First held 25 years ago, the event aims to promote Christian-Jewish dialogue, reflect on the links between the two religions and create a forum for joint prayer.
This year’s main celebration took place in the western city of Poznań. It opened with joint prayers by Christians and Jews led by the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, at the symbolic grave of Akiva Eger, an outstanding 19th-century Talmudic scholar and European Jewish leader who served as the Rabbi of Poznań for the last 20 years of his life.
The day’s programme also included a biblical service led by the Roman Catholic Primate of Poland, Wojciech Polak, with commentaries by Schudrich and Catholic Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś.
Archbishop Wojciech Polak. Photo: PAP/Paweł Jaskółka
Bishop Rafał Markowski, head of the Council for Religious Dialogue at the Polish Bishops’ Conference, has said that the roots of Christianity are in Judaism and that both religions try to respond to the most fundamental questions about the sense of human existence, labour, suffering and death.
“Both religions demonstrate God’s love for every human being and every person’s God-given dignity,” Markowski said.
The Day of Judaism, celebrated every year on January 17, was established by the Polish Bishops Conference in 1997.
The motto of this year's celebration is “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, declares the Lord,” an excerpt from the Old Testament’s Book of Isaiah.