Message from the Chaplain: 15 March 2024

In 1965, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was invited by Union Theological Seminary to deliver a lecture on inter-faith. He titled his lecture; No Religion is an Island. In this lecture he explored the human condition. He also explored questions such as: How does one interact with another when there is a lack of shared values? How do we maintain our distinctness when in dialogue with those different from us?

He ended his lecture by saying:

'What, then, is the purpose of inter-religious cooperation?

It is neither to flatter nor to refute one another, but to help one another; to share insight and learning, to cooperate in academic ventures on the highest scholarly level, and what is even more important to search in the wilderness for well-springs of devotion, for treasures of stillness, for the power of love and care for man. What is urgently needed are ways of helping one another in the terrible predicament of here and now by the courage to believe that the word of the Lord endures forever as well as here and now; to cooperate in trying to bring about a resurrection of sensitivity, a revival of conscience; to keep alive the divine sparks in our souls, to nurture openness to the spirit of the Psalms, reverence for the words of the prophets, and faithfulness to the Living God.'

As a Christian school, we are blessed with a diversity of religions and faiths in our community. It would do us well to reflect on the words of Rabbi Heschel as a reminder that we need each other and that it is possible to work together. This is not easy work.

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