• Kobi Tour Guide of Israel

Yesterday Would Have Been Pope John Paul II's 100th Birthday. A Look Back at the Pope and the Jews:

In the past 60 years, we have seen a remarkable shift in the attitudes of the Vatican towards the Jewish people. Jews were absolved of deicide in the 1962 Second Vatican Council, our covenant with God considered to be everlasting, called "our older brothers" by the Pope

and had our state, Israel, finally recognized by the Vatican in 1993. The common thread through all of this was Karol Wojtyla, better known as Pope John Paul II. I personally remember his visit to Israel in 2000, when he became the first pope to visit the Western Wall. His beautiful letter which he placed in the cracks of the stones read the following:

"God of our fathers, You chose Abraham and his descendants to bring your Name to the Nations: we are deeply saddened by the behaviour of those who in the course of history have caused these children of yours to suffer, and asking your

forgiveness we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood with the people of the Covenant."

For a further look at the "Great Pope" and the Jews, I'm attaching an article which discusses both the role of the Pope in helping to bring down Communism in Poland (if not the fall of the entire Soviet Union) as well as his history and relationship with the Jewish people.

Happy Birthday Pope John Paul II. May your memory be for a blessing.


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