Jonathan Sacks: All faiths must stand together against hatred

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When the Archbishop of Canterbury and I led a mission of leaders of all the faiths in Britain to Auschwitz in November, we did so in the belief that the time has come to strengthen our sense of human solidarity. For the Holocaust was not just a Jewish tragedy but a human one. Nor did it happen in some remote corner of the globe. It happened in the heart of Europe, in the culture that had given the world Goethe and Beethoven, Kant and Hegel. And it can happen again. Not in the same place, not in the same way, but hate still stalks our world.

Nine years ago, when a National Holocaust Memorial Day was first mooted, Tony Blair asked me for my views. I said that I felt the Jewish community did not need such a day. We have our own day, Yom Hashoa, which is, for us, a grief observed. All of us, literally or metaphorically, lost family in the great destruction. All of us are, in some sense, survivors. To be a Jew is to carry the burden of memory without letting it rob us of hope and faith in the possibility of a world at peace.

But such a day might be valuable to all of us, Jew and non-Jew alike, were two conditions satisfied. The first was that, without diminishing the uniqueness of the Holocaust, we might use it to highlight other tragedies: Bosnia, Cambodia, Rwanda and now Darfur. The second was that the day was taken into schools. For it is our children and grandchildren who must carry the fight for tolerance into the future, and we must make sure that they recognise the first steps along the path to Hell.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsJudaism

Posted January 27, 2009 at 1:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

This would carry a lot more weight with me if they visited Katyn, the Ukraine, etc. to draw attention to Communist atrocities and massacres.

They should also visit Deir ez-Zor in Syria, and Radjo, Katma, and Azaz in Turkey to draw attention to the Muslim atrocities and massacres.

January 27, 11:02 am | [comment link]
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