The Torah, the first five books of the Bible, tell the story of God’s love for humanity and his desire that people live in harmony with one another and with the created world, Pope Francis has said.
“In the midst of so many human words that lead to tragic division and
rivalry, these divine words of covenant open before all of us paths of
goodness to walk together,” Pope Francis said as he was given an
illustrated copy of the Torah with an introduction and notes written by
an international, inter-religious group of scholars.
Argentine Rabbi Abraham Skorka, rector of the Latin American
Rabbinical Seminary and a longtime friend of Pope Francis, led the group
presenting the Torah to the Pope at the Vatican.
Those involved in creating the volume, published by Spain’s Arte
Scritta, come from “three continents, three generations and three
religions,” the rabbi said. The group also plans to publish an edition
of the four Gospels and of the Quran as well.
“This is intended as a small, yet very significant cry to eradicate
the hatred and animosities that are so tragically perceived today,”
Rabbi Skorka told the Pope.
The Torah, Pope Francis told the group, “manifests the paternal and
visceral love of God, a love shown in words and concrete gestures, a
love that becomes covenant.”
“God is the greatest and most faithful covenantal partner,” the Pope
said. “God desires a world in which men and women are bound to him and
as a result live in harmony among themselves and with creation.”
The small “covenant” formed among the people involved in the Torah
project, he said, has resulted in a volume that communicates “a cultural
vision of openness, mutual respect and peace” that echoes the spiritual
message of the biblical text.