Yom Kippur Sermon of Rabbi Gluck, 5658 -- 1897

Text (? Hebrew script)

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May forgiveness be granted to the whole Cong. of Israel and to the stranger who dwelleth in their midst for all the people have sinned in ignorance.

The thought to which this short but impressive petition, which forms the key(?) note(?) to all our prayers tonight and tomorrow gives expression strikes us most forcibly on this solemn occasion, which the high priest of ? ? ? standing at the portals of the Holy of Holies to ask for forgiveness and to seek reunion(?) with the Cong. of Israel and with our heavenly father.

No other evening can stand a favorable comparison with this night of nights appointed by God and sanctified by Judaism for man's selfpurification [sic] and Atonement ( ? Hebrew script ) when the whole material world with all her sweeping(?) atttractions fades into profound oblivion and the din and roar of all earthly desires and passions sinks into ? silence before the higher and graver problems of life which loom up with insisting earnestness before us.

Like the gentle purifying breezes sweeping down from the (? Hebrew script) spicy mountians, even so is the inspiring and spirtiualizing breath and elevating atmosphere of the Yom Ha Kipurim.

It transforms the child of dust and elevates it to the spotless majestic heights - bathed in the firy sea - ( ? Hebrew script ) of God's atoining grace and splendor. It clothes the son and duaghter of Israel with those celestial characteristics and angelic qualities which provoke admiration and praise by their most dangerous enemies ---

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With this stirring eloquence of the Prophet Elijah on Carmeld top wich preached in the very hearts of the people and elicited the enthusiastic response ( ? Hebrew script ) The Lord ? is God. It thrills and quickens the hearts of the millions of the great brotherland of Israel ( ? Hebrew script ) throughout the world even those who merely sojourn in the midst of Israel ( ? Hebrew script ) who have gone astray in the wilderness of religious indifference, who but yesterady have halted undecidedly ( ? Hebrew script ) between God and Baal between Adonai and Azazel between the heaven of Godliness and the Hell of selfishness cannot resist the charming tender strokes of the divine voice ( ? Hebrew script ) and are constrained to yield once more to the higher emotions of their soul and to the holier promptings of their conscience.

It gathers again under the banner of the living and loving God those ( ? Hebrew script ) who were lost in the land of Asher ( ? Hebrew script ) who have lost sight of the God of heaven and stooped down to the molten Gods of materialism, whose religious sensibilities were drwoned by the tremendous cry ( ? Hebrew ) ? of Alikah's(?) greedy daugthres which can never be gratified - because they have been permitted to bask in the warm rays of propsperity's sunshine and to enjoy the cheerful smiles of ? ? and brightest aspects ( ? Hebrew ) and these exiled in the land of Egypt - held in bondage by the power ? inclination and ? tempatiation whcih stained their soil with sins and abomination of a ? ? -- and whose very return and hubmle penitence between ( ? Hebrew ) that they have sinned in ignorance.

But there is no other day burdened with a message of such deep vital and sacred significance to Israel and Judaism as the day of atonement. The Jew feels on no other occasion the weight and force of a four thousand years history and destiny which binds him to his people and religion.

Whatever difference of opinions in regard to trifling ritual matters, whatever shade of beliefs concerning things of minor importance there may exist in various schools which divide Judaism into orthodox, conservatives and reformed communitites this day sweeps all differences into the background.

Whether we worship without ? or without hats, whether we recite long unintelligible prayers or we read them in the langauge we best understand on this day the Jew feels the power and force of a four thousand years history and destiny which binds him to his people and religion and the sublime ideal and lofty truth for which our ancestors were ready to face the most dangerous martyrdom and for which we are preserved(?) this day.

Friends! I know of no greater duty than the ones which this day imposes the Jewish minister. If he be truthful to his calling he can not consistently shut his ears to the prophetic lesson ( ? Hebrew ).

Call aloud and spare not lift up your voice like a trumpet and tell the people their transgressions and the honor of Jacob's three sons and yet I know of no greater privilege, when he knows that he faces a holy cong. ready and prepared to listen to truth.

Or is it possible that some ? come to be deceived. Can I believe that some of you have brought their body while they have left their soul behind have left their thoughts to linger around their treaasures which they regret to leave for twenty four hours. If there be such here I would ask them go home to their treasures. No, Judaism is not compulsory. In(?) Religion says Mendelson ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? [ possibly German ? ] God will have nothing of you if you can not bring it willingly with a glad and joyous heart. ( ? Hebrew ) God gains nothing because you fast twenty four hours; neither is he poorer because you open your store another day in the year.

If your soul is not enriched and your manhood can not gain by the heavenly gift of the spiritual blessings which the day of atonement offers to the whole cong. of Isr. than you have come in vain.

Friends! There is indeed a great nececessity to obtain forgiveness for the Cong. of Israel. For there is no sin so great, no transgression of consequences so far reaching as the sins committed by the individual against the comm. at large.

This sin of Judah. (? Hebrew ) is written upon the scroll of the ages with an iron pen of experience. Throughout the centuries we have repeatedly been reminded that the world not only demands of us to be purer better and nobler than all others, but that the fault of the single Jew ( ? Hebrew ) is laid at the door of the whole Con. All Jews are held responsible - ( ? Hebrew ) for the mistakes and disgraceful conduct of the individual.

To raise the standard of our religious communities this should be the foremost concern of every son and daughter of Israel. Our synagouges are neglected. Our Cong. struggles for an existence. Do you know why? because of that sordid selfishness of that miserable ? which had been allowed to creep into the religious community. People do no longer belong to the Synagouge because they are are interested in the spirtitual treasures and lofty ideals of Judasim and synaoguge but because of the material benefits she offers. What benefits does your synagogue offer is the ususal question when you ask somebody to join it. Does it bury the dead -- will it give me ( ? Hebrew ) when I sit ( ? Hebrew ) How mnay carriages will I get when I dy [sic] ? Your Temple service! What do I care for it? I dont attend service an [sic] whole year. My business claims all my time and attention. Oh! I am a good Jew. My Father was very very pious. My mother ? was a saint well-disposed and charitable. Say our sages (? Hebrew) the merits of our fathers have long been exhausted. We can not harp upon the past. We can not exist upon the credits and religious fame of our ancestors. The covenant of our fathers however, has not ceased. Our duties and responsibilites are the same. What the synagouge offers ? duties and responsibilites. The Jewish name, Jewish honor, Jewish principles is invovled in it. If you want to see Judaism destroyed destroy the Jewish hnoor of worship and Judaism will be tracelessly ? You may be contented with the few pounds of religion you have bought for yourself your wife and your children.