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Tomorrow in Jerusalem

by Carl M. Caplan

To Joyce for her patience and support

Arise, lift up the lad and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

The Old Testament

Genesis 21:18

For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

The Old Testament

Deuteronomy 7:6

And when his Lord tried Abraham with words, and he fulfilled them, He said, "Verily, I will set thee as a high priest for men." Said he, "And of my seed?" God said, "My covenant touches not the evildoers."

The Qur'an

The Chapter of the Heifer

Chapter 1

Woodlawn, Virginia -- Eight weeks before the present

From his Woodlawn penthouse on the twelfth floor, Khalid studied the stream of worshipers flowing into the bowels of the large synagogue. Like giant rivers converging toward a basin, the lines of people drifted and disappeared through portals leading to the sanctuary. A scene very much different from the Sabbath, when only the most ardent followers felt compelled to extol the virtues of an everlasting God. This evening's services would not bear witness to empty seats.

The wailful, mournful tones of the shofar, the ancient instrument hewn from the horn of a ram, had resounded the clarion call of a Jewish New Year. Now on the eve of the tenth day of repentance, as dusk invaded the countryside, Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, would invoke each Jew's contrition to God and humankind. A period of spiritual immersion would be accompanied by twenty-four hours of abstinence from food and drink. It was not a time to be taken lightly as an omnipotent God would determine who would be inscribed in the Book of Life for the ensuing year.

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