Published January 2019
Our Link Unbroken
Some people say that we should seek the essence of Judaism and ignore ritual observances. These people forget an interesting analogy. If we put on the essence of cologne, it will evaporate overnight, unless, of course, we have a source to continually draw upon.
Similarly, the essence of Judaism’s beliefs is stored in its rituals and only those who have a storehouse from which to draw upon the fundamentals of Judaism will live creatively as Jews.
We fix a mezuzah to the door and thereby fix our principles upon family living. Every morsel of kosher food we prepare testifies to our reverence for life. For we do not kill wantonly; we do not take life without divine permission.
Every Sabbath day we keep means we reject commerce as the control of our lives. We are not money making machines; we are human beings, and we say this with our actions every Shabbat, from sunset to sunset.
When we insist upon Hebrew as the language of our prayer, we testify that the words of Moses still ring in our ears in their authentic form. We maintain our link unbroken in the golden chain of Judaism.
Rabbi Alvin Kass
Chief Chaplain of the NYPD