Rabbi’s Prior Interfaith Work with the Canadian Cabinet at the Montreal Mayor’s Office
With Economos Anthony Gabriel, head pastor of Montreal’s Antiochian Orthodox Church, Rabbi Gruber was invited to co-moderate an interfaith roundtable about Canada’s then newly forming Office of Religious Freedom. The sponsored-by-the-mayor’s-office roundtable, for the city’s religious leaders, convened on March 21, 2012, at Montreal City Hall. (Little if any public information is available about this event because, for the government’s reasons, the media were not invited.) The meeting’s special guest was the Honourable Tim Uppal, MP, Minister of State and the Canadian Cabinet’s first turbaned Sikh. The Rabbi, as co-moderator, distributed a peace-promoting handout based on certain unifying principles of monotheistic religions. The following is a mildly edited excerpt from that handout:
Consider any entrenched, mutually tragic, intra- or interfaith conflict wherein all parties believe in a merciful Almighty. Because a merciful, omnipotent God could not be merciful in the face of unjustifiable suffering, for these parties to be true to their faiths, all must admit that their own God has not prevented their ongoing suffering for some legitimate reason. Therefore, by all theologies, each party is, unwittingly at the least, divinely culpable in some way for its own misery. With that revealed, except for religious hypocrites, it would be—particularly for the most zealous—shameless not to seek peace! After all, it is immoral to continue to wholeheartedly wage war over some issue when one bears some responsibility for the underlying problem.