As we continue our journey through Bearing Witness, we dove deeper into anti-Semitism and then history of this concept. The Jewish history is a history of deep understanding of community, culture, and faith. I gained a better appreciation of the faith connections between my Catholic faith and the Jewish people. Yet, I also learned that the connection has not always been the most congenial.
When we were presented a 2500 year history of anti-Semitism in 1 hour and 30 minutes, we were provided insight into a way of life that I feel no group should ever face. People being chosen and blamed simply because of their race, culture, social status, profession, and religion was, and still is, an atrocity that too many were complicit in, and that includes faith groups!
Being able to see how the actions of the Holocaust stemmed from this history of anti-Semitism and was not anything new was eye opening. It was even more eye opening realizing that the actions were aided by the example set forth by the Inquisition! These were actions that Catholics performed. We need to ensure that these actions never happen again!
I know that I will take this new perspective into my classroom. I will be sure that I have my students realize that the actions of our faith need to be an example of positivity and relationship building between faiths! We cannot, and will not, tear down another faith!
I’ll be honest, tonight was my first night in a synagogue! Seeing the scrolls with the Books of Moses on them was special. The delicate nature that the rabbi used while handling the scrolls shows that there is such great care and respect for God’s Word! Also, meeting a rabbi from a Liberal Reformed Jewish community and a rabbi from a Modern Orthodox Jewish community was tremendous. As was said, this was something special and needs to be done more often. Having conversations between different groups within the faith is essential, just as conversations with other religious groups outside the faith are important!
Today was special! Today was challenging! Tomorrow will be a whole new experience! Tomorrow we visit the Holocaust Museum. Tomorrow will be….
Click here to read Bearing Witness…Day One and be sure to follow Adam Cottos on Twitter @acottos.
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