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Hindu and Jewish religious leaders sign declaration

Madhur Tankha

It acknowledges the shared values of the two religious traditions

NEW DELHI: To propagate global harmony, the World Council of Religious Leaders (WCORL) facilitated the signing of a `Protocol of Cooperation' between Hindu and Jewish religious leaders here on Tuesday.

The declaration was signed by the chief rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yona Metzger, and Swami Dayanand Saraswati, convenor of Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, at the end of the two-day Hindu-Jewish Leadership Summit here.

The summit agreed to constitute a standing committee of Hindu-Jewish relations. The declaration primarily acknowledges the shared values of the two of the oldest living religious traditions in the world and condemns all forms of religious violence.

Benchmark

Speaking on the occasion, Swami Dayanand Saraswati said, "Hindu-Jewish dialogue will act as a benchmark for others to follow and emulate, resulting in a better environment for one and all. I have always believed in peaceful co-existence in a multi-religion environment. All religious traditions should respect common values and insist on compassion. Religious leaders have great responsibilities in leading people of their respective faiths to a peaceful path so that the planet is safe for us to live."

Lauding the efforts of the WCORL, Rabbi Yona Metzger said though their religious dialogues have increased recently, the Hindu-Jewish declaration is a significant move that highlights the necessity of expanding interfaith community.

"For thousands of years we have marched on parallel causes and now built bridges of cooperation between the two religions. Jews have lived in India for 2,000 years and have never been discriminated against. This is something unparalleled in human history," added Rabbi Yona Metzger.

WCORL will also organise a discussion here on Wednesday with leaders of Buddhist and Islamic faiths.

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