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October 06, 1989 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-10-06

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



EDITORIAL I

The Mubarak Plan

W

hat to make of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's
10-point program to advance the Middle East peace
process?
The program, based on Jerusalem's plan calling for elections on
the West Bank and Gaza, seeks direct talks between Israelis and
Palestinians and outlines how the elections could be held.
While the Mubarak proposal does not mention the Palestine
Liberation Organization or a Palestinian state, it does include several
suggestions that Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir strongly
opposes: allowing for Arabs living in east Jerusalem to vote; accep-
ting two Palestinians deported from Israel to be part of the Palesti-
nian negotiating team; freezing the building and expansion of settle-
ments in the territories; and agreeing to give up land in return for
peace.
Mubarak's plan has been endorsed by Israel's Labor Party and
the Bush administration and appears to be acceptable to the PLO.
This leaves Shamir and the Likud alone in opposition. . ,
Clearly there are reasons for Likud to be cautious. But the
Mubarak effort should not be rejected out of hand. It should be taken
as a serious attempt to establish a dialogue. At some point, Israelis
and Palestinians will sit down to negotiate, and there is enough room
for compromise within the Mubarak proposal to keep that goal in
the forefront of discussions.

.

emotional wounds. Another factor is unemployment, which has
reached 10 percent. New industries and businesses are needed to
create job opportunities in Israel. Large-scale unemployment not only
hurts the individuals and families involved but weakens the overall
fabric of the country.
Perhaps most significantly, large numbers of Soviet Jews final-
ly may be coming to Israel. The gates of emigration, long closed by
the Kremlin, have opened wide, and a new immigration policy in
Washington has made the chance for Soviet Jews to come to Israel
greater than ever. But Israel today, much as it wants this new influx,
is not prepared to provide sufficient housing and employment op-
portunities. The Israeli government has specifically requested the
Israel Bonds organization to provide the necessary capital to help
in the areas of housing and employment. Time is of the essence
because no one knows how long the gates will remain open.
What is known is that the challenge is there and we must res-
pond. While few of us are prepared to make aliyah, we have the op-
portunity to help tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands,
of Soviet Jews to settle in Israel. We join the local committee for Israel
Bonds in urging our readers to purchase an extra bond for Soviet
Jewry this year and help bring the dream of Zion a little closer to
reality.

An Extra Bond

0

ne of the traditions of Yom Kippur services in synagogues
throughout the country is an appeal during Kol Niche on
behalf of Israel Bonds. We are usually reminded, that pur-
chasing a bond is a good investment for us and 'a good investment
for Israel. And this is true. Although many still think of Israel Bonds
in terms of the 4 percent bond, a new generation of Israel Bonds
securities has evolved that offers competitive rates of return and is
linked to the prime rate. As for Israel's benefit, our purchases repre-
sent a loan, an opportunity for the Jewish state to strengthen its
economy.
Over the years, the success of bonds has been enormous. Since
1951, $9.6 billion in Israel Bonds loans have been injected into every
aspect of the Israeli economy.
This year, there are several factors of particular urgency for Israel.
One is the intifada, which has cost the state $500 million in lost
business and lack of productivity, in addition to the physical and

I COMMENT

A Time To Ask Forgiveness And To Forgive

RABBI MICHAEL GOLD

Special to The Jewish News

I

t is Yom Kippur eve,
shortly before the Kol
Nidre service. My family
finishes the pre-fast meal.
Our two children put money
in the tzedaka box and my
wife and I bless them with the
traditional priestly blessing.
We light a yahrtzeit candle in
memory of my wife's father,

Michael Gold is rabbi of Beth
El Congregation of the South
Hills in Pittsburgh and a
former columnist for the
B'nai B'rith National Jewish
Monthly.

_ 6 FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1989

and the holiday candles.
Then, before going to
synagogue, we have one more
ritual.
First I ask my wife to
forgive me for all the ways I
might have wronged her in
the past year. She then asks
me for forgiveness. We wipe
the slate clean so that we will
not carry any hurts or
grudges into the coming year.
In a similar way, we ask our
children for forgiveness, and
they ask forgiveness of us. We
hug one another. Only then
are we ready for the opening
prayer of the Yom Kippur ser-
vice, the Kol Nidre.
This family ritual has deep

roots in Jewish tradition. Ac-
cording to the Talmud, on
Yom Kippur a Jew can only
atone for the sins between
himself and God. As for the
sins between a Jew and
another human being, the
law says that we should ap-
proach a person we wronged
three times to ask
forgiveness. If he does not
forgive us, the sin is on him.
Few of us can track down
everybody we have wronged
in the past year to ask
forgiveness before Yom Kip-
pur. Yet within our own fami-
ly, we can try to atone.
It is impossible for people to
live together without occa-

sionally wronging one
another. To paraphrase the
Yom Kippur liturgy, there are
sins of commission: We lose
our temper; we say a hurtful
word (family members know
the weak spots so they can
say what really hurts); we
become abusive; we lie; we do
not trust. And there are sins
of omission: We forget a
thank you or a birthday; we
are not there when needed;
we take someone for granted.
I recently met with a
woman who was divorcing
her husband after 15 years of
marriage. I asked if there was
any hope of saving the mar-
riage. She recited a litany of

hurts, abuses and fights going
back to their wedding day.
Perhaps a Yom Kippur ritual
such as ours might have
saved the marriage, or at
least diminished her bitter-
ness.
Yom. Kippur means the Day
of Atonement. Of course, the
purpose of the holiday is to
find "at-one-ment" with God.
Yet it -is difficult to be at one
with God until we are at one
with spouse, children and
parents. The eve of Yom Kip-
pur, after the candles are lit,
is a time to ask forgiveness
and to forgive, to bury
grudges and to resolve to
rebuild relationships. ❑

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