One of the world’s most prominent rabbis and human rights campaigners yesterday marked Holocaust Memorial Day in a special service at the Church of Scotland offices in Edinburgh.
In what was a first for the Kirk, Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp delivered the homily as members of staff and members of other faith groups gathered in the chapel in 121 George Street to pay their respects to those who suffered under the Third Reich and other genocidal regimes.
Rabbi Soetendorp, member of the Islam-West Dialogue group of the World Economic Forum and ambassador of the Millenium Development Goals, paid tribute to all who had lost their lives in horrific genocides, and told the story of how he himself came so close to being killed by German soldiers as a child.
The rabbi also said that all human life is made in God’s image, and that peace will never happen until all faiths learn to work together in harmony.
The service was closed with a blessing from Rabbi David Rose from the Edinburgh Jewish Synagogue.
The commemoration was organised by Church of Scotland interfaith worker Iain Stewart, who also took part. Mr Stewart said: “We were pleased to join in solidarity with people from another faith and with people all over the world as we paid homage to the tragic victims of the Holocaust and other genocides.”