Calling the fact of his presence “very meaningful,” “a signal of hope,” and “a message of love,” he discussed support for Israel before addressing the praise of God, prayer, and Jewish habits of sermon writing.
Rabbi Cohen, the co-president of a commission for dialogue between the Vatican and Israel, added: “There is a long, hard and painful history of the relationship between our people, our faith and the Catholic Church leadership and followers, a history of blood and tears,” Agence France Presse reports.
The rabbi then alluded to the anti-Israel remarks of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before the U.N. General Assembly last month, saying Israelis felt “deep shock at the terrible and vicious words of the president of a certain state in the Middle East in his speech.”
Speaking to the synod, Rabbi Cohen added: “We hope to get your help as religious leaders ... to protect, defend and save Israel ... from the hands of its enemies.”
- Here is the original English-language text delivered Monday by Shear Yashuv Cohen, chief rabbi of Haifa, to the world Synod of Bishops on "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church," under way in the Vatican through Oct. 26.