Pope greets Rome’s rabbi ahead of holy days

Vatican City, Sep 20, 2012 / 12:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In celebration of three upcoming Jewish holy days, Pope Benedict XVI sent a message of prayer and friendship to Riccardo Di Sengi, the chief rabbi of Rome.

The Pope expressed his best wishes to the Jewish community for three holy days which are all celebrated in the month of September.

Marking Rosh Hashanah, the New Year; Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement; and Sukkot, the Feast of the Tabernacles, Pope Benedict expressed his desire for “peace and goodness to the entire Jewish community of Rome.”

He then prayed that God would provide “copious blessings for the New Year.”

The Pope also took the opportunity to encourage growth in the relationship between Jews and Christians, citing the fact that they worship the same God. As Jews and Christians “grow in mutual respect and friendship,” the Pope said he hopes they will “bear witness in the world to the values that arise from adoration of the One God.”

Di Segni was elected chief rabbi of Rome in 2001 and attended the funeral of Bl. John Paul II. He and Pope Benedict have had meetings on improving interfaith relations.

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