Chief Rabbi Metzger to Give an Address in a Mosque

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Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger is planning to give an address in a mosque in Paris, the daily Yisrael HaYom reports.

The chief rabbi has already met with a leading imam in Paris, Hassan Shalagumi, and the two decided the rav will give an address in the largest mosque in Paris to reach the Islamic community. The idea apparently was the result of the rav sharing a story regarding a recent visit to Kazakhstan. Rabbi Metzger explained there is no Jewish community there and he was compelled to daven in a room used as a mosque.

The imam stated he was unaware that a Jew may daven in a mosque and this led to the invitation to the rabbi to address the Islamic community in the mosque. The rav responded positively and the event will most likely take place in the coming weeks.

The two discussed the recent attacks against Jews in France, including the fatal attack in Toulouse in March and the more recent attack against three Jews in Villeurbanne.  The imam sharply condemned the attacks.

Aides to the chief rabbi report the imam is a brave individual, one who has released statements of reconciliation with the State of Israel and the Jewish People, and as a result of his position, he is surrounded by bodyguards.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

11 COMMENTS

  1. I was unaware that one can daven in a mosque, considering one cannot even enter a church. That being said this is great communication and can potentially lead to better relationships between the Muslims and Jews, atleast in France where anti semitism is becoming more rampant.

  2. Though its technically halachicly muter to enter a Mosque I think its inappropriate for R Metzger to give a speech in a Mosque. Why is it different than YCT (the “un-orthodox” yeshiva) inviting Imams & Bishops to visit & address their students?

  3. Kok hakovod to Rav Metzger, Shlita, for doing all he can to reduce the wave of anti-semitism in France and promote interfaith understanding and dialogue. This Iman sounds like an exception to the generally hostile tone against EY voiced by most other muslim leaders in France

  4. There is in fact a Jewish community in Kazakhstan. Not only do they have shuls, they have about a dozen day schools. This article is misleading. Perhaps Rabbi Metzger was in an area where there was no shul, or he wasn’t able to feach a shul b’zman.

  5. Islam is not avoda zara according to almost all opinions. Everyone agrees that Natzrut is a”z for us (there is a machloket between Rambam and Rabbenu Tam regarding shituf for Bnei Noach). Thus it is permitted to enter a mosque (and all those who daven in the Maharat HaMachpela go through a mosque) but not a church.

  6. Not to comment on what Rabbi Metzger is doing so my comment is directed to some of the posters ….

    Just because something is not assur, doesn’t make it muttar.

  7. Many of us daven in a mosque when we go to the Kivrei Avos. Like it or not that’s where the Yishmaelim built one.

  8. Islam believes in Hashem as the all powerful G-D (we are both Semites, therefore taught this way) however they believe that Muhammad was the true prophet and the Koran is therefore the “real” message of G-D.
    Again, Kol Hakavod to Rabbi Metzger. May he have the Siyata Dishmaya to say the right things to even one person that can make all the difference between life and death. I just wouldn’t want to be there with him to hear it.

  9. #6 and #8: Fools! And when the Notzrim used it as a church, do you imagine it became ossur to go there?! אין אדם אוסר דבר שאינו שלו