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You know, it’s amazing. Here we stand before the Heavenly Judge, asking for a year of health for our families and for the nation plus everything else good. That’s what judgment day is for all of us.
The unique text of the liturgy for the High Holy Days begins with the daily Ata Kadosh – You are holy…and “holy ones [that’s us] praise you daily.”
Then, after asking Hashem to put His fear into all His creations, we ask Him to honor us – every one of us, His entire nation – from those who are deserving to pray by the Eastern wall of the synagogue to those who come to services with their neatly folded white yarmulkes that had been in the drawer since last Yom Kippur to those who are eating a hamburger on the Haifa beach.
“Give honor to your entire nation.” The word for nation, “am,” implies every single Jew.
Then we ask for tehillah for those who fear Him. Tehillah is the “power to pray,” which is therefore on an even higher level than tefillah, the simple prayer text. In other words, a Jew’s level of kavanah is more important than a mere outward expression of words. Every Jew, we declare, is deserving of God’s honor. I didn’t make up these words. This is in the liturgy prepared for us by our sages.
Why did this thought come to me this year? I think Hashem in a sense rewarded my decision to put a cover on my latest music album (titled “Charming Nation”) that was a conglomeration of Jewish faces standing at the foot of Mount Sinai for the receiving of the Ten Commandments.
Included were the faces of great tzaddikim past and present, and also Herzl, Einstein, Bob Dylan, Sandy Koufax and even leftist former minister Yosi Sarid, who once called me a rasha on radio and television and demanded that I be put on trial for something I’d said on Arutz Sheva radio.
I knew a cover picture that controversial would cost me the chance for the album to achieve any significant sales, so I never bothered distributing it to the stores.
But I didn’t care. Because I know the soul of every Jew was at the mountain.
It was from my renowned rosh hayeshiva Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld, zt”l, that I heard for the first time that the word in Hebrew for an “assembly of people” is tzibor, and its letters allude to our entire nation: The letter tzaddik stands for our righteous; the bet stands for the average people (in Hebrew, benonim) and the vav and resh hint at “and the rishayim,” the wicked.
Rav Freifeld once said to me privately, “I feel like a cog in the machine. Every little Jew is a cog in the machine!”
I understood it immediately: If one little cog is missing, the whole machine is out of commission.
Maybe that’s why we ask Hashem to shower kavod on every little cog – every little Jew.
Take the Jew eating that hamburger on Haifa beach on Yom Kippur. Guess what? He was an Israeli soldier on a one-day leave from risking his life daily guarding the northern border.
Our prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was God’s cog in our machine as he stood at the United Nations warning of the danger to the world if Iran were to become a nuclear power.
I had wished him a happy new year with an ad in the Jerusalem Post asking him to watch my clip on YouTube titled, “We will Never Again be Uprooted” – and sure enough, at the onset of his speech, he declared, “The Jewish people have come home. We will never be uprooted again.” So little Dov Shurin was the cog that inspired that line in Netanyahu’s important speech.
We start the Kol Nidrei prayer by declaring, “In the tribunal of heaven and the tribunal of earth, by the permission of God, blessed be He, and by the permission of this holy congregation, we hold it lawful to pray with the transgressors.”
With the transgressors – because we are all part of that great machine known as Am Yisrael. And it is God who gives us our opening to pray to Him like sons to a father.
About the Author: Dov Shurin is a popular radio personality and the composer and producer of several albums. He lives with his family in Israel and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Jewish Press column appears the third issue of each month.
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Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state
Blaming Israel for the violence in Gaza, he ends up justifying Hamas’s terrorism.
In the Thirties it was common for anti-Semites to call on Jews to “go to Palestine!”
“This arbitrary ban is an ugly stain on our democracy, and it also undermines the rule of law.”
We take US “aid” for psychological reasons-if we have an allowance, that means we have a father.
ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.
Foolish me, thinking the goals were the destruction of Hamas thereby giving peace a real chance.
The free-spirted lifestyle didn’t hold your interest; the needs of your people did.
And why would the U.S. align itself on these issues with Turkey and Qatar, longtime advocates of Hamas’s interests?
Several years ago the city concluded that the metzitzah b’peh procedure created unacceptable risks for newborns in terms of the transmission of neo-natal herpes through contact with a mohel carrying the herpes virus.
The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.
We were quite disappointed with many of the points the secretary-general offered in response.
Judging by history, every time Hamas rebuilds their infrastructure, they are stronger than before.
Israel feebly begged Hamas to end the barrage, promising that “quiet will be met with quiet.”
While the phrase “Let It Be” implies doing nothing, “Lu Yehi” implies working toward a goal.
An Israeli company should make “Arafat’s Dead Sea Tonic” with this warning: “may cause severe vomiting or even death.”
“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.
Boundless love was something Rav Kook had for the nation of Israel. Just as one cannot question the boundless love of Hashem for Israel, one cannot question the boundless love of a Torah giant for his people.
I hollered over and over again, waving a clinched fist toward the heavens.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/dov-shurin-columns/therefore-give-honor-to-your-nation/2012/10/04/
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