As the High Holy Days approach I will be posting more intorspective Jewish pieces gathered from different sources. This one definitey touches my belief that we are all citizens of one world.
Humanity Is Indivisible
How does the Jewish mind work? We learned that from Teddy Kollek, the [former] mayor of Jerusalem, when he was awarded the annual Peace Prize of the Association of German Publishers. The ceremony took place in the historic Paulskirche in Frankfurt. When Kollek was asked to designate someone to present the award, he made a surprising choice. He picked Manfred Rommel, now the mayor of Stuttgart, and the son of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel.
After receiving the prize, Kollek responded. He explained that he had chosen Rommel to make the present5ation because he remembered the battle of El Alamein and the “great danger that the German army, under Field Marshall Rommel, posed in [that] part of the world. The fate of the Jewish people of Palestine [now Israel] seemed mortally threatened.”
“Who would have imagined then, [Kollek asked], that the field Marshall’s son and I would meet in the peaceful profession of being mayors? Isn’t that a symbol of peace, which is our theme here?” And then Kollek added these remarkable words:
“In the face of the fanaticism and intolerance which are the mark of our time, there is a need for a deep belief in humanistic Jewishness…treating all [people] with the same respect and in the same manner. That isn’t always recognized, especially among groups which only think of themselves and overlook the interests of others…According to Jewish belief, [however], humanity is indivisible.
Rabbi Sandy Ragins, from The American Rabbi, 1994