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September 16, 1983 - Image 38

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-09-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

38 Friday, September 16, 1983

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

The Power of Kol Nidrei Melody

By SAMUEL ROSENBAUM

reach and to move even the
most disinterested
peripheral Jew.
If one needed additional
testimony that words alone,
no matter how elegant,_ are
not enough for a Jew at

The melody of Kol Nidrei
became, over the ages, the
best known and most mov-
ing of all the melodies of the
Ashkenazic synagogue.
Somehow it has the power to

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prayer, he need only step
into a synagogue on Kol
Nidrei eve, the holiest night
of the year.
Empty and deserted
much of the rest of the year,
it is now packed to overflow-
ing. Impending judgment
hangs suspended, mist-like,
in the air. All wait for Kol
Nidrei. And then the Ark is
opened, the holy Scrolls
brought forth and the haz-
zan begins to chant Kol
Nidrei.
The notes shine like stars.
In them you hear the
heartbreak and the misery
of the Jewish people.
For an instant, the man
in front of you is your
grandfather, wrapped in
his white kittle, prayer-
book moist with his tears.
He, too, is swaying. He to
your tempo and you to
his.
You blink and it is over.
You are back in the present.
Unconsciously you touch
the pages of your own
prayerbook and they, too,
are moist. With those tears?
You glance at the words of
Kol Nidrei, enigmas in their
Aramaic. So you look to the
facing page, to the transla-
tion, and you are shocked.
There is no poetry, no
prayer, no majesty. Merely
a dry-as-dust ancient for-
mula; a blanket, legalistic
release from unfulfilled
promises.
And then you understand
the power of a song.

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by a group of young Israelis,
will be held at _the Pioneer
Women/ Naamat 28th Bi-
ennial Convention, Oct.
16-19 in Baltimore.
The designers, many of
whom were once considered
failures by teachers and
family, are among the top
students in the 16 voca-
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by Naamat, the Israeli sis-
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Women/ Naamat.

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TEL AVIV (JTA) —
Many Israelis, including
many who do not regard
themselves as superstiti-
ous, are viewing the arrival
of the Jewish New Year
with some fear and trepida-
tion.
Astrologists and fortune
tellers interviewed by Israel
Radio and Television even
report a large increase in
clients asking about the fu-
ture, "some of them in a
state of near-panic," accord-
ing to one.
The cause of the fear is
the numerology of the new
year — 5744 — which, in
Hebrew, is represented by
letters standing for numer-
als. There is no letter or
group of letters for the
thousands. But the last
three figures are written in
Hebrew as Taf, Shin, Mem,
Daled — which forms the
word for "annihilation."
So widespread is the
unease that the radio has
started to spell out the
individual letters rather
than the word they form,
and the army and the
Ministry of Education
have issued calendars
with the letters re-
arranged to avoid the
fear-instilling word.
Specialists and
enthusiastic amateurs in
"gematriya" — the art of
science of the interpretation
of numbers — have been
quoted in radio programs of-
fering differing interpreta-
tions, based on the Scrip-
tures, for what may happen
— with some suggesting

Israel Fashions
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Superstitious Fear New Year

11 . 4

'40v'

S

The Michigan Hodgkin's
Disease Foundation
(MHDF) will meet 7:30 p.m.
Monday at the Providence
Hospital Medical Building,
eighth floor, room C.
Psychologist Brian Dates
will speak on "Stress Reduc-
tion for Cancer Patients."
For information, call the
MHDF, 427-3737.

there may, indeed, be an notorious book, "1984,"
annihilation this year — starts in three months time.
but of non-Jewish forces Some gematriya experts
seeking to harm or damage claim that Orwell consulted
Israel.
Jews versed in Kabalistic
Israeli astrologists all lore to set his date. -
But other literary experts
seem to agree that great
changes in the world situa- point out that Orwell wrote
tion will occur between now his book in 1948 and merely
and the end of the century, transposed the last two fig-
with many forecasting the ures — as the army and the
end of the Communist state Education Ministry have
in the Soviet Union within done with the fear-instilling
letters of the Jewish New
the next 10 years.
Fears of the year 5744 Year.
In IMP Or MI IIIMI Me IT I= III
with its "tashmad" (annihi- I
'N
COUPO
lation) tragedy have been
enhanced - by the fact that
the civil year associated 1
with George Orwell's 1

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