NEW YORK (Sep. 23)
Jews throughout the world will usher in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, at sundown today with prayers which will conclude tomorrow evening with the blowing of the Shofar, ending the ten-day period of repentance which began with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year of 5719.
Jewish military personnel in the United States and at 65 overseas points will take part in the Yom Kippur services through arrangements made by the National Jewish Welfare Board. Jewish chaplains will lead the services in military stations and veteran hospitals in this country as well as in Alaska, Hawaii, France, Japan, Germany, and other overseas points where American military forces are stationed.
Yom Kippur services will be held by United Hias here for several hundred recently arrived Jewish immigrants from Europe and North Africa. For many of the worshippers, the services will constitute the first observance of Yom Kippur in a free land in more than a decade. In a Yom Kippur message, Carlos L. Israels, president of United Hias, emphasized the humanitarian principles of Judaism which have motivated the global Jewish migration agency in the rescue of Jews from countries of oppression.
The United Jewish Appeal, in a special Yom Kippur message issued by Morris W. Berinstein, general chairman, called upon Jews throughout America to “join in a common vow to keep the road of life open for their less fortunate brothers” as an appropriate Day of Atonement resolve “when Jews throughout the world take their individual vows to avoid the path of death and evil and choose the way of life and good. ” He urged immediate support of the UJA’s current drive to raise $40, 000, 000 in “vitally needed cash on pledges to community campaigns” between now and the end of December.
“The acute situation, ” the message said, “has developed in Israel. Recent developments in the Middle East have forced Israel’s people to make every possible resource of their own available for safety needs. This threatens a disastrous slowdown in the humanitarian work of integrating scores of thousands of newcomers into Israel’s productive life. At this moment, only the Jews of America are in a position to keep the vast immigrant aid programs advancing.”
He added that pressure to emigrate to Israel continues as “additional thousands of Jews seek a release from lands of distress and danger” and that UJA must provide for the transport and resettlement in Israel of these thousands while continuing to supply sorely reeded aid to other hundreds of thousands of distressed and dependent Jewish men, women and children in 24 countries.
The New York Board of Rabbis, which includes 700 Orthodox, Conservative and Reform rabbis, said in its message: “The ability to say “I have made a mistake and am willing to rectify it’ is the eternal message of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. There can be no self-improvement without self-criticism. The character of a person, an organization, a people or a nation can be gauged, in great measure, by its willingness to admit past errors.”
The Rabbinical Council of America which represents 750 Orthodox rabbis in the United States and Canada, called in its message for the spiritual regeneration of man in his collective as well as private endeavor. “We pray on this Yom Kippur for a world of universal peace, freedom from racial and religious bigotry and a clear conception of the roots of the moral issues concerning the atomic era, ” the message said. “We also pray for the ultimate redemption of our hard-pressed brethren languishing in the darkness behind the Iron Curtain and for the full evolution of the land of Israel into a viable religiously noble and economically independent and completely secure state.”
Dr. Maurice II. Eisendrath, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, emphasized in his Yom Kippur message that our efforts to attain world peace are being impaired by the racial disturbances in the North and South. ” The Reform Jewish leader stated that our resistance to communist tyranny, efforts in the UN, and causes on behalf of human rights are, vitiated by the outburst of bigotry in too many sections of our country. ” He pointed out that, “those who have locked out pupils from our public schools do not represent the real voice of America.”
The Farband, Labor Zionist Order, expressed hope in its Yom Kippur statement” that the year 5719 will bring a solution to the many problems that beset the free world today. We hope, particularly, that the United States will help bring peace and stability to the Middle East, by recognizing in the State of Israel a loyal and devoted partner in the cause of freedom and democracy.
“We pray that all people in the United States shall have the wisdom and strength to abide by the Constitution of the United States, as expounded by the Supreme Court, and put an end to the practice of school segregation which is a blot on our record in the free world,” the Farband message said. The message was signed by Meyer L. Brown, president, and Louis Segal, general secretary of the organization.