Friday, April 18, 2008

First Pope
To Visit

Pope Benedict seems like a good man to me. I own, and have read, multiple books by him. He has written often of care for our Jewish brothers and sisters in faith.

From AP:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope to visit an American synagogue Friday, bringing greetings for the Passover holiday and accepting gifts of matzo and a seder plate. Benedict, 81, stopped briefly at Park East Synagogue on Manhattan's Upper East Side, near the Vatican residence.

"I find it moving to recall that Jesus, as a young boy, heard the words of Scripture and prayed in a place such as this," he said.

At a Roman Catholic church in Manhattan, the pope later warned other Christian leaders against "so-called prophetic actions" that conflict with traditional views of the Bible, a reference to the debate over Scripture that is fracturing churches in America and around the world.

In his visit to the synagogue, Benedict was shown the congregation's collection of parchment scrolls, and two youngsters presented him with the Passover gifts.

The German-born pontiff then offered a gift of his own: a reproduction of a Jewish codex.

"In our lifetime, we have experienced the ravages of war, the Holocaust, man's inhumanity to man and tasted the joy of freedom," said Rabbi Arthur Schneier, who lived in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe.

"This momentous occasion takes places on American soil, where men and women escaping the clutches of oppression and religious persecution have built a nation of democracy and freedom. This is a nation which has allowed all religious communities to flourish."

The Jewish community makes "a valuable contribution to the life of the city," Benedict said. "And I encourage all of you to continue building bridges of friendship with all the many different ethnic and religious groups present in your neighborhood."

The visit was Benedict's second as pontiff to a Jewish house of worship. On his first papal trip abroad in 2005, Benedict entered a synagogue in Cologne, Germany, that had been destroyed by the Nazis and rebuilt.

At his visit with Christian leaders, the pontiff said allowing individual congregations to interpret the Gospel undermines evangelism at a time when "the world is losing its bearings" and needs "persuasive common witness" to salvation in Christ.

"Only by holding fast to sound teaching will we be able to respond to the challenges that confront us in an evolving world," Benedict said at the evening service with Protestant and Orthodox clergy at St. Joseph's church, which was founded by German immigrants and still regularly celebrates Mass in German.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Iran Destroys Synagogues

In an eery repeat of Nazi Germany, Iran has begun destroying the Synagogues in which Jews worship:

And so it begins. The second holocaust ................ they vow to wipe Israel off the map. They are building nuclear weapons. They are destroying synagogues....what next?

Iran: Seven historic synagogues in Tehran destroyed

Tehran, 15 April (AKI) - Seven ancient synagogues in the Iranian
capital, Tehran, have been destroyed by local authorities.

The synagogues were in the Oudlajan suburb of Tehran, where many
Iranian Jews used to live.

"These buildings, which were part of our
cultural, artistic and architectural heritage were burnt to the ground," said
Ahmad Mohit Tabatabaii, the director of the International Council of Museums’
(ICOM) office in Tehran.

"With the excuse of renovating this ancient quarter, they are erasing a
part of our history," said Tabatabaii.

He called for the government to intervene to stop the work commissioned
by the local authorities.

A group of residents of Oudjalan have also sent a letter to the mayor
of Tehran asking him to suspend the renovation work being carried out in the

Keith Jarrett - Sun Bear Concerts

More Keith Jarrett from Little Green Footballs.

Click here to listen.