By Daniel Reichel
The Archbishop of Milan Angelo Scola visited the Central Synagogue of Milan for the first time last week.
The need for a dialogue between religions that can really guarantee social harmony and represent a bulwark against radicalism, intolerance and anti-Semitism, also when it has the face of anti-Zionism, was among the main issues discussed for the occasion.
All the speakers stressed the mutual friendship between the two communities, Jews and Christians, and the need to involve also Muslims in the scene.
However, from the Jewish point of view, it was also remembered that the dialogue, in times of fanaticism and terrorist threats, must be faced with concrete actions.
Rabbi Alfonso Arbib, chief rabbi of Milan and President of the Italian Rabbinical Assembly, thanked repeatedly Cardinal Scola for having promoted himself the meeting.
“We have gone a long way together but there is still a lot to do,” said the rabbi, in his speech for the visit which occurred on the Day of Jewish-Christian dialogue.
He highlighted that this dialogue is born to “change a long history of misunderstandings, which in some cases have turned into tragedies.”
“We are confident that while safeguarding the differences, – said Arbib – we will all be guided by the values that our two religions have passed down and which have become an heritage for the entire world. Our aspiration must be the love for the truth and peace.”
The message was shared by the co-presidents of the Milanese Jewish Community Raffaele Besso and Milo Hasbani, the deputy president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) Giorgio Mortara – who read a letter from the UCEI president Noemi Di Segni – and rabbi Giuseppe Laras.
During the event, which was coordinated by Community Board member Davide Romano, rabbi Elia Richetti sang some psalms.
By Daniel Reichel