People of the book

People of the book

September 24, 2009 14:30
1 minute read.


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Four Jews, three Christians and a Muslim walk into The Jerusalem Post and decide to write about atonement - no joke. This year for our pre-Yom Kippur edition we asked men and women of faith - practitioners and not - to write short essays on what atonement means to them. Muslim Abdessalam Najjar, an educator and one of the founders of Neveh Shalom Wahat al-Salam, gives an overview of the concept according to Islam, as found in the Koran. Next, David Neuhaus, Latin patriarchal vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel, uses passages from the Book of Leviticus to explain how Christians see Jesus as the fulfillment of redemption. Petra Heldt, head of the Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity in Israel, writes of the necessity for action and force in procuring personal atonement. And Martin Vahrenhorst, pastor of the Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem, draws parallels between Jesus's death and the atoning quality of the death of the righteous during the Maccabean revolt. Finally, four Jews and as many or more opinions. Rabbi Daniel Landes, director of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, describes the physicality of repentance. Rabbi Einat Ramon, a lecturer at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, asks, "Can one atone for an ideology?" Rabbi Ronald Kronish, director of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel, writes in the royal we about collective sin. And Felix Posen, a proponent of Cultural Judaism, writes that to interest the majority in Yom Kippur, it needs repackaging and reformulation. Material for reflection.

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