vatican 5-11-2017

Pope Francis and Hasidic Jews dance together at the Vatican.
A video of Pope Francis swaying to a song sung by a group of Jewish visitors has gone viral. The group of Jews were led by Rabbi Edgar Gluck, the chief rabbi of Galicia. The warming sight of the pope swaying to the Jewish music has been viewed over 50,000 already, bringing a lot of joy and happiness to members of both religions.

The group visited the Vatican to discuss certain issues, chiefly the rise of anti-Semitic attacks in Europe. The rabbi, together with his son Zvi Gluck also discussed the issue of child abuse. Zvi later tweeted that the pope’s opinion on child abuse was “zero tolerance.” The pope had also pledged to work harder to safeguard Jewish cemeteries in Europe, which, of late, have been becoming victims of attacks by anti-Semitic vandals.

The rise in anti-Semitic emotions has been felt in Europe just as much as in the U.S. This trend may be related to the increase in political populism and increased nationalistic feelings. Pope Francis made a note of this recently in an address, calling on Europeans to resist such feelings and to fight against populism.

Zvi Gluck currently directs the organization Amudim, which he himself founded to help and support Jewish children who have suffered sexual abuse. His father, the chief rabbi of Galicia, functions in Poland as well as in Brooklyn in the U.S., where he co-founded the Hatzolah, one of the largest volunteering ambulance corps organization in the U.S. He has played a crucial role in preserving Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe and has also served as a member of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.

The meeting of the pope with the Jewish leaders is an important milestone in the increasing reconciliation of the two religions. Judaism and Christianity have had a violent history in Europe. In fact, the Catholic world had even expelled all Jews from countries like Spain and Portugal. As such, Pope Francis’ nonchalant swaying to the song “Long years shall satiate him” sends a very strong message to Christians around the world who still harbor anti-Semitic thoughts.

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