The Heretic

The most famous Jewish heretic – Elisha ben Abuyah who was known as “acher” (meaning “other”) – rode his horse past the Holy Temple on Yom Kippur, when it fell out on Shabbat, during the time that the High Priest was bringing the ritual sacrifice.

He chose the convergence of the holiest time, place and action as the best time to publicly violate the holiday.  And then it happened.  He heard a voice from the heavens descend and state: All the Jews are welcome to be forgiven on Yom Kippur except for “Acher.”  “Acher” was his nickname; his potential repentance, he understood, would not be accepted.

Must have been a pretty holy heretic – when was the last time you heard a heavenly voice?

The gates of heaven were closed only to Acher (the outsider) not to Elisha ben Abuyah himself. If he would so choose to realign himself with rest of the nation, his potential repentance would also be accepted.  (Indeed some opinions say that he did ultimately repent)

The only person that can issue the title “outsider,” is the individual him or herself.  Not only is it important to remember that we are not outsiders, it’s equally important to make sure that nobody in our extended community ever feels like an outsider.

Chabad has many great things happening this semester and you’re invited!  You can RSVP in one place online anytime at

We are open for all Shabbat and Holiday meals (always free).

Yom Kippur services and breakfast

Torah Tuesdays – Chassidic Songs: get to the bottom of some meaningful melodies with profound meaning.  7:30-8:30pm 9/17

Jazzukah – Sukkot party -6pm Tues. 9/24

ALL Shabbat and Yom Tov meals.

Have an easy fast!