«The devastation of any place of worship is a tragedy.»
BY ROSSELLA TERCATIN APRIL 17, 2019 15:03
In the aftermath of the devastating blaze that ravaged the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, Jewish leaders from all over the world have been expressing their condolences to the French people and institutions over their national tragedy.
“We were about to send greetings for a tranquil Easter to our French Catholic members and for Passover to the Jewish community. Throughout history, and especially under Nazi occupation and Vichy, synagogues were burned and cemeteries desecrated. We thus acutely feel the pain of our Christian friends at this time,” said the Director for International Relations of the Wiesenthal Center Shimon Samuels in a letter to the French president Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday.
“The World Jewish Congress and our affiliated communities in more than 100 countries stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of France and the Catholic Church in the face of the unimaginable devastation of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a blow that has struck straight to the heart of Paris,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said in a statement on Monday.
Solidarity was expressed also by the Board of Deputies of British Jews. “Our thoughts with Parisians and all of France. The devastation of any place of worship is a tragedy, particularly #NotreDame which holds a special place in the hearts of so many, especially Catholics,” the organization tweeted.
The president of Israel Reuven Rivlin remarked on the important role the cathedral has played in French culture and history.
“Our hearts are with the people of #France and the legends of @notredameparis, real and fictional, and we pray it will stand in eternity,” he tweeted on Sunday night, also sharing a memory of a recent visit to Paris. “I looked over the skyline of the city and the spires of the cathedral made it even more beautiful,” he added.