web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



It’s My Opinion: It’s Never Too Late

South-Florida-logo

Pablo Manuel Diaz is an inmate in a Florida prison. He was born in Cuba 37 years ago. His mother was Jewish. Pablo Diaz is a Jew.

Diaz resides in the Blackwater Correctional Facility in Milton, Florida. He is serving a life sentence for very serious crimes. The prisoner has made an unusual request. He has petitioned the Florida Department of Corrections to allow him to undergo a circumcision in the prison infirmary.

A previous appeal had been turned down by the prison warden. Students from Stanford Law School’s Religious Clinic in California are helping with the case. They feel that federal law will affirm the request. They are willing to sue if Diaz is turned down.

One of the most basic tenets of Judaism is the law of circumcision. Throughout the ages it has been a visible and permanent affirmation that a man is, indeed, a Jew.

The rite of brit milah is traditionally performed on the eighth day of a boy’s life. Men who have this done as adults face a more painful and daunting challenge. Brit Yosef Yitzhak, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free circumcisions to Jewish males of any age, has offered to make all arrangements at no charge.

Those who adhere to newly found jailhouse religion are often disparaged. It is easy for others to judge them. It is hard, however, to imagine that anyone would willingly put himself through this difficult procedure if the motivation was insincere.

There is another basic tenet in Judaism: teshuvah. A Jew has the ability to repent for his own sins by his own actions. He can put himself on a different path. He can make a change and return. His body can be locked up. His soul can soar.

Pablo Manuel Diaz is incarcerated in a correctional facility. How many of us are prisoners in our own lives, stuck in the rut of our own bad decisions and habits and in need of a way to break out?

Pirkei Avot advises, “Who is wise? He who learns from everyone.” Diaz is an unlikely role model, yet he seems to have shown the courage to make real changes in his life. It is never too late to do teshuvah and put one’s neshamah back on the proper path.

About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “It’s My Opinion: It’s Never Too Late”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh would replace Abbas chairman of the Palestinian Authority if elections were held today.
Poll: Hamas Would Rule Judea and Samaria in New Elections
Latest Sections Stories
LBJ-082914

What better proof do we need than the recent war with Hamas in Gaza, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” that transformed the pain and suffering of three families into a sense of unparalleled unity and outpouring of love of the entire nation of Israel?

Katzman-082914

So many families are mourning, and all along we mourned with them.

Astaire-082914

In addition to his great erudition, Rabi Akiva was known for his optimism.

Kupfer-082914-Chuppah

She told me that she was busy and that he could sit in his wet clothes for the rest of the day. It would teach him to be more careful.

What can we do to help him stop feeling so sad all the time?

Children with dyslexia or dysgraphia frequently have problems in social relationships.

Israel’s neighbors engaged in hostilities from the onset. The War of Independence was a hard-won battle. Aggression and enmity has followed for 66 years.

The contest will include student-created sculpture, computer graphic design, collage, videography, PowerPoint and painting.

David, an 8-year-old boy on the autism spectrum, recently attended a Friendship Circle event. As he entered he told his Dad, “I love coming to the FC programs ‘cause everyone loves each other.”

Goldsmith himself went on his own “voyage of discovery” to the places where his grandfather and uncle landed and were sent.

Frank proclaimed himself Zvi’s successor and the reincarnation of King David.

You’re probably wondering why the greatest advocate of fast and easy preps in the kitchen is talking about layer cakes, right?

Almost immediately the audience began singing and clapping and continued almost without stop throughout the rest of the concert.

As of late, vintage has definitely been in vogue in the Orthodox community.

More Articles from Shelley Benveniste
South-Florida-logo

Israel’s neighbors engaged in hostilities from the onset. The War of Independence was a hard-won battle. Aggression and enmity has followed for 66 years.

Students participate in South Florida Jewish Academy’s inclusion program.

The inclusion program, in which children with special needs are in the same class as neurotypical (mainstream) peers, is, says Gansburg, the only Jewish program of its kind in Florida.

The contest will include student-created sculpture, computer graphic design, collage, videography, PowerPoint and painting.

David, an 8-year-old boy on the autism spectrum, recently attended a Friendship Circle event. As he entered he told his Dad, “I love coming to the FC programs ‘cause everyone loves each other.”

It’s ironic that the reality of death is often the greatest force steering the affirmation of life.

The theme of the event was “Together Let us Rebuild our Holy Beis HaMikdash on Tisha B’Av.”

Chaya Aydel Seminary has already established a close connection with France’s Jewish community.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/south-florida/its-my-opinion-its-never-too-late/2013/06/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: