Mideast: Galilee forest in honour of Cardinal Martini

06 December, 10:15

Il cardinale Carlo Maria Martini (foto archivio) Il cardinale Carlo Maria Martini (foto archivio)

(ANSAmed) - ROME - A forest in Galilee near Tiberias will forever commemorate Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, one of the most strongly committed religious figures for dialogue between Christians and Jews and for reuniting the Old Testament with the New Testament.
   The man behind the idea is Rav Giuseppe Larasani, former Chief Rabbi of Milan and close friend of the cardinal. The project met with approval immediately, and especially within the Jewish community. Keren Kayemeth Le-Israel (KKL), the National Jewish Fund, has already announced that it has approved and will support the initiative. Jesuits (the order which Martini belonged to) are also enthusiastic about it, as is the Italian Episcopate, through the Commission for Ecumenism and Dialogue.  The project will be presented in the coming days at a Milan press conference. Rav Laras, the current President of the Rabbinic Tribunal of North-Central Italy and Chief Rabbi of the Ancona and Marche regions, envisages a wide-ranging joint initiative of Jews and Christians, believers and non-believers.
   Anyone will be able to fund a tree to plant (each plant corresponds to a 10-dollar donation) - whether they be private citizens, cultural centres, companies, churches, dioceses, newspapers, Jewish communities, town councils or schools. For every donation above 50 euros, the National Jewish Fund (KKL) will issue a certificate attesting to the number of trees donated. The forest will be created on the slopes near the Sea of Galilee not far from Tiberias, a town revered by Jews and Christians alike. It will be of great symbolic value, and Rav Laras is certain that his longtime, dearly cherished friend would have approved. ''He who hath placed his interest in the Eternal Torah and meditated on His Teachings day and night,'' according to the Book of Psalms, ''shall be like a tree planted along waterways which will bear fruit in due time, the leaves of which will never wilt and all that he does shall reap success.'' (ANSAmed).

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