Cedars of Lebanon: Yom Kippur in Elberfeld
There is not a Jew who does not think of his parents on this day, the holiest of the year. To my father and mother the Day of Atonement was the birthday celebration of Jewry. It has been this to Jews in all countries, on every continent, and to their children and children’s children. The world of the Jew will eternally include this day, and it will, at some time, stand before God as a creation in His own image.
Hatred and strife are sung to sleep smiling, like tired, stubborn children. On the eve of the Day of Atonement we moved on tiptoe, lest we should disturb the sweet air of devotion. The table, with its damask cloth, is set for the high Angel of Atonement who is born anew each year to every Jewish house. Far away from the parental home, the daughter and the son are admonished by the Day of Atonement, a memory become a form, from whose brow the star of peace shines forth. Jews, dressed in their holiday best, tenderly present the Day of Atonement to their fellow Jews, and to all their fellow townsmen. . . . Rancor disappears from the heart; error, it becomes evident, was the sole cause of strife. On this day our hands are there to clasp yours. Hemlock grows on the site of the unreconciled encounter.
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