Chief Rabbi to Pope: Tell the World Jews Belong in Israel


rabbi-shlomo-amarIsrael’s chief rabbis today told Pope Benedict XVI that it was his duty to spread the message that the Jewish people belong in the Land of Israel. “You represent a large nation of believers that knows what the Bible is, and it is your duty to pass on the message that the Jewish people deserve a renaissance, and a little respect – to live in this land,” Sephardi Chief Rabbi Rav Shlomo Amar told the pope. The pope met with Rav Amar and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Rav Yonah Metzger in Yerushalayim today, on the second day of his visit to Israel.

Benedict told the chief rabbis during the meeting that he is committed to reconciliation between Christian and Jews.

He said he has delivered a prayer to God to help enact the command that one love their neighbor as they do themselves.

Rav Metzger told the pope that he regretted that such meetings had not been held earlier in history.

“I thought to myself, if only a historic meeting like this in which the head of the biggest religion in the world meets in Yerushalayim with the heads of Judaism, if this had happened many years earlier, so much innocent blood could have been saved,” Rav Metzger said.

“So much senseless hatred could have been prevented in the world,” he said.

The pope continued his trip through the Holy Land earlier today, visiting the Kosel.

He recited a prayer in Latin, before placing a note in the cracks of the wall.The Chief Rabbi of the Kosel, Rav Shmuel Rabinovich, was present.

Earlier, Benedict visited the Har Habayis, where he shook hands with the mufti of Yerushalayim and senior Islamic Waqf officials.

The German-born pope stood in prayer for several minutes at the Kosel, after meeting the Grand Mufti, Palestinians’ senior Muslim cleric, at the Dome of the Rock.

{Yair Israel/Haaretz}


  1. Sad that some of us still think that asking the Nations to not kill us, or telling them they should feel guilty, will make even an iota of difference.