Rabbi Shlomo Amar:
'A single Jew among Muslims, Christians and Indians'

Jerusalem Chief Rabbi recounts historic visit to Bahrain for international interfaith conference.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rabbi Amar in Bahrain
Rabbi Amar in Bahrain
צילום: ללא

Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar recently returned from a visit to the Arab Muslim nation of Bahrain, where he met with religious leaders from around the world.

In an interview with Reshet Bet Wednesday, Rabbi Amar stated that "it was an interfaith conference to which all nations were invited. The meeting with the religious leaders was very successful. It's exciting to see that everyone from all over the world comes wanting a picture and a blessing. It's interesting to see how G-d grants favor to the Jews in others' eyes. I was the only Jew among this whole crowd. There were a lot of Muslims, Christians, Indians - from around the world."

The rabbi that a meeting had been planned with the King of Bahrain, but which was cancelled due to scheduling conflicts.

"The invitation came through a rabbi from the United States who has ties with the king. He told me that the king was ordering," he said. "I consulted with our senior officials here who told me that there was no cause for concern, and that it was even very important to advance the relationship and attempts to to normalize relations. There was some debate on the organizers whether to travel through Jordan. In the end we traveled through Turkey."

The purpose of the conference was, according to the rabbi, to promote a discourse of peace between the nations. "The very connection and public appearance of a rabbi from Israel has its importance. The friendship created in such situations promotes ties. Clerics cannot make peace. That belongs to statesmen and governments. But clergy can weave the rug on which they will make peace. When the mass of the people sees its people's leaders meet and talk, it produces a moment after which the statesmen come and can afford to go out and promote peace openly."

"The bulk of the discussions were that clergy should speak peace. I spoke strongly that it is a great duty and those who do not do so are failing in their duties and failing their people. They should condemn everything that is against humanity. I mentioned the words of Prophet Isaiah "And we are in the name of our Go-." These things are an approximation of recognition that they kneo that the people of Israel were peaceful and not seeking wars.

He said that there were no problems with safety while traveling to Bahrain. "We went in and out without any problem," he testified. "I didn't feel worried. I was told to act normal and that everything was arranged. We walked for an hour in the market without guard, in the crowds. We had an escort, but we didn't see anything alarming there."

During his visit, the rabbi discovered that there is a small community of 40 Jews in the state. "They are few and have no future. They are not prominent, and they are treated with respect there. I went to a synagogue, but unfortunately it is no longer active. Their sons are no longer sitting there."