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Rabbi Angel Kreiman links Opus Dei Escriva's teaching on work to Talmudic Tradition

The Grandeur of Ordinary Life Congress

Rabbi Angel Kreiman Links Escriva's Teaching on Work to the Talmudic Tradition

"Many of Josemaria Escriva's concepts call to mind the Talmudic tradition and reveal his profound knowledge of the Jewish world."

Rabbi Angel Kreiman, international vice president of the World Council of Synagogues, recently addressed a congress in Rome on Josemaria Escriva.

31 January 2002

Rabbi Angel Kreiman recently contended that Josemaria Escriva's teachings are strongly rooted in Talmudic traditions about work. Kreiman, who is the international vice president of the World Council of Synagogues, made his remarks in an address to a congress in Rome on Opus Dei's founder.

The Talmudic concept of work, said Kreiman, is that "work is not a punishment, but man's duty, a blessing from God that allows us to fully enjoy the Sabbath and allows us to be in the image and likeness of God." Likewise, the rabbi noted, work was central to the teaching of Josemaria Escriva, who saw it as an original vocation of man and a blessing from God.

According to Kreiman, "to meet God within ordinary occupations and serve others through one's work is one of the principle non-violent battles to be won." The rabbi mentioned that in Hebrew "the word 'work' is also applied to religious worship, taking it to mean adoration as a holy action and in turn work as a holy adoration." Similarly, Blessed Escriva "never tired of repeating the necessity of transforming every occupation into prayer."

"Many of Josemaria Escriva's concepts call to mind the Talmudic tradition and reveal his profound knowledge of the Jewish world, as well as his passionate love, as he openly repeated, for two Jews, Jesus and Mary," said Rabbi Kreiman. "Moreover, that which most likens his teachings to Judaism is the vocation of man to serve God through creative work, perfecting creation every day, through perfection of work."

The rabbi said that he was pleased about the interreligious prayer meeting for peace occurring January 24 in Assisi. Such meetings, he said, "help us to remember often that we all have the same common father."

Kreiman also spoke of the need for Christians and Jews to "work together in favor of the principal humanitarian causes: social order, unemployment and poverty, drugs, hunger, and the fight against a consumerism empty of spirituality." He expressed his hope that "working and praying together, all according to our own traditions, we will arrive unified at the table of the Father."

Rabbi Kreiman was Chief Rabbi of Chile from 1970 to 1990, and is now a member of the executive committee of the International Council of Christians and Jews. He has chaired a foundation promoting Christian-Jewish interreligious dialogue since 1994, the year his wife Susy Kreiman was assassinated in Buenos Aires during a terrorist attack on the Central Jewish Community Office for work and unemployment, which she headed.

The Rabbi, who is a Cooperator of Opus Dei, said he wanted to demonstrate his special affection for the organization founded by Josemaria Escriva. "Opus Dei members helped me, right from the beginning of my seminary studies, to persevere in my vocation," he said, "and I have also seen them do it with other rabbis, for which I am deeply grateful."

© 2002, Information Office of Opus Dei on the Internet


Here is a translation of part of the book "Opus Judei" 1994

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