Culture of Peace 9 14 2018 in UN

INAUGURATION OF THE      MULTI TRACK COUNCIL for the SDG’s and A CULTURE OF PEACE
Conference Room 11 September 14, 2016
UN Headquarters
Concept Note
The inauguration of the Parliamentary Initiative Multi Track Council for a Culture of Peace follows the launching of the High Level Panel: The Role of Parliaments for Building Peaceful and Inclusive Societies and Combating Violent Extremism which was held in the context of the 10th anniversary of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adoption of the SG’s Plan of Action to Combat Violent Extremism and the High Level Political Forum. The High Level Panel, held on July 21, in partnership with UNESCO, hosted by the mission of Italy to the United Nations, with the participation of H.E. Ambassador Kiarat Abdrakhmanov, Permanent Representative of Kazahstan to the U.N. highlighted the important contribution of the development of a culture of peace and the need for a partnership between parliamentarians and the UN to work jointly for preventing the unprecedented rise of violent extremism. In this light, the IPCGE has been promoting national legislation for mandatory education on the culture of peace and strict measures to prevent incitement for terrorism and violent extremism in accordance with the relevant UN General Assembly resolutions. The role of legislators is crucial in this endeavor. So far the UN resolutions on the culture of peace have not yet been fully inscribed into national law in UN member states. The high level panel empowers legislators of UN member states to initiate legislation in their respective parliaments to fill this lacuna in support of the UNESCO mandate on the culture of peace. A summit of legislators at U.N. headquarters is planned to further promote this crucial endeavor.
In an effort to assure implementation of the required national legislation, The IPCGE initiative envisages the further strengthening of a multi- track diplomacy partnership to engage religious, academic, and media leaders to fulfill their respective roles to execute the proposed legislation with the support of the United Nations institutions as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Plan of Action to Prevent Radical Violence. Towards this goal, IPCGE in partnership with the American Association of Central Asian and Caucasian Countries Religions in Dialogue is launching the Multi Track Council (MTC) for the Culture of Peace, also known as the Levant Initiative for Global Peace as endorsed by Council of Europe Members of Parliament and the Parliament of Romania (see attached documents). The MTC, comprised of religious, education, youth and media leaders will strive to support the required legislation and its execution in their respective professions and societies in coordination with national and international entities.
CHAIRMAN
1:15-1:30
PRESIDENT EMIL CONSTANTINESCU
The Levant Initiative for Global Peace as the Foundation for the
IPCGE Multi Track Council for the SDG’s and the Culture of Peace
UNESCO BRIEFING: Mrs. Lily Valchanova
Liaison Officer, Culture of Peace
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
Ambassador Ion Jinga
Permanent Representative of Romania to the United Nations, Ambassador Katalin Bogyay
Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations, Ambassador Dr. Maleeha Lodhi
Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations
Ambassador Mahmoud Saikal Ambassador
Permanent Representative of the Isla
mic Republic of Afghanistan to the U.N.
Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations
Session I
1:30 – 2:15
EDUCATION FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE
Keynote Address: Mr. Garry Jacobs
CEO of the World Academy of Art & Science; Chairman of the Board and CEO of the World University Consortium; Managing Editor of Cadmus Journal; Vice-President of The Mother’s Service Society; Distinguished Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Person-Centered Approach Institute, Italy; Executive Director of the International Center for Peace and Development in Napa, California; and a full member of the Club of Rome
MEDIA AND THE CULTURE OF PEACE
Keynote Address: Master Jun Hong Lu
Chairman and Director of Australia Oriental Media Buddhist Charity Association registered with the United Nations Global Compact, President of community groups in the Australian Chinese communities, as well as the Vice President of the Australia Chinese People China Peaceful Reunification Association (CCPPA)..Master Lu cofounded the global Chinese broadcasting China Network Television (CNTV). He has had a long-term collaborative relationship with ABC Radio, Xinhua News, China Radio International, and China National Radio. Master Lu also served as the Director for China Network Television (CNTV): Director of the Australian Chinese Buddhist Research Centre
Panelists

  • Imam Agha Jafri, Founder, American Muslim Congress
  • Dr. Wafik Moustafa, Chairman, Muslim Conservative Network UK
  • Mayor Martin Oliner – Mayor, city of Lawrence, LI, member of the Executive Board of Touro College, founder of the San Francisco School of Osteopathic Medicine, director of the New York School of Podiatry, founder and President Globe Institute of Technology

