Seasons of Peace

December 21, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Over 100 people came together as religious leaders celebrated Chanukah and Christmas at the Sydney Jewish Museum.

The Rev Fred Nile, Lynda Ben-Menashe, Rev John Barr, Fr Shenuda Mansour, Rabbi Kalman Kastel, Jeremy SPinak

The Rev Fred Nile, Lynda Ben-Menashe, Rev John Barr, Fr Shenuda Mansour,
Rabbi Kalman Kastel, Jeremy Spinak     Photo: Giselle Haber

The function was organised by The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies and attracted representatives from the Jewish, Assyrian, Hellenic and the NSW Economical Council.

CEO of the NSWJBD Vic Alhadeff told J-Wire: “This was to a be a one-off event but it proved to be so popular that it is hoped it will become an annual affair.”

He added: “Given that it took place so shortly after the Martin Place siege it was comforting to experience such a great felling of goodwill.”

The NSW Board of Deputies was also present at the Interfaith Memorial Gathering in Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral in the aftermath of the Martin Place siege.

President of the NSWJBD Jeremy Spinak spoke at the gathering saying: “The NSW Jewish Community sends its thoughts and prayers to the survivors of this terrible tragedy. May the coming days surrounded by your loved ones bring you strength, solace and healing.

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney--Archbishop Anthony Fisher and Jeremy Spinak

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney–Archbishop Anthony Fisher and Jeremy Spinak

We deeply mourn the loss of Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson.

The Jewish Community is currently observing the festival of is known as the festival of light.

The festival’s lesson is that even during the darkest of times light will shine, that through adversity, through pain, through unspeakable acts–light will endure, it is eternal and it cannot be extinguished.

To the families of Tori and Katrina please know that the light of your loved ones will similarly endure.

That it is not the abhorrent act of a repugnant individual that will be remembered out of the darkness of the last week

…..but instead it is the light of Tori and Katrina’s memory that will shine bright.

Light will endure.

Our community of Sydney will not remember a dark an empty Martin Place filled with fear and terror, but a Martin Place filled with an ocean of flowers and a sea of harmony.

The week will not be remembered as a moment when terror won but when unity triumphed.

When we demonstrated to the world that no evil is going to change who we are or make us afraid to be ourselves.

Our light will endure.

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3 Responses to “Seasons of Peace”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    Let me get it straight: our Jewish Museum from now on will be celebrating Xmas, Chabad Rabbis and all !!!

    • Leverne Levy-Williams says:

      Otto, it’s about tolerance. Australia is a majority Christian country, we have to be mindful of that.

      • Otto Waldmann says:

        Laverne, it’s about our identity as WE know it. A tolerant Australia – and I object to the term “tolerant” big time !!!- does not mean changing our values to accommodate anything and anyone.

        Here’s a clear and well known principle : Jews DO NOT celebrate or take part in the celebration of Xmas !!

        If those Jews taking part in a celebration of understanding our civilised values cannot find the right way of expressing the particular Jewish way of joining in the fight against those who are about to destroy our society, then they should step back and allow those Jews much better prepared in doing so.

        Incidentally , the process of tolerance implies the existence of a dominant entity allowing a submissive one to function at the behest of the upper, dominant, echelon. This is what you mean, knowingly or not.

        Can’t wait for the liberal thinkers (sic) to cut in and carry on with improvised rubbish about “how to be a normal citizen etc. “

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