March 01, 2007
Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger showers lavish praise on Advani
By Organiser Bureau
The Opposition Leader’s residence became a meeting place for the religious heads of three major faiths in the world, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam. It was a pleasant surprise for everybody, Indian Muslim scholars and theologians met Israeli Jewish Rabbis on the night of February 6 to call for peace in West Asia at this dinner.
Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger made a touching reference to the lasting contribution made by the BJP leader L.K. Advani in furthering the friendship and co-operation between India and Israel. The Chief Rabbi, the highly regarded Jewish pontiff, was lavish in his praise for India’s Leader of Opposition, as he was speaking at a dinner hosted at the Prithviraj Road residence of the BJP leader.
The Chief Rabbi said, “It is seldom that I go to somebody’s residence to participate in a reception. Our custom does not allow this. But, here, I came to Shri L.K. Advani’s residence, as if I were going to my own home. It is a debt that we owe to the leader. As India’s Internal Minister, he was the first Indian top official to visit Israel. He played a major and sustained role in furthering and cementing the relations between the two countries. We immensely value this gesture. Our people are greatly indebted to India. This is one country where Jews were never persecuted and enjoyed great hospitality. It is as a mark of gratitude that I am here, in this dinner, hosted in my honour.”
The Opposition Leader’s residence became a meeting place for the religious heads of three major faiths in the world, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam. It was a pleasant surprise for everybody, Indian Muslim scholars and theologians met Israeli Jewish Rabbis on the night of February 6 to call for peace in West Asia at this dinner. RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri Suresh Soni was also present at the dinner. The Chief Rabbi of Israel was joined by several senior Rabbis from European countries and Israeli Ambassador David Danieli. Muslim scholars from India included Prof. Akhtar-ul-Wasey, director, Jamia Milia Islamia, Sirajuddin Qureshi, President of India Islamic Cultural Centre, Wasi Ahmed Nomani, Jurist, Jameeluddin Iiyasi president of All India Imams Organisation and Umer Ilyasi, president, Sufi Sant Sangam.
Highly respected leaders of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha including Swami Dayananda Saraswati was also present on the occasion.
Shri Bawa Jain, secretary general of World Council of Religious Leaders (WCORL), that organised the three-day Hindu-Jewish Leadership Summit said the conference would not have been possible but for the help of the Leader of Opposition. He recalled the sterling leadership qualities of the BJP leader and his tireless endeavour towards unity of religions, interfaith dialogue and peace among faiths.
Shri Advani, in his brief welcome speech, emphasised the great Indian tradition of equal respect to all faiths. He said, the distortion of Indian secularism had reached a stage where, secularism has come to mean a state eschewing religion. The language of religion has a significant role in shaping the character of the state. It is not a state without religion, but a state that respects all religions, that is at the essence of secularism. The distortion and intolerance to religion have come because of the spell of Marxism on Indian political leadership, he said.
The World Council of Religious Leaders and All India Movement for Seva effectuated the signing of a declaration between Hindu and Jewish leaders in New Delhi on February 6. The protocol of co-operation was signed between Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger and Swami Dayanand Saraswati, convener of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha in the presence of leaders of both the ways of worship.
Highlighting the objective of the summit, which began on February 5 at Hotel Taj Palace, Shri Bawa Jain, sa
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