Blessing for the monks at Beit Jamal

On Erev Rosh HaShanah, vandals broke into the Saint Stephen’s church at Beit Jamal, the site of an Italian monastery and French nunnery, in the pastoral hills of Mateh Yehudah.  This is the third attack in four years.  

I joined a delegation of Jews through Tag Meir to show support for the victims.  We brought flowers.  Here is the letter that I attached to my flowers:

To the people of Beit Jamal Monastery,

Please accept this humble tribute of friendship as a small reparation for the damage that has been done to you – physical, emotional and spiritual damage.

According to the Bible, all human beings are the descendents of Adam – meaning, we are all one family. I believe, based on a rabbinic teaching, that when we harm another human being, we are harming all humanity.

I believe, we all worship the same G-d though we address G-d differently.

I believe that it is our imperative to learn from the philosopher George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”

I believe in the words of Isaiah (56:7) “for My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations,” that our imperative is to bring about this vision.

I remember the words of Zechariah (14:16) who dreams of a time when all nations will celebrate together in the spirit of Sukkot – the festival of abundance. I pray that we can understand that there is abundance in the world and there is more than enough to go around for all people if we choose to do so.

I am ready to be your partners in a peaceful co-existence in this land and in this world.

Rabbi Stacey Blank
Tzur Hadassah Congregation
Mateh Yehud

 

 

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