2002-10-19 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

By Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader

By Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey,
Democratic District Leader

Reflections of The Interfaith
Rally For Peace In Israel

  During the last week I have had the opportunity to reflect on the tremendous outpouring of fellowship on the part of the over three hundred people who attended our rally at the Knights of Columbus. Many people have called and written to me to express their feeling that the rally was very important at this critical time. Neighbors and community residents have stated that they appreciated the inspirational words that were spoken.

As Jack King and I worked to organize and prepare the rally, Rabbi Allan Blaine from Temple Beth El was the wind beneath our wings. Rabbi Blaine is a man of faith, hope and resolve who has been a strong religious leader in our community for the last thirty-three years.  He expressed the sentiments of those gathered at the Knights of Columbus who deplore the suicide bombings that are taking place in Israel which are similar to the ones that we experienced on 9/11 in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania and here in New York. Rabbi Blaine noted that man is created in the likeness of God. We all cry out with pain at the taking of a human life.  We are hoping and praying for peace with security in Israel and in the Middle East.

Rabbi Blaine welcomed everyone to this community rally.  He was delighted to see rabbis from different congregations and religious from various churches gathered together. People from all walks of life came to the rally to support the peace process.

Monsignor Martin Geraghty, the Pastor of St. Francis de Sales Church, is a charismatic and capable religious leader who enthusiastically supports the value of interfaith activities. He greeted everyone with a message, which expressed his love for the land of Israel, and for all that this means for the freedom and democracy of the Jewish people over the centuries. He told us that Israel is a special place that is worth defending and fighting for because of our love for it. As Christians we all have a love for Israel and we are part of its tradition of peace and freedom. 

Monsignor Geraghty has visited Israel twice and has had the opportunity to spend time on a kibbutz in Galilee. This gave him an opportunity to listen and talk to the people about the efforts to bring about peace. Monsignor Geraghty is longing for peace. He prays that God's peace will touch the hearts of all people and hold us together in love.

Reverend Jan Powell, the Pastor of the First Congregational Church told us that on Sunday, October 6th they had celebrated Worldwide Communion Sunday. It is an opportunity to think about ourselves in communion with people of good will all over the world.  We feel for the people in Israel who are violently and randomly attacked in the places where they work, sleep and go for relaxation. Sometimes the words of peace can be drained of their meaning by violent acts. Anyone who has witnessed Israel's sorrow must understand Israel's skepticism at this point in time.  Even though we may have different paths to peace we are all united in one goal - peace with security in Israel. 

Dr. Alix Pierre, the Pastor of the Universal Church of Salvation, stated that he is a person of hope. He is happy to support Israel. He encourages everyone to do the same. We are all descendents of Isaac and Abraham. We must work for peace.

Rabbi Yehoshua Berkowitz of Temple Ohab Zedak reminded us that in reading the Bible we find that God created human beings to have the capacity, the potential and responsibility to make the world a very good place. He noted that everyone present was helping to bring about a better world.

Frank Galluscio, the male Democratic District Leader from Part A, thanked everyone for participating. He believes that by each of us having
peace in our heart, and sharing it with others (particularly youngsters) we will get the peace process going and growing.

Many thanks go to the Explorers and kudos go to the Police Office Joseph Roberts for his capable, energetic and enthusiastic leadership of the Explorers. Thanks go to Captain Piekarski and the officers of the 100th Precinct for their help.

Congressman Anthony Weiner was a strong and enthusiastic resource for
our rally. He noted that we pray for peace. We want peace. We hope for peace. We will even fight for peace. We are reaching out looking for peace.

Rabbi Allan Blaine concluded the rally by noting that an event such as this is unprecedented. He led us in a prayer - "In the words of the Biblical tradition how good, how precious and how wonderful it is for brothers and sisters to dwell together in unity. We seek peace with understanding and courage. While the clouds of war hover over us, we pray for precious peace for our nation, for Israel and for all human kind. If in order to achieve
peace we need to fight for peace give us strength, fortitude and resolve. Let us be strong. Let us be of good courage. Let us be hopeful. May God bless us all and may God bless America.


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