Four rabbis from three South Orange congregations joined with the Muslim community in prayer tonight at NIA Masjid in Newark in a show of solidarity after a self-proclaimed white nationalist killed at least 49 people at two mosques in New Zealand on Friday.
“We as the rabbis of the South Orange community are standing with our friends … to show them love and support and remind them that hate against one of God’s people is hate against all of God’s people,” said Olitzky in a live video posted to Facebook.
Flanking Imam Daud Haqq and Amir Ashraf Latif, Rabbi Dan Cohen of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel and Rabbi Mark Cooper of Oheb Shalom Congregation extolled the sermon they had just heard from the imam. Cohen said that it was a beautiful sermon that should be “heard in every single mosque and synagogue and church around our country and the world … speaking about tolerance, about our shared humanity, about celebrating the commonality, working together and standing up for each other, instead of looking at the differences.”
Cooper said that the sermon contained the reminder that race, religion, nationality and skin color do not confer a special status, “but that a person must emphasize tolerance and reject hate.”
Rabbi Rachel Marder of Congregation Beth El added, “And what is foundational to us is our common ancestors and our ability to stand up against hate wherever we see it.”
Olitzky noted that today was the Jewish observance of Shabbat Zachor, a remembrance of an attack by the Amalekites against the Israelites in the wilderness. Olitzky likened white nationalists to Amalekites, drawing a direct between the suffering of Jews and the suffering of Muslims.
Jesse, “We mourn with our brothers and sisters … and we are taught to blot out that hate from our people and the future of this world and we hope and we pray that there will be hate no more among any of God’s people.”
In the Facebook post, Olitzky wrote:
Rabbi Rachel Marder, Rabbi Dan Cohen, Rabbi Mark Cooper, and I came to Jumu’ah prayers at the NIA Masjid & Community Center this afternoon to stand with our friends Imam Daud Haqq, Amir Ashraf Latif, and our Muslim Brothers and Sisters. We are united against hate and united in our belief that we are all made in God’s image. As we mourn the 49 murdered and almost 50 seriously injured during Jumu’ah prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand today at the hands of White Supremacist terrorists, we recommit to love, justice, and unity. We stand arm-in-arm refusing to let hate win.