A Press Roundup of Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’s Washington visit last week

Washington Hebrew Congregation, co-sponsor of our Dialogue event with Rabbi Sacks, writes on their blog:

To combat the pattern of marginalization, Ambassador Ahmed emphasized the role organized religious communities and religious leaders can play in facilitating conversation between faith communities.

As an example, he pointed to the first Abrahamic summit, an initiative he launched with Rabbi Lustig and Bishop John Chane at Washington Hebrew Congregation following the attacks on September 11. Having representatives from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam together on one stage changed the direction of the conversation in Washington, DC and laid the groundwork for the strong interfaith relationships that exist in our community today.

Maureen Fiedler, host of Interfaith Radio, makes this contribution to the National Catholic Reporter based on her interview with Rabbi Sacks on her program following the dialogue:

In his book, Sacks finds a message of peace in the “sibling rivalries” of the Hebrew Scriptures: Cain and Abel, Ismael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, Joseph and his brothers. But he looks at the pattern over time, from the violence of Cain toward Abel, to the ever more peaceful resolutions of later rivalries. For Sacks, herein lies a message: Peace and reconciliation are the will of God, not conflict and murder. And that is the message of Genesis as it moves along.

When it comes to confronting violence, he says each side in a conflict must put himself or herself into the shoes of the other and try to see the world as he/she sees it. When I asked him how that applied to Israel and Palestine, his answer was the same, with descriptions of what each needs to do to stand in the other’s shoes.

And finally, Patrick Burnett writes the following based on our Dialogue Event in the Huffington Post:

For two senior rabbis to hold a devout Muslim scholar in such high regard indicates true fraternity among these broader faith traditions can and does exist. Sadly, such cordiality between Jews and Muslims has become something unusual and noteworthy. In a somber world where Jews and Muslims are killing each other daily in the Middle East, and terrorist groups attack their brothers and sisters in Abraham globally, such rich interfaith friendships must deepen, proliferate, and be shared with the world if Abrahamic peace is to once again prevail. Jewish-Muslim friendships can become the norm, rather than the exception.

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