Rabbi Thanks Interfaith Partners

Source: Baptist Standard

The local rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel, a Jewish synagogue in Colleyville,Texas expressed his thanks and appreciation to clergy partners in the aftermath of being held hostage at gunpoint along with four of members.

Earlier this year on January 15, a gunman with extremist affiliations entered the synagogue holding parishioners and Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker hostage for approximately 11 hours before authorities were able to apprehend the gun. In remarks at the Global Faith Forum, an interfaith partnership of congregations, parishes, synagogues, and mosques, hosted at Northwood Church in Keller, Texas, the rabbi expressed gratitude for his Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish  colleagues who sent him encouraging messages.

One of the rabbi’s friends, Father Michael Higgins of the Good Shepherd Catholic Community commented that upon learning of his friend’s ordeal said, “This happened to friends. This happened to neighbors. We know each other.”

As globalization continues to make the world more interconnected, interfaith relationships between clergy and faith-based communities are not unusual. Despite the many nuances of our faith traditions, the event sponsored by the Multi-Faith Neighbors Network seeks to remind members of faith-based communities that love for one’s neighbor, respect for human life and opposition to injustice are shared values that transcend theological differences

Rabbi Cytron-Walker said, “These universal values are not just meant for study. They are meant to be lived out.”

Just two weeks prior to the hostage crisis, Father Higgins had hosted an event where Rabbi Cytron-Walker was the speaker. An active member of interfaith circles both Higgins and Cytron-Walker described how their friendship has not just made them stronger but serves as a model of how individuals of different faiths working together makes everyone stronger.

Source: Baptist Standard