It was the first time in 30 years the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ) Biennial was held here in Toronto and Heebonics as well as The CJN was there. On Thursday November 5th one of the keynote speakers of the evening was founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core, Eboo Patel.
The focus of his address was on what he considered to be the challenge of the 21st century. Race wars and the colour line the racial segregation that existed predominantly in the United States after the abolishment of slavery, having been the main fault line challenge of the 20th century, is the issue of the faith line today. “Definitions are everything,” he said. What we learned from the colour line is that it separated those who would live together as brothers; the faith line separates pluralism from extremism. Patel called for a greater use of proper language labels when condeming an individual or group for one’s act of aggression against another, those rationalized and motivated by what the aggressor would claim is a religiously taught imperative. We must align them solely to the collective of extremists, dangerous to all denominations of life who strive for their way to dominate while everyone else’s religious way of life suffocates.
The guiding principle for unity amongst all nations Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Sikh etc…is ‘the bridge’. According to Patel it is the teaching of equal dignity for all and mutual loyalty to all. This understanding can be made universal from the shared values, traditions, heritage and familial attitudes everyone shares.
With this in mind Heebonics asks you, what steps can you take in your community to foster the building of ‘the bridge’?
And for the complete video of Eboo Patel’s address just click here