The Role of Youth and NGO’s
Keynote Speaker: MR. GIANNI PICCO
The Role of the Individual in the International Arena
former Under Sec. General of the U.N. /Consultant and Adviser to the Oxford Research Group
Dr. Lahoucine Khabid, President, Atlas Center for Diplomacy
Named: Youth Leader of the Future
Mr. Z.H Khurram
Secretary General, International Youth Forum

Session II – 2:15
The Role of Religious Leaders
Keynote Speaker: Rabbi Elie Abadie
Chief Rabbi, Safra Synagogue, Director of the Jacob E. Safra Institute of Sephardic Studies, at Yeshiva University and is a scholar and college teacher of Sephardic Judaism, history, philosophy, and comparative traditional law.Rabbi Abadie received the Orden Del Merito Civil, the highest civil decoration by His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain. Rabbi Abadie follows in the footsteps of the greatest Jewish scholar and philosopher Moses Maimonides, as he is both a rabbi and a physician. Rabbi Abadie maintains a practice in Gastroenterology (Also Representing the European Council of Religious Leaders).
Panel

  • Dr. Boris Pincus, President, Religions in Dialogue
  • Rabbi Yaakov David Cohen, Founder Institute for Noahide Code
  • Rev. Simpson Turner –FDNY Chaplain, currently serves as the pastor of the Parish of Mount Carmel Baptist Church. Former chaplain for the New York City Department of Corrections and Sheriff’s Office
2:30 – Open Floor Discussion
2:45 –Vote of Thanks and Conclusion
6:30 pm – Dinner Hosted by Master Jun Hong Lu
MOBILIZING CULTURAL AND RELIGIOUS ETHICS TO PROMOTE THE U.N. POST 2015 DEVELOPMENT GOALS

The U.N. post 2015 development goals encompass ethics inherent in many cultures and religions on issues of social and environmental justice.
The Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics is launching a major initiative to create a global steering committee of religious leaders and cultural representatives to lead the efforts to harness cultural and religious ethics to promote these goals.

The ‘United Nations’ Headquarters faces the Isaiah Wall inscribed across from the main building. The quote from the prophet Isaiah was chosen as the founding motto for the world’s foremost organization for international peace. In his eternal thought, the day is mentioned when no nation will wage war against another nation, and when swords – the instruments of war – will be transformed into plowshares – the instruments for providing man’s sustenance. The Seven Universal Laws of Noah which are cited by the philosopher Hugo Grotius as the foundation for international law (the basis for the United Nations Charter) are the practical means, by which humanity can strive to live in unity and peace and can fulfill its potential to see all the families of the earth blessed. These laws for peace and unity encompass respect for G-d, for human life, respect for the Family, for other people’s property, for the creation, respect for the judicial systems, and respect for all creatures and the environment.

Leaders in the fields of culture and religion are invited to share their insight and wisdom with the leading UN officials to assure that the vision of the United Nations, to have a peaceful and civilized world in which economic justice and righteousness prevail, can be fulfilled. The goal of this summit is to develop a coalition of religious and cultural leaders to work with the UN to implement the development goals towards a culture of peace and prosperity.

  • GOAL 1 End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • GOAL 2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • GOAL 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • GOAL 4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • GOAL 5 Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • GOAL 6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • GOAL 7 Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • GOAL 8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • GOAL 9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization andfoster innovation
  • GOAL 10 Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • GOAL 11 Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • GOAL 12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • GOAL 13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
  • GOAL 14 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • GOAL 15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation andhalt biodiversity loss
  • GOAL 16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provideaccess to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • GOAL 17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development




Mobilizing Cultural and Religious Ethics to Promote the U.N. Post 2015 Development Goals

Mobilizing Cultural and Religious Ethics to Promote the U.N. Post 2015 Development Goals

The U.N. post 2015 development goals encompass ethics inherent in many cultures and religions on issues of social and environmental justice.
The Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics, in cooperation with the Institute of Noahide Code are launching a major initiative to create a global steering committee of religious leaders and cultural representatives to lead the efforts to harness cultural and religious ethics to promote these goals.

The ‘United Nations’ Headquarters faces the Isaiah Wall inscribed across from the main building. The quote from the prophet Isaiah was chosen as the founding motto for the world’s foremost organization for international peace. In his eternal thought, the day is mentioned when no nation will wage war against another nation, and when swords – the instruments of war – will be transformed into plowshares – the instruments for providing man’s sustenance. The Seven Universal Laws of Noah which are cited by the philosopher Hugo Grotius as the foundation for international law (the basis for the United Nations Charter) are the practical means, by which humanity can strive to live in unity and peace and can fulfill its potential to see all the families of the earth blessed. These laws for peace and unity encompass respect for G-d, for human life, respect for the Family, for other people’s property, for the creation, respect for the judicial systems, and respect for all creatures and the environment.

