Issues 01:01 The Book of Life

The Book of Life

“May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life” is the most common greeting for the Jewish New Year season. From the time of Moses onward, the roll call of the redeemed has been closely linked with atonement (reconciliation with God). The Book of Life held much meaning for other world religions as well….

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Author: Jean Zeller

To those who haven’t heard it, the blast of the shofar is hard to describe in terms other than primitive,” “harsh,” a “bellowing or trumpeting,” and it awakens in the hearer a primitive awareness of a reality beyond himself. It speaks with a commanding, demanding sound. Not a note to comfort, it creates an uneasiness,…

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How One Jewish Sage Explains the Lack of Sacrifice

Since the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 C.E.and a place for sacrifice was not possible, rabbis sought to explain away the need for the Biblical sacrificial system. Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) is thought to be one of the greatest Jewish philosophers of all time and his writings have had a profound influence on Jewish…

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Hear our Voice

Before reciting the prayer, Hear our voice,” in the penitential collection captioned Zekhor Brit (“Remember the Covenant”), Rabbi Meshullam Issakhar ha-Levi Horwitz of Stanislav related with tearful supplications before the open ark: “A king, blessed with an only son, reared him lovingly from tender childhood in the path of rectitude and rejoiced in witnessing his…

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Varied Jewish Thoughts on Atonement

  A sinful world needs a scapegoat. -T. Lessing, DerJudesche Selbsthass, 1930, Introd. LR 188 We strike from all bequeathed prayerbooks any line that reminds us of the temple and sacrifices. -M. Lilienthal, address, 1876 As soon as one repents, one is forgiven. -Hanina b. Papa, Talmud: Hagiga, 5a We do not ask that our…

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A Yom Kippur Prayer

Synagogue is hardly the scene to begin a story about believing in Jesus, but it was there my questions started. The somber strains of Kol Nidre still lingered in my mind from the night before. Captured almost mystically in the walls and windows, they reminded me of the fresh opportunity Yom Kippur brought to present…

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In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: Misfortunes
Topics: vaysechvoos
Author: Susan Perlman

In the little shtetl of Vaysechvoos, a Jew was hurrying home from his business to prepare for Rosh Hashanah when he was accosted by two hooligans, beaten and robbed. He was angry with the forces that ordained that life should be what it is. So he went to the rabbi of Vaysechvoos with a lament….

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