Greeting from Rabbi Navon to the participants of the Jewish Festival
We shouldn’t wait for Tomorrow, to be happy Today!
Nine Jewish congregations are sharing our Happiness and Blessing at the 17th Festival of Jewish Music in Hamburg, here in the Rold-Lieberman-Saal of the NDR, the former Third Hamburg Israelite Temple. I’m happy to welcome you all here. You came to inflame the warm feeling of Brotherhood in our hearts. And you sent us with your music the good message “Am Israel Hai!” – the people of Israel live!.
We have lots of luck and blessings here in Hamburg: We are celebrating “200 years of Liberal Judaism in Hamburg” and 13 years of the “Liberal Jewish congregation in Hamburg” this year. We call it the Bat-Mitzwa of the successor of the Israelite Temple Union after the Shoah. We also remember this year the first liberal chief Rabbi of the Temple Union, Rabbi Bruno Italiener – 80 years ago.
Our Jewish ancestors would be happy to see them so courageously living their Jewish identity, closing the gap between Jewish generations before the Shoah and after the Shoah. I only can repeat the words of Dr. Bruno Italiener, the Rabbi of this Israelite Temple, this former Jewish liberal house of worship, when he said on the second day of Rosh HaShana in the dark year 1936:” Two places in the Torah are identical. In the 2 Book of Moses – as the people of Israel, after they were saved from awful dangers, see the wonders for the first time, we can read:
מי כמוכה באלים ה' מי כמוכה נאדר בקודש נורא תהילות עשה פלא
“Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11-16) The particularity of the holly God, in comparison with whom the gods of the pagans are nothing, is the quintessence of this message.
At the End of Torah the same words “Who is like you!” Moses is saying it again, but this time not about God, but about his people, about Israel, whose story he recapitulates:
אשרך ישראל מי כמוך עם נושע בה'
“Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord!” (Bereshit 33:29) These are his last words to his people, his legacy, his blessing. Israel is blessed, “Blessed are you, Israel!” , if he doesn’t forget his uniqueness in the world.” (Andreas Brämer, 'Judentum und religiöse Reform: Der Hamburger Israelitische Tempel 1817 - 1938', pp. 813 – 814).
We direct our hearts and prayers to the God of Israel, we ask him to save our Jewish sisters and brothers and all people, especially now in the USA. God save all good people from disasters and strengthen peace in our countries. The blessings are flowing from heart to heart. We sing all together the most important prayer of Israel:
“May the one who makes peace in the heavens, make peace for us and all the people Israel and all people of the world and let us say: Amen” Osse Shalom bi-Meromaw Hu Jaasse shalom aleinu We-al kol Israel we-al-Kol –joshwei Teiwell We-Imru: Amen
Dr. Navon, Liberaler Landesrabbiner der LJGH für Hamburg
„Was wir an unseren Mitmenschen tun, ist Gottesdienst“ — Leo Baeck