1992: A Year of T'shuvah - A response

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Rabbi Joshu O. Haberman

Spagna       26/03/1992

On 26 March 1992 A delegation of Catholic Bishops of Spain met the Central Conference of American Rabbis at Toledo. They were welcomed by Cardinal Don Marcella Gonzales Martin, Archbishop of Toledo, the Cardinal Primate of Spain. The following statement was made by Archbishop Ramon Torrella Cascante, Archbishop of Tarragona, at the Santa Maria La Blanca Synagogue
Response by Rabbi Joshu O. Haberman, Chairman "Mission to Spain" of Central Conference of American Rabbis to the words of welcome of Cardinal Marcella Gonzales Martin and the statement of Archbishop Ramon Torrella Cawante:


Your Excellencies:
I respond to your greetings M the name of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the oldest and largest rabbinical body in the world.

We see in your presence more than a gesture of courtesy. Our mission and your welcome to us in this sacred place, — once a synagogue, then a church and now a historical shrine — marks a turning point in Catholic-Jewish relations. We came here to observe the 500th anniversary of the edict of expulsion of the Jews from Spain, issued in Granada on the 31st of March 1492. We remember not only the tragic choice our people had to make between their love of this land and fidelity to the faith of their fathers but we have also come to honor those hundreds of thousands of Jews who heroically chose exile and poverty rather than violate their covenant with God. Ours is more than a mission of remembrance. 500 years of sorrow and bitterness of hearts are enough. In the light of Vatican 11, it is time to acknowledge the new era of reconciliation and mutual respect in Catholic-Jewish relations. It is time to recognize that you and we represent two faiths with a common foundation, two faiths meant to serve the same God and destined to support rather than oppose one another.

We see your welcome to us as the harbinger of a promising future in which Jews and Catholics, as the children of Abraham, according to the flesh: according to the spirit, will, each in their own way, do their part for the redemption of mankind. So help us God.

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