergates and the amnesties and
the pardons — all for the mighty, so little for the meek and the lowly.
In such a world the duties of the atonement are so much vaster — because one atones
not for himself but for all mankind — and the hope is that the conscience of mankind will
awaken . . .
What are the penalties for sinning? Is there an amnesty for the guilty? How forgiving
can a people be and whence comes absolution?
Often a people can be subjected to greater compulsion to atone than an individual
.. . Witness the Nazi era and the German people .. . In the accounting there is a
judging of the powerful who permit the ends to justify the means . . . In treating
human values there are the blunders that are inevitable but are condoned in the
interest of good will and expedience.
How multiple are the sins committed forexpediency's sake? How brutal are the yields
to aggrandisement?
How does a community avoid the sin of yielding to edifice complexes when so much
more attention is needed to elevate the spiritual standards of the people?
Is absolution possible in the process of pardoning when pardoning is excessive and
Who has the right to pardon when the sin 'calls for punishment?
An age of challenge confronts the powerful as well as the meek. Justice is often sub-
dued, yet the human values will not be abandoned to brutalities and to the jungle .. .



How does a people atone for a lack of vision in time of crisis . . . and is
expiation possible for having ignored the Psalmist's warning: "Place not your
trust in princes" (Ps. 146:3).
Many are the sinners . . . too few the atoning . . . too risky the pardons . . . too blind
those who do not differentiate between the human values and the rule of the jungle . o
From the synagogue to the home to the community, the worshiper turns toward a new
era, in the realization that atonement is not one day alone but for all time .. The duty to
respect life, to honor oneself by honoring fellow man is supreme . . . With expiation of sin
comes the pardon rooted in justice. Unless one can atone for himself, expiate sin for self-
pardoning, the process is futile. Having overcome the futility, man rises above beast, retain-
ing a place of conscience and self-respect. There are high goals to be attained. The self-
respect embedded in atonement may be the means towards the high goal.


Wealth of Jewish Folklore

Nahmad's Notable Collection
of Traditional Jewish Parables

Jewish folklore is rich in legends, parables and the words of
wisdom gathered from the sages.
A remarkable collection of such tales has just been issued in
paperback by Schocken Books. In "A Portion in Paradise and Other
Jewish Folktales," compiled by H. M. Nahmad, the reader will find
a veritable treasure of traditional stories.
Here is one of these typical parables, which the compiler included
under the title "Modesty and Wisdom":
"Rabbi Akiba once had a pearl of very high price to sell. but he
could find no one to buy it. As he was walking through the town
market with some of his pupils, he was approached by a hungry-
looking man in tattered clothes who said that he wanted to buy the
pearl at the price asked. He asked the rabbi to accompany him to
his house, where he would pay him the money and take the pearl.
Akiba was extremely puzzled at this but said nothing: with his
pupils he followed the man home. On approaching, they saw a
palatial building richly furnished and with many servants. The man
took the pearl, paid the money to Rabbi Akiba, and invited him
and his pupils to stay for a meal. After they had eaten and drunk
their fill, Rabbi Akiba expressed surprise at his host's actions and
behavior, and asked their meaning.
"Wealth and riches are not enduring," was the reply. "Today I
am rich in worldly possessions. Tomorrow I may lose everything
and become a pauper. No man should be proud and boast of his
riches. I go about in ragged clothes and keep the company of the
poor and the disposesed so that, should my fortunes suddenly
change, I will not be dismayed at my reduced circumstances."
"Thereupon Rabbi Akiba blessed his host for his wisdom and
The significance of Nahmad's researched accomplishment becomes
evident in the sources and the titles of the chapters into which he had
gathered the pearls of Iparabled wisdom. They include: "Tales of the
Prophet Elijah," "Tales of David and Solomon," "The Wisdom and the
Folly of Women," "The Righteous and the Poor," "Tales of Wit and
Wisdom" and "The Golem."
These folktales and 'parables evidence the wealth of Jewish
lore. Nahmad's is a volume that will be treasured by readers of all

Dr. Novak's 'Law , Theology'
Defines Jewish Regulation

"Law and Theology in Judaism" by Baltimore's Rabbi David Novak
(Ktav) deals with a number of vital Jewish rules and defines them
adequately, providing necessary knowledgeability regarding issues
often misunderstood or misinterpreted.
Dr. Novak's work is devoted to such subjects as Jewish attitude
on hunting, the question of riding on the Sabbath, art in the synagogue,
"The Aguna (abandoned wife) or the Case of the Uncooperative Hu..,-
band," the kadish, abortion, the Jewish view of war and other topics.
As to riding on the Sabbath, Rabbi Novak comments on its pro-
hibition and makes this special comment: "Observant Jews. should 'ie
warned of the prohibition of travel on the Sabbath, even in order to
attend synagogue services. Nonobservant Jews should be dealt with
more cautiously lest their contact with the synagogue be severed and
they be further alienated from the Torah." An appended note on this
point elaborates: "In modern times, when many Jews live nonobserv-
ant, but not non-Jewish lives, one must make a clear distinction
between apostates and the religious lax," as a reference to midrashic
In a foreword to this volume, Dr. Louis Finkelstein commends Dr.
Novak's work as valuably devoted to legal decisions in Jewish tradition.


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