Monday, November 17, 2014
Dolores Hanley McDiarmid
“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.
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.