Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Chief Rabbi And The Archbishop: Pushing Beyond Interfaith Clichés

From Jewish Week-

It was moving to see one of the world’s most important Christian leaders stand at Yad Vashem earlier this month, declaring that anti-Semitism should become so alien that it would be “something that is only found mysteriously in old history books.” And it wasn’t only what Justin Welby, leader of the world’s third-largest Christian grouping said that made the sight so moving — but who he said it with.

Welby is Archbishop of Canterbury, meaning that he leads the world’s 80 million Anglicans, and as he spoke about anti-Semitism in Jerusalem, his travel companion stood behind him, and then picked up where he left off. Archbishop Welby had told Commonwealth Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis that he would be visiting Israel, and realizing that the rabbi has been living in Jerusalem for a two-year stint and knows the city well, invited him to join the trip.

And so, a personal and professional bond set the stage for an interfaith trip that pushed far beyond the clichés that can sometimes limit such get-togethers. It was a visit that saw the archbishop take a hard look at his own society in England and say that “a fresh sense of anti-Semitism” there “must go so deeply into the root of our culture.” Having earlier called anti-Semitism the “root of all racism” in European culture, Archbishop Welby declared: “Until that is expelled from our culture, there will be a taproot for all racism, all discrimination, all cruelty because of the nature of the human being in our culture.”

More here-


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