Leaders in the fields of culture and religion are invited to share their insight and wisdom with the leading UN officials to assure that the vision of the United Nations, to have a peaceful and civilized world in which economic justice and righteousness prevail, can be fulfilled. The goal of this summit is to develop a coalition of religious and cultural leaders to work with the UN to implement the development goals towards a culture of peace and prosperity.

  • GOAL 1 End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • GOAL 2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • GOAL 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • GOAL 4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • GOAL 5 Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • GOAL 6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • GOAL 7 Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • GOAL 8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • GOAL 9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization andfoster innovation
  • GOAL 10 Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • GOAL 11 Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • GOAL 12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • GOAL 13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
  • GOAL 14 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • GOAL 15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation andhalt biodiversity loss
  • GOAL 16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provideaccess to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • GOAL 17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

TOPICS TO BE COVERED:

  1. United Nations Resolutions on the Culture of Peace as a Pre-Condition for Peace, Security and Sustainable Development (Goals 1-17)
  2. Religious and Cultural Values as a driver for the implementation of the UN Post 2015 agenda (goals 1-17)
  3. Ethical Finance to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” (goal 17)
From:
http://www.ipcge.net/MOBILIZING-CULTURAL-AND-RELIGIOUS-ETHICS-TO-PROMOTE-THE-U.N.-POST-2015-DEVELOPMENT-GOALS.htm

Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics
The Levant Initiative for the peace Process in the Middle East Global Summit – United Nations Headquarters

NOVEMBER 9TH SUMMIT AT U.N. HEADQUARTERS

INC IPCGE




Biblical source of Noahide laws

Biblical source of the seven Noahide laws

By Rabbi YD Cohen

What’s the Biblical source of the seven noahide laws?

  1. “Va’Ytzav” – this refers to Dinim, as it says “Asher Yetzaveh Es Banav (…La’asos Tzedakah u’Mishpat)”
  2. “Hash-m” refers to blasphemy – “V’Nokev Shem Hash-m…”
  3. “Elokim” refers to idolatry – “Lo Yihyeh Lecha Elokim Acherim”
  4. “Leimor” refers to Arayos – “Leimor Hen Yeshalach Ish Es Ishto…v’Haysah l’Ish Acher”
  5. “Al ha’Adam” refers to murder – “Shofech Dam ha’Adam”
  6. “Mi’Kol Etz ha’Gan” – not from theft
  7. “Achol Tochal” – not a limb of a living animal

Bereshit 2:16

Va’Ytzav Hash-m Elokim Al ha’Adam Leimor Mi’Kol Etz ha’Gan Achol Tochal

Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying: ‘Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat’

From The Kuzari (3:73)

“God, the Almighty commanded Adam saying, ‘From all the trees of the garden you may eat'” (Bereishis, 2:16) is an allusion to the seven Noachide commandments.

The interpretation of this verse is as follows:

“commanded” refers to laws (concerning monetary matters),

“God” refers to blasphemy,

“Almighty” refers to idolatry,

“Adam” refers to murder,

“saying” refers to adultery,

“from all the trees of the garden” refers to thievery,

“you may eat” refers to eating the flesh of a live animal.

{It is quite obvious} that the verse has little connection with the above laws. However, the Sages intended {their references} as a hint which helps one remember something which the entire nation knows—the seven Noachide commandments.

From Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 56b

(English translation by Soncino)

Whence do we know this? — R. Johanan answered: The Writ saith: And the Lord God commanded the man saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. 1  And [He] commanded, refers to [the observance of] social laws, and thus it is written, For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment. 2  The Lord — is [a prohibition against] blasphemy, and thus it is written, and he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death. 3   God — is [an injunction against] idolatry, and thus it is written, Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. 4 The man — refers to bloodshed [murder], and thus it is written, Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed. 5   Saying — refers to adultery, and thus it is written, They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and became another man’s. 6  Of every tree of the garden — but not of robbery. 7  Thou mayest freely eat — but not flesh cut from a living animal. 8

notes

Gen. 2:16

Gen. 18:19. Thus ‘command’ relates to justice and judgment.

