Rabbi Irwin Wiener, D.D.
Romans 13:8-9 (Christianity): “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. For all the commandments…are all summed up in this one rule: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to its neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Number 13 of Imam”Al-Nawaawi’s Forty Hadiths (Islam): “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.”
Leviticus 19:33 (Judaism): “When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself…”
Analects 12:2 (Confucianism): “Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state.”
Udana-Varga 5,1 (Buddhism): “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”
Mahagharata 5, 1517 (Hinduism): “This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others what you would not have them do unto you.”
Baha’u’llah (Baha’i World Faith): “Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not.”
The Great Law of Peace (Native American Spirituality): “Respect for all life is the foundation.”
The common denominator in all of these faith-based writings can simply be put into one word: Love. And yet, when we look at the history of religious fervor and instruction we also see a world of hate. It is ironic that so many people can borrow concepts of God and unity and love and not follow the dictates of what they prescribe.
Today we seem to be alone, drifting in an endless sea of moral decay. Wars are fought because of hate and it trickles down to our everyday existence. We find neighbor against neighbor, gays and straights fighting for individual acceptance and recognition, black verses white, religious intolerance because some consider themselves the true believers and those that differ are classified as non-believers.
Biblical text reminds us of the sameness of all human beings, and can be found in Genesis, Chapter One, “And, God made humans in God’s image. And no matter what your concept of God is, it is clear that each of us, Jew and non-Jew, woman and man is created in God’s image.
To have faith is to believe completely that we were all created in the image of God and as such represent the true essence of Godliness. To have faith is to remain steadfast in our belief that God is the God of all people and that just as we are different so is God in our minds. There is no one concept that incorporates all God is, nor can we truly comprehend the endlessness of God.
Here in Sun Lakes, we attempt to put into action the words we find that suggest these concepts. The Interfaith Council of Greater Sun Lakes was created to bring us together regardless of individual beliefs. The work of this group results in creating a myriad of envious activities and gave birth to Neighbors Who Care.
I have just one question. Where are we now? Perhaps someone has the answer.