Rome – Buenos Aires Rabbi Shares Unique, Groundbreaking Bond With Pope Francis

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    FILE - Rabbi Abraham Skorka With Pope FranciscoRome – Buenos Aires Rabbi Abraham Skorka’s decades-old friendship with Pope Francis has resulted in an historical event, as Skorka, at the request of the Pope, became the first Jew in history to actually move into the Pope’s Vatican quarters for an extended stay.

    The VATICAN INSIDER (http://bit.ly/15ItqbY) reports that Skorka, in a recent interview, spoke openly about his longstanding friendship with Pope Francis, their spiritual bond, and their plans for continuing to spread the message of world peace, which includes a trip together to Israel in 2014.

    On his stay at the Vatican with the Pope which began on September 25, Skorka said, “I eat with him at breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. He cares for me, and controls everything regarding my food to makes sure it is all kosher, and according to my religious tradition. These are festive days, and I have to say certain prayers at meals and, I expand the last prayer and translate it. He accompanies me together with the others at table—his secretaries and a bishop, and they all say ‘Amen’ at the end.”

    Skorka said he and Pope Francis are planning to travel to Israel next year at the invitation Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

    “We are dreaming of traveling together to Israel soon, and the Pope is working on this subject”, Skorka said. “I dream of embracing him at the Kotel, or Wailing Wall, and I will accompany him to Bethlehem, in the Palestinian territories. His presence can help a lot at this moment when the peace talks are starting again.”

    Skorka said their friendship began in 1997 when Pope Francis, then Jorge Mario Bergoglio, became coadjutor bishop of the Buenos Aires archdiocese.

    “Ours is a spiritual journey,” Skorka said. “Like him I don’t much like protocol, and like him I too go for the essentials. We hold to different traditions, but we are creating a dialogue that has not existed for centuries. Both of us believe that God has something to do with our friendship and what we are doing. There are too many coincidences for it all to be mere chance.”

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    15 COMMENTS

    1. This heilege rav, who is highly regarded among yidden in Buenos Aries, seems to have great political smarts and can serve as a sort of “maylitz yosher” with the Pope to influence Vatican policy on behalf of EY. No other yid today has such influence.

      • Rome has a number of kosher restaurants whose hashgocha I trust as much what you eat. He is a meiliz yosher and there is kosher wine in Italy.I lived there and Lubavitch has a large following in Milano

      • Why doesn’t this comment surprise me? Why not let Rav Skora worry about these issues my frummer than anyone else friend? You remind me of an old joke when a certain frum yid dies and goes to eat at Hashem’s table. He asks someone who has the hashgacha. The reply is Hashem himself. The man thinks and says that in that case he guesses it will be ok to have a glass of tea, but no food.

        • I have my doubts. Most men I know look frumer than this “rabbi.” But then again, he looks strikingly like a “rabbi” who would want to spend Succos with the pontiff. Just read:

          “I eat with him at breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. He cares for me, and controls everything regarding my food to makes sure it is all kosher, and according to my religious tradition. These are festive days, and I have to say certain prayers at meals and, I expand the last prayer and translate it. He accompanies me together with the others at table—-his secretaries and a bishop, and they all say ‘Amen’ at the end.”

          Nebach.

      • Your attitude is precisely what’s wrong with chareidi Judaism. Always looking to judge others, never willing to give anyone the benfit of the doubt, seeing everything as a goy vs Jew machlokes. I’m waiting for others of your ilk to weigh in with the usual comments of “Eisav sinah l’Yaakov” or “This pope seems like a righteous man; he must have Jewish blood in his ancestry.”

        • What makes you think that commenter #2 is chareidi? Perhaps he is Modern Orthodox? Or maybe even a conservative Jew?

          YOUR attitude tells more wrongs about yourself than comment 2 tells about who he is!!

    2. Saying “amen” is a start. It will be evident that the relationship has fully ripened when Pope Francis leads all the Cardinals in saying kaddish for the multitudes who died al kiddush HaShem at the hands of the Church.

    3. I don’t think this “Rabbi’s” kashrus standards are that high, being that he got “smicha” from Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano (Latin American Rabbinical Seminary, also known as the Marshall T. Meyer Latin American Rabbinical Seminary) — which is a conservative establishment.

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