4 Av 5774
July 31, 2014
To Hujjatul Islam Wal Muslimeen Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, to the leadership of The Jaffari Community Centre and of The Islamic Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat of Toronto,
We are so fortunate to live in such a remarkable city, in such a peaceful country. Hateful words – in press ink, online or in spray paint – have no place here. The Jewish Community is appalled by the vandalism of your sacred mosque and community centre. The fact that it came during your holy season of Ramadan makes it even more hurtful. Whoever perpetrated this hate crime should be brought to justice and quickly. The police authorities, government officials, as well as religious leaders of all faiths must send a constant and clear message that a House of God and a place of peace must be honoured and protected.
Thank you for including members of the Jewish community to join you at your Ramadan ceremonies last week. The President of Holy Blossom Temple, Dr. Harvey Schipper, came to represent our congregation and to express our care and concern. He was very moved by your warm welcome and by the beauty of the services; he spoke of it last Shabbat when we gathered for prayers.
The Jewish People understand very well that words are powerful. Words of hatred can all too easily lead to acts of hatred. The opposite is also true; words of peace can lead to acts of peace. This is my prayer for our religious communities here in Toronto and for all peoples throughout the world.
Shalom. Salaam. Peace.
Rabbi Yael Splansky
Senior Rabbi Designate