A 2nd Selectman, A Rabbi And A Pope Go Into New York…

Westport 2nd Selectman Avi Kaner was crossing 72nd Street earlier today. Look what he saw:

Meanwhile, Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn of Westport’s Conservative Synagogue had an even closer encounter with Pope Francis.

As he wrote his congregation earlier today:

This morning, I had the distinct honor of attending the Multi-Religious Gathering with Pope Francis at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. It was truly a day in my life that I will never forget.

Pope Francis, at the 9/11 Memorial. (Photo/Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn)

Pope Francis, at the 9/11 Memorial. (Photo/Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn)

In a room filled with clergy and representatives of all religions, the positive energy was palpable and contagious. I sat next to an amazing woman from the Sikh community, and we were surrounded by fellow Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish clergy. The symbolism of sitting together at Ground Zero–where so many lives were lost due to baseless hatred and terror-and instead joining hands in the spirit of peace, was nothing short of awe-inspiring. The humble presence of the Pope and his simple yet powerful plea for unity and reconciliation among all people left our hearts filled spirit and with hope.

As we approach Shabbat and look forward to celebrating Sukkot next week, let us all look forward to the day in which God spreads a sukkat shalom (shelter of peace) over the entire world.

Warm wishes for Shabbat Shalom and Hag Sameach.

Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn and Bishop James Massa, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn.

Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn and Bishop James Massa, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn.

4 responses to “A 2nd Selectman, A Rabbi And A Pope Go Into New York…

  1. Sharon Paulsen

    Thanks Dan!

    I was MOVED by this Pope’s visit today. It was extraordinary (by today’s standards anyway, which IMHO are wrought with a lack of “the extraordinary”), and his speeches all week were worthy of each moment listening to, not because of any specific religious standpoint per say, but from a purely human standpoint.

    I had the pleasure of being able to watch (on MSNBC) each of the events this singular person of faith was able to attend and speak at.

    I am not “ascribed” to any specific religious concept, rule, doctrine, or creed, nor am I opposed to anyone’s point of view. I was baptized Catholic by circumstance, but raised in an open minded and liberal/progressive/ thoughtful environment. I’ve studied and read many philosophical and religious concepts. I’ve experienced many at face value.

    Frankly, I enjoy all of it, including my freedom to choose what I like to “study or educate” myself with. That’s an essential element to our lifestyle and “theme” of what our country (should) represent.

    One very moving moment for me, while not being overly sentimental about certain things, was the performance by a Jewish singer (cantor?) at the 9-11 ground zero proceedings today. That guy could really SING, and I was goosebumpily lifted to a teary-eyed state, whilst attempting to clean my house.

    Vacuum off, turned up the volume, and sat down to relish in an indescribable feeling of well being and human forgiveness.

    There’s gotta be something important in that.

    Perhaps b’cause: intelligence, compassion, thoughtfulness, care, awareness, love, forgiveness?

    Today was a day I reminded myself that we’re all in the same boat.

    And, we don’t NEED a bigger boat.

    We already have everything that we think we need.

  2. Dolores Bacharach

    Lovely joyful photo. Additionally, Rabbi Wiederhorn, as Clergy Council chair coordinated with Rev. Alison Patton, the remembrance of those murdered in Charleston during a Bible Study class. Compassion is non-denominational. Thank God!

  3. This may be the beginning of the answer. Instead of politicians abusing all the great faiths of the world to justify aggression and conquest, let the great leaders of believers demand a concerted effort “to help one another”. It’s pretty simple and pretty wonderful. Many attributions: ” Let me do it now, for I may not pass this way again”.