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Prayer at Rosh Hashana Service

October 01, 1985

It was a pleasure to read Doug Smith's sensitive and well-written story, titled "Unusual Trappings Retain Spirit of Rosh Hashana" (Sept. 17).

One minor mistake requires correction lest those persons knowledgeable about the form of a Jewish service wonder if our service was not only nontraditional, but also incorrect.

After the Torah, which was very kindly lent by Temple Beth Kodesh of Canoga Park, was carried around the room and its cover was removed, the people called from the congregation recited a prayer in Hebrew as indicated in the article. The article, however, indicated that the prayer read before the Torah reading was as follows: "Here O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One."

That prayer is the Shemah, which was read at another point in the service. The prayer done before reading of the Torah is the Borechu.

The fact that your reporter, who is not Jewish, was able to come so close with his translation without knowing Hebrew is a further compliment to his reporting skill and we thank him again for the wonderful story.

MICHAEL S. KLEIN

Los Angeles

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