UK-Israeli rabbi tells interfaith leaders of importance memory has to Jews
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UK-Israeli rabbi tells interfaith leaders of importance memory has to Jews

Rabbi Eliezer Simcha Weiss speaks at Anglican-Jewish Commission about significance remembering has for the community and Israel

Interfaith meeting of the Anglican-Jewish Commission last week.
Interfaith meeting of the Anglican-Jewish Commission last week.

A Manchester-born rabbi appointed to the Council of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate last year has returned to the city of his birth to tell Anglican leaders how important memory is to Jewish life and to Israel.

Rabbi Eliezer Simcha Weiss, who made aliyah in the 1980s before becoming the first UK-born rabbi elected to the Council, spoke about the concept of memory in the Jewish tradition during the latest meeting of the Anglican-Jewish Commission last week.

In his presentation, he said the purpose of remembering “is to internalise and express the ethical messages born out of the Jewish people’s collective experience” before explaining the “six types of memory mentioned in the Pentateuch which are summarised in the daily prayer book after the morning service”.

Weiss added that the memory of Jerusalem and the Temple’s destruction were “central to having guaranteed the future renewal of Jewish life in the people’s ancestral homeland”.

The Commission is the vehicle for official dialogue between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. The annual meetings usually alternate between Lambeth Palace and Jerusalem, but this year’s meeting took place in Manchester.

“There is a strong Jewish population here and there is a vibrant Anglican Diocese,” said Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson, who co-chairs the Commission and who met members of Manchester’s Jewish community.

Student members of the Forum for the Discussion of Israel and Palestine (FODIP) said they “shared their experiences of partaking in innovative educational programmes” that had equipped them with “the language and tools to engage in fruitful conversations over contentious matters related to the Holy Land”.

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