Tags: Rabbi | Remembers | Servant | God

A Rabbi Remembers a Servant of God

Monday, 04 April 2005 12:00 AM

In a world of flummery and fake, he was a manly man who would never betray his principles. He hiked and he climbed mountains and he loved people.

It was not his nature to be passive in the face of evil. He spent his early years avoiding German patrols as a member of the anti-Nazi resistance. He spoke to his fellow Poles of patriotism and hope when the penalty for doing so was death.

After the Nazis left, Father Wojtyla found himself ministering to Christians under a vicious godless communist regime. In addition to human nature, he had to fight the authorities who were actively promoting atheism and discouraging religious belief and practice in every way they could.

In sum, when he came upon the world scene, the Holy Father had been around the block a couple of times; he had stared horrendous evil in the eye, and he had not flinched.

It was his leadership as a Polish pope that helped cause the unraveling of communist totalitarianism all over Europe. He did not do it alone; Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were necessary. Also necessary were the people suffering under communist rule who heard the Holy Father's message. But John Paul II was a necessary and important force in the destruction of communism.

Jewish people remember him with fondness and affection; he called the Jews "our elder brothers." It was during his papacy that the Vatican established formal diplomatic relations with Israel. Jewish people remember his visit to the synagogue in Rome during which he embraced the chief rabbi, recited Psalms with a congregation and delivered an address to the cheers of the people attending. He was a dear and good friend whose many kind deeds won't be forgotten.

As is true with all mortals, the inevitable hour came. When God calls us, we all must respond. We who remain on the sphere of sorrows are left with our prayers and our memories and a realization of how much poorer we are now that John Paul II has been called home.

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In a world of flummery and fake, he was a manly man who would never betray his principles.He hiked and he climbed mountains and he loved people. It was not his nature to be passive in the face of evil.He spent his early years avoiding German patrols as a member of the...
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2005-00-04
Monday, 04 April 2005 12:00 AM
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