“We have been overwhelmed by something unexpected, at an unexpected speed. But our communities reacted well and they did it in a Jewish way, showing a great sense of solidarity. The hope is that we can get out of it as soon as possible, taking advantage of these experiences.”
This was one of the reflections offered by Rav Alfonso Arbib, president of the Italian Rabbinic Assembly, during a video conference organized by the Union of Italian Jewish Communities for a moment of greeting and best wishes a few hours before the beginning of Pesach.
“The wish for us all is to have the courage to look forward. To look beyond the horizon of this Red Sea that we will shortly cross,” said UCEI President Noemi Di Segni at the beginning.
A very large participation characterized the event, streamed on the UCEI social channel and marked by the participation of the presidents and chief rabbis of the 21 Italian Jewish Communities. Many voices were heard, many testimonies were offered.
In the Coronavirus emergency, the Italian Jewish community has proven to be united, strong, compact.
Even in this dark time, the invitation from everyone was in fact to catch signs of light and hope.
“These are the reflections and teachings that we are all called to pass on,” observed President Di Segni, expressing her appreciation for the ideas that emerged.
Concluding the conference, rav Roberto Della Rocca, director of the Education and Culture area of the Union, recalled how Pesach – which was also celebrated during the crusades, pogroms and the Shoah – has always been an opportunity of resilience.
“It is in times of crisis that the value of a leader is seen. The UCEI – said the rav – has shown that it lives up to teshuvah, tefillah and tzedakah “.
The ceremony also included reading of an Izkor prayer for the victims of the virus by rav Elia Richetti, by the reading of psalm 121 by rav Giuseppe Momigliano and by the Tefillat cholim recited by rav Riccardo Di Segni.