Lev. 24:16 — ‘The Lord’ being used in connection with blasphemy.

Ex. 20:3.

Gen. 9: 6.

Jer. 3:1. Thus ‘saying’ is used in connection with adultery.

Since it was necessary to authorize Adam to eat of the trees of the garden, it follows that without such authorisation — i.e., when something belongs to another — it is forbidden.

By interpreting thus: Thou mayest eat that which is now ready for eating, but not whilst the animal is alive. It is perhaps remarkable that a verse, the literal meaning of which is obviously permission to enjoy, should be interpreted as a series of prohibitions. Yet it is quite in keeping with the character of the Talmud: freedom to enjoy must be limited by moral and social considerations, and indeed only attains its highest value when so limited. Cf. Ab. VI, 2: No man is free but he who labours in the Torah.




FBI at the JCM…

FBI at the JCM in Crown Heights NY USA




Rabbi B Kali in London UK 2012




Rabbi Yakov D Cohen…

Rabbi Yakov D Cohen Founder and Director, Institute of Noahide Code




IDC Conference : 9-20-2017

IDC Conference : 9-20-2017

Welcome to the Summit Conference. Today we will be addressing the The Role of Religious leaders for Building Peaceful and Inclusive Societies and Combating Violent Extremism with Universal Noahide – UN

First, I want to thank our my fellow speakers for their outstanding leadership in this historic event: Mr  Mark Donfiled  and ICD Academy for Cultural Diplomacy

I also wish to thank all of you the future Ambassadors, Delegates, and distinguished guests who have taken the time out of their busy schedule to join us for this important program.

My name is Rabbi Yakov David Cohen and I serve as a Rabbi and an ECOSOC NGO Special Envoy to the UN for The Institute of Noahide Code. In my capacity as Special Envoy for the INC, my responsibilities include human rights issues in the Middle East including defending the rights of Jewish, Christian and Muslim Men, women and children.

I like to open with a story that took place with the former New York Mayor David Dinkins and the Chabad Rebbe Menachem Schneerson in 1991.. …Mayor Dinkins went, both as the Mayor and as the representative of the black community to the Rebbe in Brooklyn, New York, and said, “We pray for the peace of our two communities”. The Rebbe replied, “It is one community, under one G-d, under one administration.”

One people One World under G-D

Some people wonder, can’t we just get along – but everything in life that will function – and certainly function long-term must have both a foundation and a logical premise.

The only way societites – as emperically through thousands of years of human civilization proves – live together, is, if there is a higher ideal.

What can possibly be the higher ideal which unites all of mankind?

What we all have in common is three things:

  1. Each and every one of us is a creation of our heavenly father G-D
  2. Each and every one of us (including all species, plants, even minerals) have a cosmic goal in the tapestry and symphony that produces the beauty and melody called humanity –
  3. The Creator has specifically taught the Jewish people, passed down from Moses, a universal Noahide ethical code and by us all humbly accepting, we introduce this higher ideal.

I read a personal ad in the paper: Homeless!  (JOKE)

Seeking home, will pay rent, utilities, looking to make the world a better place, will provide good company – G-D.

Each and every one of us makes a home for G-d by keeping the Universal Noahide code!

The Universal Noahide Code is one for peace.. Jewish Sages explain that a wonder of G-d’s creation is that, although the face of every human being is essentially the same, no two people are identical.  As facial features differ, so too, the workings of no two minds are alike.  Since differences are an inherent dimension of G-d’s Creation, no society should try to stifle these differences.  They should not only be tolerated, but encouraged as a  springboard for growth. Humankind is created in the Divine Image.  Given that this House is one of peace, we must within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, attempt to promote these values not only globally, but specially, immediately in our surroundings.

