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September 16, 1983 - Image 4

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

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USPS 275-520)

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

Copyright © The Jewish News Publishing Co.

Member of American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers, National Editorial Association and
National Newspaper Association and its Capital Club.
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17515 W. Nine Mile, Suite 865, Southfield, Mich. 48075
Postmaster: Send address changes to The Jewish News, 17515 W. Nine Mile, Suite 865, Southfield, Mich. 48075
Second-Class Postage Paid at Southfield, Michigan and Additional Mailing Offices. Subscription $18 a year.

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Yom Kippur Scriptural Selections

This Sabbath, the 10th day of Tishri, 5744, is Yom Kippur,
and the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:

Pentateuchal portion, (morning) Leviticus 16:1-34, Numbers 29:7-11; (afternoon) Leviticus 18:1-30.
58:14, Jonah 1:1-4:11, Micah 7:18-20.

Prophetical portion, Isaiah 57:14-

Sukkot Scriptural Selections
Thursday, Pentateuchal portion, Leviticus 22:26-23:44, Numbers 29:12-16. Prophetical portion, Zechariah 14:1-121.
Sept. 23, Pentateuchal portion, Leviticus 22:26-23:44, Numbers 29:12-16. Prophetical portion, I Kings 8:2-21.

Candlelighting, Friday, September 16, 7:19 p.m.


Page Four

Friday, September 16, 1983


Days of Awe attain a deep ascension with
Yom Kippur. It is the spirituality of the most
sacred period of the year and it emphasizes both
faith and confidence.
It is the Day of Atonement, and penitence is
ascribed for the worshipers. Yet, the Holy Day is
replete with lessons for all mankind, demand-
ing not sorrow but rejection of despair and a
quest for joy and for cheerful approaches to the
life that is to be filled with duties toward high-
est values in htiman approaches.
The p rescription for a
P on this
joyous emphasis
day is given impressive clarity in the definitive
"Jewish Concepts" in which the noted scholar
and interpreter of Jewish laws and traditions,
Dr. Philip Birnbaum, denotes the inspired Yom
Kippur message. In the treasured Hebrew Pub-
lishing Co. volume, Rabbi Birnbaum provides
this interpretive historic lesson as a valued
heritage for Jewry, to be shared by mankind:
"The traditional melodies with their plain-
tive tones are designed to give expression to
one's awe before the uncertainties of the future.
Forgetful of his physical wants, the devout Jew
seeks to banish all hatred, ill-feeling and igno-
ble thoughts, and be occupied exclusively with
things spiritual. It has been asserted that so
strong is the hold of Yom Kippur upon the
Jewish conscience, that no loyal Jew will fail to
observe it by attending service in the synagogue
along with his fellow Jews and by resting from
his daily occupation.
"Despite the cessation of the sacrificial
practices with the destruction of the Second
Temple in the year 70, Yom Kippur has sur-
vived as the great day which symbolizes the
importance of repentance. We are told that,
though the day itself effects atonement, it avails
nothing unless repentance is coupled with it,
just as repentance had to accompany a guilt-of-
fering or a sin-offering in Temple times.
"In letters written between Rosh Hashana
and Yom Kippur, one usually concludes with
the formula gemar hathima tova, wishing the
recipient that God may seal his destiny for hap-
piness. This is based upon the belief that on the
first day of the year the destiny of human beings
is determined; hence the Rosh Hashana greet-
ing: 'May you be inscribed for a happy year.' "
The heritage of the principles rooted in
Yom Kippur, as defined in Birnbaum's "Jewish
Concepts," offer guidance for all peoples, all
faiths. There are these guidelines, which, as
outlined in these Birnbaum "Concepts," draw
upon Jewish traditions:
"The Day of Atonement is the climax of the
10-day period of repentance that begins with
Rosh Hashana, the Day of Judgment. These 10
days of reflection and inspiration bring us the
eternal message that it is possible for human
beings to improve their characters. They speak
to us about our ethical conscience and moral
responsibility, about self-examination and
spiritual regeneration.



