Following the horrific attack on a synagogue in Halle, Germany earlier this month, our community stood in solidarity with our Jewish neighbours to condemn such barbaric actions. As Shias, we know only too well how these attacks are even more painful when they target our religious centres and during sacred times of year. This synagogue was attacked on the day of Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement and repentance. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives and their families at this sad time.
Our resident Aalim, Shaykh Jaffer, and other representatives fromm our community, have been working with local faith groups for some time now in an attempt to bridge the gaps between ourselves and our neighbours in an increasingly divided society. Shaykh wrote to our Jewish neighbours on behalf of the community, and below are some of their responses.
Dear Sheikh Jaffer,
Wow such a beautiful email!! Thank you so much for taking the time to write! Hope you are keeping well…
May all of our efforts to promote peace and understanding, bring the world to a much safer place.
Very best wishes to you and with much appreciation for the message
Rabbi Marc Levene
Belmont United Synagogue
Dear Sheikh Jaffer,
Thank you for the kind and empathetic thoughts from your community behind this message and for taking the time to write to us. I have passed it on to my colleagues Rabbi Emily Reitsma-Jurman and Rabbi Neil Kraft and the Chair of our Interfaith Forum, Michael Casale so that we can share it with the community. I know that it will be deeply appreciated.
An attack on a place of worship is an attack on all people of faith. The news of the attack did not reach us until Yom Kippur was over but it has of course spread a wave of shock through the Jewish community. It is certainly consoling to us to know that you and the community of the KSIMC join us in revulsion against this attack.
Below I have attached an analysis of the attack from Jon Boyd, the Chief Executive of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research. I hope that this may be helpful in understanding Jewish community feelings about what happened in Halle.
I wish you and our friends at KSIMC a peaceful year ahead and a continued strengthening of our understanding and care for each other.
Rabbi Mark Goldsmith
Edgware & Hendon Reform Synagogue
Dear Sheikh Ladak,
Many thanks for your kind email sent to my predecessor, Merrick Wolman, last week to express your sympathy and support after the recent terrorist incident in Halle, Germany.
This was an act of baseless hatred which was deplorable and has been rightly widely condemned. The Jewish people in Europe have been facing down this type of hatred in the form of anti-semitism for some time now.
It is imperative that all religions stand in solidarity against such atrocities which as Merrick has said are perpetrated against those in our respective religions for no other purpose than baseless hatred and a lack of tolerance for our respective beliefs.
Once again, thank you so much for your support.
Stanmore & Canons Park Synagogue