Lessons of desecration should be communication

Re: Religion at fault for persecution of the Jews (Letters, Jan. 20).

Re: Religion at fault for persecution of the Jews (Letters, Jan. 20).

It would be a denial of history to claim that Christian teachings played no role in the development of the homicidal anti-Semitism that claimed the lives of six million Jewish men, women and children during the Holocaust. But history need not chain us.

The lessons of the Holocaust impelled Christian leaders to meditation and introspection. Documents such as Bearing Faithful Witness and Nostra Aetate (In Our Age) – which extended the hand of friendship from the United Church of Canada and the Roman Catholic Church respectively – represent a sincere effort to achieve reconciliation.

The Jewish community itself has not been inactive in this regard, and offered Dabru Emet (Speak Truth) as a consideration of the relationship between Christianity and Judaism. These documents do not represent the last word in dialogue. Indeed they are barely the first words in a conversation that is long overdue.

We ignore the sounds of hate that echoed through the sacred space of the Emanu-El Jewish Cemetery at our shared peril, but we cannot permit that ugly growl to drown out the words that we must speak to each other.

Len Rudner, director

Community Relations and Outreach, The Centre

for Israel and Jewish Affairs