The South African Association of Progressive Rabbis (SAAPR) has reacted with dismay to the alleged arson attack on the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes (attached to the Benedictine Monastery Tabgha) at the Sea of Galilee, Israel. The monastery has been the target of repeated attacks by radical religious Israelis in recent years. Two people suffered smoke injuries, while graffiti containing passages from the “Aleinu” Prayer was scrawled on the walls of the monastery.
The chairman of the SAAPR, Rabbi Greg Alexander (Cape Town), stressed that attacks against members of other religions are contrary to the spirit of Judaism. It was especially inappropriate to invoke the Aleinu Prayer, which contains the eschatological vision in which all religions respect each other, by recognizing God’s dominion.