Herb Gray / Canada-Israel Relations / Antisemitism / Love of Neighbour

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by David Kilgour

Agudath Israel Congregation – Ottawa – 26 April 2014

Rabbi Barry Schlesinger and members of the congregation, Shalom Shabbat.Thank you for the honour of speaking to you this morning on the Numbers/Leviticus injunction ( 19:16): “Do not be indifferent to the bloodshed inflicted on your fellow man.” There are few limits on what this implies for today, so permit me to discuss briefly four important issues: Herb Gray, Canada/Israel relations, the plague of antisemitism and love of neighbour.

Rt. Hon. Herb Gray

The passing of Herb Gray is a large loss for Canada. I was privileged to sit with him in Jean Chretien’s cabinet for seven years, where he was a tower of wisdom and respect for all. He would often close debate on issues, drawing on what others had said to reach a consensus in the national interest.  He lived his life according to the Jewish values of ‘caring and sharing’, with all they imply in terms of social justice and respect for all. At the service yesterday, many examples of Herb’s practice of these values were cited.