The Stringency and The Undoing
It is related that one Shabbos, in a Siberian forced labour camp, two Jews were brought to the commander’s office and offered their freedom if they immediately signed the required papers. The first Jew refused to sign since he believed that his life was not in danger if he remained longer in that camp. However, he soon realised his mistake when the other Jew, an elderly man who would probably not survive much longer under the harsh conditions, also refused to sign
One person’s Chumrah [stringency] might be another’s undoing. Is it my concern what their weakness is? If it is true, imagined or self inflicted?
Our lives are intertwined and whatever we do links to the lives of others.
Atonement cannnot be preformed wholesale, but no individual can atone alone, for one life is inextricably fused to the lives of may others, close, far, known and unknown. Thus we say as a community, “We have sinned …..”
May this Yom Kippur be a time for reflection and recognition of our extended responsibilities.
Rabbi Meir G. Rabi
Galus Australis wishes its readers all the very best over the fast and gmar chatima tova.