"The idea of repentance is regarded as the
brightest gem among the teachings of Judaism.
Man would be the most unfortunate creature if
he had no way to escape from sin. The optimistic
spirit of Judaism does not tolerate the idea that
a man need ever despair and lose faith in him-
self. No one can sink so low that he cannot find
his way back to God by self-descipline.
"The very concept of repentance and
atonement has made the Jewish outlook on life
one of cheerful confidence. The Hebrew term
teshuva for repentance signifies 'return and
must not be taken to mean penitence or pe-
nance. These words refer to self-castigation.
Judaism demands an inner change, and opposes
external forms of asceticism for purposes of ex-
piating sin.
"There is a midrashic statement that God
modeled the world like an architect, and it
would not stand until he created repentance.
Defined by Maimonides, repentance means that
the sinner casts his sins out of his mind and
resolves in his heart to sin no more. The atone-
ment prayers, articulating the ideals of human
brotherhood and mutual forgiveness, make the
worshiper intensely aware of human frailty,
reminding him that there is no man who is
absolutely free from sin and error. The confes-
sions are recited repeatedly on Yom Kippur in
the first person plural to emphasize the collec-
tive responsibility of the whole community for
offenses that can be prevented.
"We are repeatedly reminded that Yom
Kippur brings pardon for sins between man
and God, and it cannot bring forgiveness as long
as no attempt has been made to repair the injury
inflicted upon one's fellow man. God does not
clear the guilty in matters touching human be-
ings unless reparation precedes all else (Yoma
8:8). The wrongdoer must first win pardon from
the person wronged. Hence the age-old custom
of mending quarrels and begging forgiveness of
one another for any wrong committed, inten-
tionally or otherwise.
"This custom is particularly observed on
erev Yom Kippur. When the offender asks to be
forgiven, he should be forgiven wholeheartedly,
we are told."

The Great Fast that unites Jews
everywhere has many messages of compassion,
of human resolve to alleviate want, and they
keep echoing everywhere. That which is so vit-
ally needed to eliminate misery has the univer-
sal aspect, and the Yom Kippur message em-
braces all, in what is termed human society.

Such are the ideals with which the wor-
shipers go to the houses of worship this evening
and with which a New Year commences in a
spirit of faith and confidence. Such are the ad-
monitions which provide the fascination with
which the legacies of the Jewish people are
enriching the lives of all who hold their heads
high, their backs straight and the spirit un-



Value for All in Book
Explaining Judaism

Books and essays explaining Judaism, even if the published texts
are overlapping and repetitive, always have great value in gaining an

understanding of the Jewish legacies. Whether written by Reform,
Conservative or Orthodox Jews, every additional explanatory text is.
certain to gain in adherence.
A book prepared for converts to Judaism gains value in such a
concept. This is applicable to "Introduction to Judaism: A Course
Outline" (Union of American Hebrew Congregations Press).
Rabbi Stephen J. Einstein and Lydia Kukoff edited and compiled
this book and provided a set of guidelines for a study of Judaism. They
treated the readers as a classroom and their work is, as defined, a
"course outline."
The two authors are described as "pioneers in the field for the
education of the Jew-by-choice." While their work is not claimed to be
a textbook, the preferred designation being "resource book," this
introduction to Judaism is nevertheless a teaching project.
Every detail relevant to Jewish studies is included here. The
holidays are defined, educational- objectives are emphasized, and
there are the life experiences, including marriage, death and other
occurrences as they are treated in Jewish practices.
Important books are recommended for the class, and a bibliog-
raphy is helpfully provided.
The student is involved through this work in the home as well as
synagogue celebrations and the home aspect even includes an interest
in Jewish cooking.
The UAHC publishing projects have the guidance and
encouragement of the former Detroiter, Rabbi Daniel Syme. The
present work is a continuation of valuable publishing projects in
which Rabbi Syme has a commendable role.

Saintly Chofetz Chaim
Portrayed in Biography

He was known as the Chofetz Chaim, and the tale and name
which thus distinguished him made him the revered leader of three
He was Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan and the assignation of Chofetz
Chaim, which means One Who Loved Life, stemmed from his teach-
ings on how to live honorably.
Exemplary in such teachings was his admonition against Lashon
Hara — the evil tongue — as gossip was judged in Jewish tradition.
He admonished against it and an explanation of it is in one of the
impressive chapters of his biography, "The Story of the Chofetz
Chaim" by Rabbis Nosson Scherman and Eliezer Gevirtz (Mesorah
This is more than a mere biography. It is a fascinating story about
a man who was primarily a scholar but also derived his livelihood
from being a businessman.
Yet, he is defined as "an author for all Israel" because his teach-
ings embraced the basic tenents of Jewish living and devotion to the
traditional life of the Jew.
The Chofetz Chaim also was a pleader for Jewish rights, as the
chapter on his visit to the Polish Prime Minister Prof. Bartell in a plea
to revoke restrictions regulating activities of Polish rabbis. He was
past 90 when he led a mission of noted rabbis to make his plea. That
success fortified his role as a pleader for his people.
He died in 1933, leaving great legacies in scholarship and nobil-
ity of spirit. This biography depicts the life of one of the most distin-
guished Jewish saints of the century.

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