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October 03, 1986 - Image 158

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-10-03

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

LEAPIN' LIZARDS

We almost forgot to subscribe
to the Jewish News, Mom!

BACKGROUND

Yom Kippur Stresses
Free Will's Primacy

DVORA WAYSMAN

Special to The Jewish News

6 g

F

or 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)
Thus was instituted Yom
Kippur — the Day of Atone-
ment — the one Jewish festi-
val, aside from Rosh
Hashana, that does not relate
to any historical event or ag-
ricultural concept. Most other
Jewish holidays have some
kind of national significance
that even secular Jews can
relate to. Yom Kuppur, how-
ever, relates only to man's re-
lationship with God and his
fellow man, and involves ask-
ing forgiveness from God.
The days, preceeding the Day
of Atonement are for man to
make restitution and ask
pardon from those he may
have wronged during the
year.
In Hebrew there are about
20 different words denoting
"sin", each with a different
nuance. The usual Rabbinic
term is averah from the root
avar
to pass over, and in-
terpreted as a rejection of
God's will. Jews believe sin is
caused by the evil inclination
(yetzer ha ra), a force which
drives one to gratify instincts
regardless of the cost.
God said: "My children! I
created the evil inclination,
but I created Torah as its
antidote. If you occupy your-
self with the Torah you will
not be delivered into its
hand." Rabbi Ishmael taught:
"My son, if this repulsive
wretch (yetzer ha ra) attacks
you, lead him to the house of
learning: if he is stone, he
will dissolve; if iron, he will
shiver into fragments."
(Kid.30b)



is meditation rather than
prayer, designed to help a
Jew understand the impor-
tant conclusion: "But peni-
tence, prayer and charity
avert the severe decree."_/
Even if our lives warrant
punishment, we can still _ /
choose to repent —; even up \
to our last hour on earth.
This is a wonderful and op-
timistic aspect of Judaism.
There is a special dimen-
sion to the solemnity of Yor-
Kippur in Israel, especially in
Jerusalem. No cars are seen :
on the streets for the entire
24 hours; even the most secu-
lar Jew would not publicly
profane this holy day. As
darkness descends and the
long day of fasting am:-
prayer draws to a close, the
synagogues are crowded and
thousands more walk to the
Western Wall, Judaism's
holiest site, to hear the final
blast of the shofar, the ram's
horn. As the piercing blast
rends the night, we in Israel
are mindful of Isaiah address-
ing the exiles:
"And it shall come to pass
in that day, that a great horn
shall be blown; and they
shall come that were lost in
the land of Assyria." (Isaiah
27:13)

World Zionist Press Service

-

-

The JEWISH NEWS covers the events from the
Mideast to the Midwest. Now, with our new
T-shirt, we even cover our readers!

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158

Friday, October 3, 1986

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Freedom of choice is a basic
Jewish doctrine — from the
first story in Genesis where
Adam and Eve are given the
option to accept or reject
God's commandment. The
great medieval Jewish
scholar Maimonides wrote:
"Every man has the possibil-
ity of becoming as righteous
as Moses our teacher, or as
wicked as Jeroboam; wise or
stupid; kind or cruel; miserly
or generous . . . ." (Yad,
Teshuva 5). This contradicts
a popular Yiddish expression
that things are beshert, or
pre-destined. Judaism teaches
us that we can make the
choices, and go towards
righteousness or to sin and
its consequences.
We recite a prayer during
the High Holydays, however,
which seems to contradict
this: "On the New Year it is
written down and on the Day
of Atonement it is sealed ....
who shall live and who shall
die, who at the measure of
man's days and who before it
...." Some rabbis claim this

Attack Blamed
On Zionists

New York — Saudi.
Arabia's state-controlled
news media have obscenely
distorted the brutal Arab ter-
rorist attack on Istanbul's
Neve Shalom synagogue,
charging that Israel carrie
out the attack in which 21
Jews were killed to serve the
"higher policy objectives" of
Zionism, according to Theo-
dore Ellenoff, president of the
American Jewish Committee.
The Riyadh-based Saudi
daily al Jazira stated on
Sept. 9, "Those who are
familiar with The Protocols of
the Elders of Zion, that were
authored during the First
Zionist Congress, know that
Israel is the country that
created all the terrorist con-
spiracies."

-

Waldheim
Ban Urged

Washington — B'nai B'rith
International's President
Seymour D. Reich renewed
the organization's appeal to
the U.S. Justice Department
to place Austria's President
Kurt Waldheim on America's -
watch list, the Immigration
and Nationalization Service's
list of individuals ineligible
to enter the U.S.

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