Rabbi Gerry Serotta
Part 2 – 18:30 – 23:00
Their views, for centuries, have been viewed as daughter religions, we might want to say sister religions. There are other paths to one God that clearly, god desired to have in the world, or it wouldn`t have happened. And therefore, the idea of chosenness, which is the first place for ego to say “us vs. them”, if the God is powerful enough to choose one people to give one particular covenant and one path, than that same God can give paths to others and that`s the way we view what the success of Christianity and Islam is world religions, as pat of the fact that God has a covenant with Christians and god has a covenant with Muslims that`s different from the Jewish covenant, different but not lesser, equally as powerful, equally as important.
The Qur`an says it much more clearly and Qur`an has a text, that the way the Judaism is gradually come to understand Christianity and Islam but those whose Holy Book and holy writing includes the Qur`an know from the Surah Feast that God, where it says literally for each of you we have given a way of life, if God would have desired he could have made you a single people, professing one faith and one law. But he wished to test you and here is to me is the most important text that anyone of our three faiths has. The purpose for this is that you will come to know one another and therefore figure out how you can accomplish good in the world by learning from each other you will know how to pursue the good. And then there is another text in the Qur`an that helps us I think, and what we are trying to do and talk about the faith, “to Allah you will return in the end, when Allah will resolve upon that which you disagreed”. It`s not up to us to determine the theological questions, the things that divide us or why some of us practice burial as soon as we can so that the body can return to the earth and others of us believe that`s not indignity and you should wait for a wake, or a place of time before you had the burial. Those questions are not for us to determine. The religious questions are up to God to determine in the next world, in the world to come. We have to figure out how to what is right and what is good in the world.
Now there is one text that Judaism shares with Christianity in the sense that it`s in the Hebrew scripture. I`ve never asked whether this text occurs in the Qur`an, many of the texts of course are shared. But this is the text, the story of the Tower of Babil and it looks like a beautiful project. This is a version of that same text in the Feast, people speak of one language and one faith and they are building a very high tower because they want to approach the heavens, they have a worthy strategy but their plans are foiled by God and instead the people are spread around the world to speak different languages. Somehow this one project that everybody would agree to as viewed by God as a totalitarian project, it was bringing power to humanity and not glory to God and the way the God`s glory would be enhanced is if we spoke different languages and had different paths to the one God and that`s why the project was ended.