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Court Challenge of Jewish Oath is Rejected by Canadian Judge

December 19, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Objections to a Jewish oath registered in a local court by Edouard Masson, a French-Canadian attorney, was overruled here today.

Masson had declared that “the Kol Nidre prayer absolves all Jews from all vows, obligations and oaths made from one Day of Atonement to the next.” It was the first time in Canadian history that the Jewish oath had been thus challenged.

Justice McKinnon announced he was not interested in a theological discussion of the matter. Nathan Gordon, well-known Jewish advocate, was prepared to offer material in refutation of Masson’s challenge, but the court decided such testimony was unnecessary.

The objection, which was made several days ago, came when a Jewish witness appeared to testify in a case in which Masson was concerned. When the witness donned his hat, in conformity with orthodox practice, and prepared to take the oath, Masson asked him whether he attended synagogue.

Receiving an affirmative reply, the attorney opened a volume of the Jewish Encyclopedia and read from it a translation of the Kol Nidre prayer. He then insisted the oath as taken by Jewish witnesses had been shown to be without value.

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