WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Friday, October 03, 2014

CLOSED FOR ATONEMENT

SHAME ON US: For writing a piece on co-existing and understanding and not noting that the Muslin and Druze feast of the Sacrifice Eid al-Adha falls on the same day as Yom Kippur. Maybe there's a message in the convergence of religious holidays. 

Tonight is the service of Kol Nidre, which as we understand it, is an ancient ceremony whereupon people who were forced into debts or promises against their will are relieved of such obligations. It is a ceremony unique to oppressed people and slaves. 

How could is such an ancient ceremony relevant in 2014? 
What are we now forced to do or forced to promise that we need the intervention of the almighty? 

Earlier this year we tried a lengthy federal trial and one after another, the government marched in pathetic individuals, shackled, in prison khakis, who shamefully admitted their part in an insurance scam. These were bit players, who were paid $500.00  or a $1,000.00 to participate in a small way in a very large fraud.  What struck us was that they all were sentenced to between two and four years for their actions, and now, as part of the contract they entered into with an Assistant United States Attorney out for the blood of our client, they came to court and testified. None of them looked very happy, and when we asked each one of them if they regretted entering into a deal with the government- a question we had no idea how the witness would answer- each of them said "yes".  And it was during that trial that we thought of Kol Nidre

There is still too much suffering going on in the world. Arabs shoot missiles at Israel and Israel responds by bombing and killing Arab children- clearly unintentionally, but they are dead nevertheless. The cycle of violence continues for another generation; hatred born out of the loss of a son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, father, mother or wife.  Perhaps a ceremony that releases nations from obligations of violence and hatred and war is in order? 

We get up and work at jobs that may be satisfying, or drudgery. We scramble to pay bills, satisfy clients, collect money, take care of children or parents or both, and life passes by slowly and yet at rocket speed. The notion that we will have time to do that- whatever that is, becomes less sure, and more surreal. Perhaps we need a ceremony to release us from the mundane obligations that turn life into work, and work into life? 

From dealing with cooperating witnesses to understanding geo-political events to the close introspection of our daily life,  these next few days can be a time of renewal, or they can be wasted in going though the motions of prayer and hunger and thirst. Whatever life it, we know this- it doesn't wait for us to live it. It ticks by, second by second, until one day we wonder "where did the time go?"

Don't wake up one day with that awful question. 

Enjoy your weekend.  And for those fasting, have an easy fast. 

See you in court. 


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Would it be asking too much for Albert Milian and Martin Zilber to take down all the signs they still have up weeks after the election? Really!

Anonymous said...

Nice investiture for Darrin Gayles today in federal court. Never seen so many African Americans attend an investiture. We've come so far yet, have so far to go.........

REAL FORMER JUDGE said...

One of the most thoughtful, intelligent and correct commentaries that you ever wrote. Life does go by fast. There are so many tragedies and acts that disregard humanity.

Let's not be defined by others who act in despicable ways. Let's define the world and others by our acts of kindness, compassion and love.

Love, kindness, compassion, generosity, forgiveness and tolerance is the only answer.

Thank you Rumpole for all of your time and effort and heart that you put into this site. Your kindness has not gone unnoticed with this loyal reader. Your inquiry into the thoughts and minds of your readers is so valuable and appreciated.

With much gratitude ….

Anonymous said...

This year both the jewish holiday and the muslim holiday fall on the same day. Interesting.

real Fake Former Judge said...

what a loud of crap. I'm hungry....lets eat!

Claude Erskine-Browne said...

La ilaha ila Allah

There is only one God , Allah
Though Allah does have many names , like Hashem

Anonymous said...

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Anonymous said...

I too attended the Gayles investiture. His speech was great. He acknowledged his boyfriend and said he loved him. I had a tear in my eye. We have indeed come so far.

Anonymous said...

Happy Fasting. Only a few hours to go.

Anonymous said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/02/supreme-court-judicial-campaigns_n_5920368.html

Anonymous said...

What stars, what thought and sadness up above, and what ignorance below.

Abe Laeser said...

What a shameful blog! To misconstrue my faith in a demeaning and mean spirited way is appalling.

Your blog had the same impact as if you had written that Jesus's resurrection was a ploy by his followers - who stole his dead body. Would Christians be offended?

Perhaps you can suggest, next Ramadan, that Mohammed never lived. Maybe that would make others angry.

While you may think of yourself as learned, your explanation of the holy day of Yom Kippur is completely without a factual basis. The rules of the holiday were in effect beginning while the kingdom of Israel lived [approx. 1100 BCB to year 170 of the common era. We were not slaves. Our laws did not change.

By the way, since you know my e-mail and phone - I am more than glad to discuss this LIE about oaths and obligations. Nothing that takes place on Yom Kippur reduces ones debts under law or to his fellow man. We ask G-d to absolve us of oaths we gave to Him and were unble to fulfill. We are not absolved - but we may be if we ask. All personal obligations remain until satisfied. This rule applies also to personal affronts. We must ask forgiveness from one who we may have insulted or verbally harmed. Only their forgive ess forbears a wicked decree for the following year.

Thank you for wishing me an easy fast.

Rumpole said...

I was only commenting on Kol Nidre as being an ancient ceremony, and it being a ceremony of people who were slaves since- and I have had many discussions with Rabbis and other religious scholars about this- Jews were forced to make oaths and obligations that were not entered into voluntarily. Thus, with the understanding that such oaths and obligations were patently unfair, they were absolved from such oaths. In fact, when I went to A Kol Nidre ceremony this year, I learned that the entire chant was written in Aramaic and not Hebrew because that was a more common language at the time.

I meant no offense about this whatsoever, and whatever mistakes I made were not intentional. I am still at a loss to understand what has you so upset. However, a quick research reveals that the chant of the Kol nidre has been in effect since at least Geonic period starting around 590.

I have re-read my post and see nothing offensive in it. In fact I have always been entranced with the beauty of such an ancient LEGAL ceremony, as all scholars are in agreement that it is not a prayer. My thought that a religion absolves someone of a vow they cannot keep is a wonderful thing, since we as humans often promise more than we can deliver and thus Kol Nidre is a ceremony that evinces profound understanding of the human condition.

Again, I recognize your anger. I apologize - no pun about the season intended- and I offer you an unrestricted response to my transgressions whatever they are. Write what you want- I will post it completely. and You can add your name or not,