Notre Dame Cathedral fire: Jewish leaders offer solidarity

Notre Dame Cathedral fire: Jewish leaders offer solidarity

Israel's president, the leader of the French community as well as British and European Jewish leaders, offer support after the historic monument is engulfed in flames

Israel’s president has led the country’s support for France following a devastating fire at the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Taking to Twitter, the head of state reflected on his visit to France earlier this year before offering support to its people.

This comes after firefighters fully extinguished a catastrophic blaze at Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral that left a nation mourning the devastation of its cultural and historic “epicentre”.

Hundreds tackled the historic blaze through the night, battling to stop it wreaking complete destruction of the treasured facade after flames torched the roof, sending its spire crashing to the ground before crowds of horrified Parisians.

Donations have poured in to rebuild the national monument, while French president Emmanuel Macron said a national subscription would be launched when he visited the scene on Monday night.

Taking to Twitter, President Reuven Rivlin said Notre Dame “is one of the most beautiful symbols of Paris and of France, and also one of its most important cultural symbols. In January, I looked over the skyline of the city and the spires of the cathedral made it even more beautiful.

Our hearts are with the people of France and the legends of Notre Dame Paris, real and fictional, and we pray it will stand in eternity.”

Francis Kalifat, President of the CRIF, the umbrella body for French Jewish organisations, tweeted: “Terrible photos of the cathedral in flames. Our solidarity and thoughts go to France’s Catholic community. Immense sadness as we face this tragedy which this nation is mourning”.

The CRIF expressed its solidarity with the firefighters who tackled the flames last night, and said it “shares the great emotion which has hit France in the heart following the blaze at Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral.”

Board of Deputies tweeted its support, saying: “Our thoughts with Parisians and all of France. The devastation of any place of worship is a tragedy, particularly Notre Dame which holds a special place in the hearts of so many, especially Catholics.”

Meanwhile, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis shared a video of young Parisians singing in the wake of the blaze, adding: “The horrifying Notre Dame Cathedral Fire may have caused untold physical damage but these Parisians are proof that there is no force in the world that can destroy the human spirit. Our thoughts are with all those devastated by this tragedy.”

Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis, issued a statement saying:‘Notre-Dame of Paris is a symbol of human ingenuity and endurance, celebrating almost one thousand years of European and French culture, architecture and freedom. Places of worship are a bridge between our past and future, symbolising the aspiration of man to reach new heights and spirituality. The Conference of European Rabbis expresses its solidarity with France and especially with its Catholic community following this devastating incident and wish them strength and hope.’

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