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I intend to present a discussion about the High Holidays with a view toward atonement and sacrifice within modern Judaism. Admittedly, I have an agenda. This a brief, yet desperate attempt to validate and retain my Jewish identity in a changing, hostile, religious environment. Family, friends, and Jewish religious leaders would deny my Jewishness. First I should identify that the intended audience for this text is primarily the non-Jewish Christian TV viewer. This is because many people will be introduced to this work as a result of my involvement in Christian television. I do realize that some might choose to share this text with Jewish friends who have differing viewpoints. I hope my detractors will identify this as a viable academic argument from another side of Judaism. If we cannot convince, we should be able to respectfully disagree!
I face a rather interesting dilemma. Being a Jewish “TV Preacher,” some might tend to question my purposes, or worse, my credibility. Perhaps some Christian folk may question my research or doubt the veracity of my claims. Good! Modern Christians owe it to themselves to maintain a healthy level of doubt as they approach the words of frail men. Even men of deep convictions make mistakes. Since this text focuses on predominantly Jewish issues, I anticipate that some readers will seek the advice of their Jewish friends and associates to confirm the accuracy and quality of my conclusions. I will provide documentation (which I hope is manageable, yet not too cumbersome) for facts and quotations that intellectual and academic honesty require. More important, I want any Jewish readers who doubt my conclusions to feel free to check my sources. For the most part, I have chosen thoroughly Jewish sources for my research. I felt this mandatory to offer a kosher product for your consumption.
At the core, this is intended to be a didactic device—a teaching tool. Please do not expect more. I desire to convey information and perspectives with which you may be unfamiliar. The goal is therefore to offer new information for your evaluation. I will draw my conclusions and it is anticipated that each reader will draw their own. Learning is a time of “stretching.” It is therefore assumed that readers can and will consider various facts, opinions, and conclusions as they grow and learn. I hope that it will become self evident that the facts presented discussing these important issues are clear, valid, educational, and interesting to all parties, regardless of their theological perspectives.
Every American should identify that even the Liberty Bell bears witness to the truth and importance of this “Jewish stuff.” The holy words, “Proclaim liberty throughout the land,” are inscribed on this precious symbol of American freedom. The Liberty Bell testifies to the honor associated with Yom Kippur. That verse of the Jewish Bible (Leviticus 25:10) specifically refers to a unique Yom Kippur celebration during the year of Jubilee.
I hope you are looking forward to a special day of Jubilee and celebration. If so, together we await the day of our redemption when we are set free from the debt of sin and the bonds of slavery.
Rejoice! A spiritual Jubilee is yet to come.