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Hot Biblical News
Does your stove have a Jewish connection?
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0:1 heard that the first U.S. cen
Q: With Yom Kippur just around
Q: Last night my friends and I
ter for child study was founded by the corner, I'd like to learn a little were talking about our favorite ma-
a Jew. Is that true?
more about AI Het Can Tell Me Why jor appliances. OK, it's a little
A: Yes. Felix Adler (1851-1933 help me out?
weird, but isn't it wonderful when
was a native of Germany and the
A: Can Tell Me Why help me we can all celebrate our differ-
son of Rabbi Samuel Adler, a out? Is the chief rabbi of Israel
ences and be ourselves?
leader in the Reform movement Jewish?
and a founder of the Hebrew Or-
Anyway, most of my friends
Al Het ("For the Sin") are the
first words of this confessional agree that the dishwasher is prob-
Felix Adler studied at Colum- prayer said on Yom Kippur. It in- ably the most valuable major ap-
briefly at Tem-
ple Emanuel in
New York. In
1874 he became
professor of He-
brew and Ori-
at Cornell, and
in 1876 founded
the Society for
his life, Adler
in social causes,
ical care for the
poor, labor is-
sues and child
welfare. In ad-
dition to found-
group for child
study, he wrote
books including "The Day of Atonement" by Jacob Kramer. Everyone says it, but no one knows who wrote this famous
Moral Instruc- prayer.
tion of Children.
11: I'm always interested in learn- cludes a recitation, in alphabeti-
pliance ever invented, though we're
ing about Jewish communities cal order, of 44 sins, with each
fond of refrigerators, too.
throughout the world, especially in line beginning, "For the sin we
is there any bibli-
places I would never have sus- have sinned before Thee." At the
end of these 44, one reads an- cal connection to brand names of
pected they exist. Take China, for other nine lines of sins and their
example. Could Tell Me Why tell punishments.
A: I can't tell you how many
Al Het is divided into four times Tell Me Why has received
me a little about how the Western
world first learned there were Jews parts, each ending, "And for all
this question! And now, at long
last, here's the answer!
So far as we know, there's
A: You might be surprised to
nothing Jewish about "Maytag"
learn that the Western world
or "Master Chef." But you might
knew about Jews in China more
be surprised to hear that at least
than 350 years ago.
one leading company does in-
Ai T'ien, born in about 1545,
deed have a name mentioned in
was a Jewish native of Kaifeng.
He went to Peking in search of
Amana is the name of a
employment in 1605, where he
cited in Song of Songs
met an Italian Jesuit missionary
(4:8). Located in southern Syria,
named Matteo Ricci.
it was a source of alabaster and
Ai spoke at length with Ricci,
to whom he gave a detailed de-
Additionally, Amana is the
scription both of his family and
name of a river flowing from the
the Jewish community of these, 0 God of forgiveness, for-
Kaifeng. Ricci forwarded this in- give us, pardon us." It is tradi- mountain of the same name. To-
formation to the head of the tional to hit one's breast at the day, it is known as Nahr Barada.
Rome Jesuit order in a letter dat- mention of each sin and to read
ed July 26, 1605. It is the first the prayer with the head bowed.
Send questions to "Tell Me Why"
known report about the Jews of
One unusual feature of this c /o The Jewish News, 27676
China to reach the. Western famous prayer: no one knows
Franklin Rd., Southfield, Ml
who wrote it.
48034 or send fax to 354-6069.