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A communal meal shared by Jews, Christians and Muslims

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Rabbi Mendy Marlow of the Las Olas Chabad Jewish Center explains sukkot to an interfaith gathering of people with special needs.

Photographer: COURTESY PHOTO

Rabbi Mendy Marlow of the Las Olas Chabad Jewish Center explains sukkot to an interfaith gathering of people with special needs.

“You can — you must — try to seek God in every human life.” Pope Francis 

People of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith traditions living together with respect and harmony is a dream for many in the world. This dream recently came true for a small group of people living in Broward County thanks to Musia Marlow from the Las Olas Chabad Jewish Center and Lighthouse of Broward in Fort Lauderdale. 

On Oct. 12, Rabbi Chaim Slavaticki opened the doors of the Jewish Center, providing an opportunity for a group of people who are blind and visually impaired, sighted, Jewish, Catholic, Christian, and Muslim, to come together, learn about, and experience the holiday of Sukkot. 

Rabbi Mendy Marlow from New York explained that Sukkot is a time to gather in the harvest; a time to give thanks. Someone described this holiday as a Jewish Thanksgiving. Hands were washed, the rabbi blessed the bread, everyone broke bread and ate it and at the end gave thanks. Sound familiar? 

Rabbi Mendy reminded the group to keep their focus on God and not to be distracted by the things of the world. The group experienced the blessing and ceremony, enjoying a kosher meal in the succa(a temporary structure built to eat meals during the seven days of Sukkot). 

Each individual had the opportunity to make a miniature succa using cookies, marshmallow fluff, pretzels and candy, an activity which everyone enjoyed very much.

Every person present agreed that it was a spiritual experience of all God’s children coming together and sharing a tradition: a communal meal. We were one big family; celebrating our commonality.

One person said “it is important to be united.”

Rabbi Mendy said that when he looked at everyone in the group he saw “souls,” not people with disabilities or people of different faiths. 

We experienced a unique moment: the three Abrahamic faith traditions united under one God, as we pray will happen one day in the Holy Land. 

A group of people who are blind and visually impaired, sighted, Jewish, Catholic, Christian, and Muslim, came together Oct. 12 to learn about and experience the holiday of Sukkot.

Photographer: COURTESY PHOTO

A group of people who are blind and visually impaired, sighted, Jewish, Catholic, Christian, and Muslim, came together Oct. 12 to learn about and experience the holiday of Sukkot.

Upcoming White Masses in Miami-Dade and Broward 

The Archdiocese of Miami will be celebrating two White Masses this Saturday, Nov. 22, in thanksgiving for the lives of people with special needs. This is the second time this Mass is being celebrated in Miami-Dade County, and the first time for Broward. 

The Mass in Miami-Dade will be celebrated at 5 p.m. at St. Patrick Church, Miami Beach, by Auxiliary Bishop Peter Baldacchino. The Mass in Broward also will be celebrated at 5 p.m. at St. Anthony Church, Fort Lauderdale, by its pastor, Father Michael Grady. All are welcome at both celebrations.  

Dolores Hanley McDiarmid
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Comments from readers

Sonia - 11/20/2014 04:12 PM
How beautiful - all Christian denominations praying together with the Jews, and Moslims, God bless you all. I'm a 73 yr old Catholic, from Nicaragua, Central America and have been living in the USA for over 33 years. My husband and I are nationalized USA citizens. We love everyone from every place in the world. Lately we are careful when we meet some new the people from the Orient, unless we know them real good, some of them are so full of hate. I pray they may change real soon, before it is too late and we get involved a another world war. Sonia
Bob Dytkowski - 11/17/2014 01:51 PM
I hope that this can be replicated around the world so that all of us who worship the one true God can be together in all ways.

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