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Chief Rabbi says compassion is best response to evil of Manchester bombing

The Chief Rabbi conducted a special commemorative service in Manchester after last week's terrorist attack

    Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis addresses Holy Law Synagogue in north Manchester (credit: Lawrence Purcell)
    Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis addresses Holy Law Synagogue in north Manchester (credit: Lawrence Purcell)

    The Chief Rabbi has urged Jews to show compassion and consideration beyond their own community in response to last week’s terrorist attack in Manchester.

    Conducting a special commemorative service in the city, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis also recited the prayer he composed for the victims of the attack, which claimed 22 lives.

    He told the congregation at the  Holy Law Synagogue in Prestwich, north Manchester: “We have been confronted by outright evil. The wickedness of a premeditated attack on children right here in the heart of the city of Manchester.

    “The response of this city to hatred, to terror and to murder has been love and consideration and compassion.

    “If your consideration and your compassion, if your support only belongs to your own community… That is treif way of existence. It is an abomination, it is a desecration of God’s name, and it needs to be stamped out.

    “The response to this terrorist act has been one through which we recognise the evil of the act of murder — mass murder — and at the same time the necessity for us within our communities to look beyond our communities, to share what we have, to act with compassion and to build a society which is harmonious on every way.”

    Monday’s service, which was organised by the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester, was attended by senior representatives of Greater Manchester Police, alongside members of the Manchester Jewish community and the veteran Labour politician, Ivan Lewis, who is defending his Bury South seat in the general election.

    Rabbi Mirvis’s prayer in memory of the attack mourned for those who were murdered, and asked God to “grant consolation to their families in the depths of their grief”.

    It was distributed to rabbis and Jewish communities around the country, with the recommendation that it be recited over Shabbat.

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