‘Pope’s rabbi’: prosecutor’s death not just a concern of Jews

Rabbi Abraham Skorka
Rabbi Abraham Skorka

The Buenos Aires rabbi known as “the pope’s rabbi” called the death by gunshot of the Jewish Argentinian special prosecutor in the AMIA Jewish center bombing not solely a Jewish problem.

Speaking at the Embassy of Argentina in Washington on Tuesday, Rabbi Abraham Skorka said the death on Monday of Alberto Nisman is “our moment of sorrow, of pain, that shook the whole of Argentinian society.”

Skorka was in Washington on a tour sponsored by Masorti Olami, the worldwide movement to which Conservative Judaism belongs.

He was a colleague in interfaith relations with Pope Francis when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Mario Bergoglio. The two collaborated on a book, Of Heaven and Earth.


Skorka said that in his email dialogues with Bergoglio, he addressed the archbishop respectfully, using the formal “Usted” form. Bergoglio’s replies invariable included jokes.

Two weeks after the terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists in Paris, Skorka said the response to all forms of extremism “is showing them this is not the way.”

He recalled the pope’s Mideast visit in 2014, when Francis, Skorka and Omar Abboud, leader of Argentina’s Muslim community embraced at the Kotel in Jerusalem. “Maybe that was the best message we could send to the world.”

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@David Holzel

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