From a Sermon by Rabbi Dr Abrahami, Edgware United Synagogue, England
Parashat Vayikra, 3 Nisan 5762, 16 March 2002

On the last day of Adar 5762, we observed a Yom Kippur Katan (literally, "Minor Day of Atonement"), declared by the Rabbis as a day of fast, prayers and supplications for peace in Israel.

Yom Kippur Katan falls on the day before each New Moon, according to a custom originated by the Kabbalist Rabbi Moshe Cordovero of Safed. According to the Kabbalists, each New Moon is a time of forgiveness for sins. Therefore, by repenting fully on the day before the New Moon, the new month can be entered free of sin - indicating renewal.

The day itself is marked by fasting (either for part of the day, or the entire day), with the recitation of special penitential prayers, including Torah reading, if there are ten adult males fasting for the entire day. The Torah reading is that for fast days; at the afternoon service, the fast day Haftarah is read.

While popular in Europe in previous centuries, the custom is not widely observed today, with a few exceptions. Indeed, the authoritative code of Jewish law, Shulchan Arukh, makes no mention of the custom.

Yom Kippur Katan helps us to exercise our human freedom that is central to atonement - just as man is free to sin, so he is free to atone.

A central theme of Yom Kippur Katan is concerned with correction of our behaviour through honesty, humility and integrity, and the prophet Isaiah tells us that Zion shall be redeemed with justice and righteousness, being a most precious commodity.

In 1985, the Iran-Contra affair produced fireworks, as Congress charged that the USA, via Israel, sold arms to Iran in 1985 and used the profits - in violation of USA law - to support the Contra rebels fighting the Marxist government of Nicaragua. In November 1986, Oliver North emerged as the central figure in the scandal, and he was fired by President Reagan. Under a grant of immunity he testified before Congress to tell his story, of which Regan denied any knowledge.

Among other items, Afghanistan and terrorists such as Abu Nidal and Bin Laden featured in North's testimony, including the fact that his life was under threat, in addition to threats to the security of the USA.

Both Regan and Clinton, it was alleged, failed to act on these threats to avert subsequent terror attacks, including that of September 11, 2001, just as it is alleged that Roosevelt failed to act on warnings before the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1940.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Flight 93, crashed on farmland in western Pennsylvania, after it is believed to have been headed to Washington, instead. Said North: "My wife's family used to own that farm. She grew up in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. I don't believe in coincidences."

A Wake-up Call

Humility, integrity and truthfulness, of which G-d asks of us, may be acquired at a very great cost, as the USA has partly learned from September 11 (and all that preceded). The relative term is important, because the Americans are still failing to declare war on the lies, oil-supply blackmail, and terror exercised by the Arabs in the Middle East.

Links:

1. Call for Yom Kippur Katan 5762 http://www.ottmall.com/mj_ht_arch/v36/mj_v36i04.html#CAC

2. 5760 Yom Kippur Katan for the 13 Iranian Jews on trial; details of special prayers http://www.ou.org/torah/frankel/5760/tazria60.htm

3. Linking the mind and the moon

http://www.torah.org/learning/yomtov/assorted/ykkatan.html

or here: http://projectgenesis.org/learning/yomtov/assorted/ykkatan.html

4. Explanation of the Kabbalist origins of Yom Kippur Katan

http://www.shalomctr.org/html/seas34.html

Rabbi Dr Abrahami writes and lectures on the connection between Torah, Biblical medicine, Science, Psychology, authentic Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism.

Email: abeabrahami@btinternet.com Telephone: 44 208 958 7553, London, England.

 

 
 

 

 

 

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03 Jul 2005 / 26 Sivan 5765 0