One God—one family

Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, March 17, 2017.

The editorial on the facing page tells of religious groups rallying to support a Jewish temple whose cemetery had been vandalized. The spontaneous outpouring of kindness—practical and prayerful—was an encouraging example of unity and love.

Interestingly, the St. Louis, Missouri, Jewish community felt that the response they experienced, “while extraordinary, was not surprising.” So questions worth considering might be: Are hate crimes normal behavior and the compassionate response the exception? Or is it the other way around? Is it, in fact, the natural inclination of people to be loving, charitable, and humane?

Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi of Britain, cites a Bible verse as the basis for understanding how unity can exist among Christianity, Judaism, and Islam: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). If we accept that, Mr. Sacks writes, “then the greatest religious challenge is, ‘Can I see God’s image in someone who is not in my image? Whose color, culture, or class is not mine?’ ”

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May 15, 2017

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