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October 02, 1987 - Image 50

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-10-02

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

IV

IN/



111•11•11..-+—", I/ IV'

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50

FRIDAY, OCT..2, 1987 .

rOuAt MOUSING

OPPORTUNITY

Yom Kippur

Continued from preceding page

say this: "Announce that the
honor of opening the ark for
the Ne'ilah Service belongs to
Reb Mordecai Bentzes for one
hundred gilden!"
eb Nachman's wife,
Shifra-Dvorah, watched
the proceedings from
her privileged pew in the
women's gallery of the
synagogue. She was emo-
tionally involved in the con-
frontation from the very
beginning. She experienced
the same agonies as her hus-
band and knew in her heart
that he was presently une-
qual to the sanguine struggle.
Yet, her one fear was that he
would back down and let the
honor slip away from him.
Every time he raised the bid,
she nodded her head in ap-
proval to signify that the
burden was acceptable to her.
When Mordecai-Haman
ventured his last ploy and
Reb Nachman sank in his
seat, she remained standing
near the gallery window, too
stunned to react. She quick-
ly came to, however, and
began automatically to
remove the jewelry from her
ears, neck and fingers. These
she wrapped in her gold
spangled kerchief. Sticking
her face through the small
- window in the gallery, she
called out. "Shifra-Dvorah
Fraides offers all her jewelry-
so that the honor of opening
the ark for the Ne'ilah Ser-
vice goes to her husband, Reb
Nachman!"
With these words, she
threw the kerchief with the
jewelry on the pulpit table
below.
The crowd in the synagogue
could not grasp what was go-
ing on. However, a young man
rushed to the platform and
cried out.
"Reb Nachman's wife is
donating all her jewelry to
preserve her husband's
honor."
He picked up the spangled
kerchief and held it up for all
to see. Then he untied it and
held up the pearl earrings,
diamond necklace and rings
studded with rubies. They
heaved a sigh of relief and, en-
thralled by the spectacle, ut-
tered cries of joy for Reb
Nachman and anger for his
adversary.
A confused Mordecai-
Haman murmured. "If that's
the case, it's another matter.
I concede the honor of open-
ing the ark to Reb Nachman."
The concession, of course,
was no longer necessary.
A special meeting was call-
ed the day after Yom Kippur
to review the whole incident.
The assembled members
discovered that the jewelry
was worth ten times the

R

pledge of one hundred gilden.
They offered to return the
gems but Reb Nachman's wife
refused, saying. "A mitzvah is
a mitzvah and one does not
renege on a mitzvah."
By resolution unanimously
adopted, the honor of opening
the ark for Ne'ilah was
bestowed on Reb Nachman
for life. Also, the jewelry was
not to be cashed. Instead, the
spangles, rubies, diamonds
and pearls were to be em-
broidered on the cover as
adornments. The cover itself
was to be hung on Yom Kip-
pur in time for Ne'ilah. The
resolution as well as the story
of the gift of jewelry was in-
scribed in the minutes of the
synagogue's ledger to serve as
a reminder for generations to
come.
The ledger was accidental-
ly consumed in a fire at the
synagogue but the ark cover
remained intact and is still
displayed every Yom Kippur
during the time of the Ne'ilah
service. O.

I NEWS

Imm'Im

Con Man/Rabbi

Is Arrested

Washington (JTA) — The
man who identified himself
as a rabbi while reportedly
duping dozens of Washingto-
nians during the past year
was arrested Sept. 4 on an
outstanding theft warrant,
District of Columbia police
said.
Herbert Opalek, 42, was
nabbed after a reader of a re-
cent article about him alerted
a friend who had been renting
housing to Opalek for the
previous two weeks. The
landlord called police. Opalek
was released on his own
recognizance and has a public
defender.
Opalek reportedly conned
dozens of local residents, in-
cluding many Jews, last fall
and this summer by accepting
money for entertainment and
sports tickets without deliver-
ing them and by renting
apartments without paying
rent or security deposits.

Gellman Takes
New JNF Post

New York — Rabbi Ezra
Gellman, associate treasurer
of the Jewish National Fund,
has recently been appointed
JNF chairman of the nomina-
tions committee. Upon com-
mencing his responsibilities,
Rabbi Gellman will establish
a slate of officers for JNF's
November election.

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