|(The chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni,congratulates Francis on his election.)|
For two years running, Francis has sent a Pesach (Passover) telegram to the chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo di Segni. In his telegrams, Francis blesses Rome's Jewish community and asks them to pray for him. One error, which we believe to be intentional since Francis knows all sorts of minutiae about Talmudic Judaism, is he doesn't condemn the un-Biblical feast of Pesach as celebrated by the Talmudic Jews. We will cover Pesach/Seder/Passover in a blog entry later this week. The two telegrams are below.
“As the great feast of Passover approaches I would like to extend my most cordial greetings of peace to you and all the Jewish Community of Rome. The memory of the liberation from oppression by the strong arm of the Lord inspires thoughts of mercy, reconciliation and fraternal closeness to all those who suffer under the weight of new [forms of ] slavery. Turning our thoughts to Jerusalem, which I will have the joy of visiting in the near future, I ask you to accompany me with your prayers while I assure you of my thoughts and invoke abundant blessings”
"A few days on from our meeting, and with renewed gratitude for your having desired to honor the celebration of the beginning of my ministry with your presence and that of other distinguished members of the Jewish community, I take great pleasure in extending my warmest best wishes to you and Rome's entire Jewish community on the occasion of the Great Feast of Pesach. May the Almighty, who freed His people from slavery in Egypt to guide them to the Promised Land continue to deliver you from all evil and to accompany you with His blessing. I ask you to pray for me, while I assure you of my prayers for you, trusting that we can deepen the bonds of esteem and mutual respect."