Interfaith Prayer for Ukrainians

A pin could have been heard dropping in the majestic Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Manhattan located at 160 West 82nd Street earlier this week.

Such was the silence and emotion that prevailed in the packed Church by representatives of various religions, in the presence of the leading politicians of the State of New York.

Also invited were many different people – all gathered together to pray for the salvation of the Ukrainians – to pay tribute to their struggle, to embrace them and to shout loudly that they are with them.

History was also present. You could feel it hovering in the sacred space of the Cathedral. It was palpable, touching everyone. It was as if it noted everyone’s attendance, and asked each one whether he or she was merely participating, or was making a real commitment to the people of Ukraine.

All speakers, political and religious leaders, rose to the occasion, among them our Archbishop Elpidophoros.

However, the speech of Rabbi Joseph Potasnik was particularly striking. He eloquently noted that it does not matter who is being persecuted, who is being robbed of his or her freedom. It does not matter who is taking the path of fleeing and seeking refuge in another country – when these things happen to one, then it is happening to all of us.
Wise words, drawn from a fountain of thousands of years of history.

The people of Ukraine, as well as their President, have inspired the whole world. They have won our admiration. They have won our love. This is no small thing.

They are writing a golden chapter in their history, and winning a golden wreath, which will illuminate them, shining like a candle, and their experience will guide and protect them throughout their history.


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