Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Death of Osama bin Laden: Area clergy urge faithful to pray for their enemies

From Columbus-

At the end of a 10-year hunt culminating with the death of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, local religious leaders weighed in with various reactions and hopes. While some expressed relief over his death, some tempered the relief with the call to pray for one’s enemies.

Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin of Temple Israel (Reform) said: “American Jews feel a particular wave of satisfaction at bin Laden’s death. While our tradition forbids us to rejoice when our enemy falls, we can be relieved that America was successful in its quest for him and for the ultimate justice that this embodies. Our hearts go out to the families of his victims, and we pray that this will provide some closure for them.

“Because of the significant military presence in Columbus, we can feel particular pride in the military and tactical success that this represents,” he said.

Rabbi Brian Glusman of Shearith Israel (Conservative) shared a similar sentiment.
“Within our tradition, we are obligated to kill those who seek to destroy us. I support his death because he continued to pose a threat. However, I’m a little uncomfortable with the amount of celebration.”

For instance, he noted that in the Passover Seder, the celebratory aspect comes from the Hebrews who passed through the Red Sea to freedom. Then the water came crashing down on the Egyptians, their enemies.

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