The Torah message is Universal.  Torah was ultimately given for peace.  Peace between man and G-d, and peace between man and man.  The first Five Commandments are the relationship between man and G-d, whereas the last five deal with man’s relation to his fellow human being.  These values are eternal, and are encompassed in the Universal Noahide Code. The truth of the matter is that before there was any formal religion there was only Noah, a man who withstood the tides/norms of his day and went against all of the trends of his time, for he considered these to be unethical, indecent Noah took it upon himself to serve and obey the One G-d.   His example was as valid today as it was then.   It is critical for all of us, that we, the representatives of many different people affirm and commit publicly to the basic premise, that people respect the very core fabric of life given by the Creator.  These are contained within the Seven Universal Codes of Noah, a way of life that expresses and makes the human being commit, to honoring first of all, the Creator, and ultimately, His Creation.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals envision zero hunger, no poverty, decent work and economic growth.  May I propose that in the Universal Noahide Codes, the belief in one G-d, promotes equal treatment for all human beings.  Humankind’s unity reflects G-d’s indivisibility.  The respect for human life envisioned in the Noahide Codes, also promotes respect that no human being is to be deprived of food as we are seeing regrettably in Syria, in North Korea, as a means of social control, of beating people into deprivation as a means of subjugation.  The respect for decent work and economic growth requires us to take into account, the right of all human beings to be remunerated properly for their work that local practices be taken into account by any multinational wishing to invest in a particular area.  It is a way of balancing profit with the needs and culture and livelihoods of those either employed or impacted by business.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals also promote partnering for all the goals we wish for humanity, as well as the promotion of peace, justice and strong institutions.

May I further propose, that the Universal Noahide Codes also envision this.  There is no greater partnership than the nucleus of society which is the family, the respect for human life within the family, the respect for the most vulnerable, which are the young, the weak and the infirm and the old.  And although not politically popular, may I suggest that the respect for the unborn is also a component of the first partnering of humans.  A future partner of society should be respected.  Everyone here present today, is here, because your right to be born was respected.  May I ultimately suggest as well, is that the Universal Noahide Codes also strengthen the notion of promoting justice, because in its core, the concept of the creation of a judicial system is paramount.  As is often said, there is no peace, without justice.

We have all and are all created by G-d – in fact in this sense we have something in common not only with all humans, but also with animals, vegetation and even rocks and non-living creations, with the Universe itself.  We need a vigorous proactive campaign which is what I am proud my organization Institute of Noahide Code stands for, in which all people, all people, are elevated through the deep appreciation that their lives are a choice – God chose them, as He loves to see each human being bring light, love, unity and harmony to his or her surroundings, to the world at large.  When we all realize we are His ambassadors, each and everyone of us, not only do we do good, but this gives us an inner feeling of worth and as we add respect to ourselves, love to the core, to reflect this to the rest of the world, by extending that to each and every person.

For us to have UNITY we need ONE AND ONLY G-D and for G-d to have UNITY HE needs us!

We had a giant in the United States, may his memory be a blessing.

Dr. Martin Luther King queried those around him:  “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is:  What are you doing for others?”

The Rebbe Menachem Schneerson also taught us that a “Little light can dispel a lot of darkness”.   Not far from this concept, and in terms of love, which is the underlying theme that humanity craves for, Dr. King added:  Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that”.

But what is love based on?    Love, as Jewish mysticism teaches us, is realizing that we are but one heart in many bodies, one universal mission, affirming that each one of us has been made in the image of our Maker, challenged to rise above instinctual selfish instincts and invite a Divine purpose, mission and meaning in our life.  We can only achieve this objective, in the manner of respect, of establishing court systems, by creating partnerships that include the basic core of society which is the family unit, the respect for human life, through food, equitable respect for the rights, needs of others.  We include in this, the environment, as well as our fellow animal creatures, His entire Creation.

Practically, by each of us dedicating our lives individually to this recognition that “I am not a biological being, born one day, to die another”, rather “I am an ambassador of our Creator to add in the goodness and kindness of this world, I take upon myself the responsibility to share this message – the message of truth, the message of empathy, the message of love”.  Then and only then, can truly the vision of the U.N. be realized and speedily fulfilled, as the great prophet Isaiah expressed  ‘that they will beat their swords into plowshares and no nation will make war ever again’.

Sweet New Year!!!

 

THANK YOU.

 

IDC – Chabad UES NY NY USA on 9 20, 2017 [email protected]




Abortion and Jewish Law

Abortion and Jewish Law – Partial birth abortion

By: Rabbi Yakov D. Cohen

The sanctity and infinite worth of every human being is a quintessential Jewish value, grounded in the biblical notion that man is created in the divine image and likeness to the creator. According to the Mishnah (Sanhendrin 4:5) “Whoever destroy one life is as if he destroyed a whole world”.

Abortion is permitted, and perhaps even required in cases of serious danger to the mother according to Jewish perspectives. However for convenience it is prohibited. When the majority of the fetus has emerged… the mother and the child are co-equal and you can not take one life / soul for another life / soul.

In essence abortion is judged to be the unwarranted taking of a life within a life it is the same prohibitionas as murder. Unless the Torah / Jewish law permits it.

One of the ultimate goals of man is the imitation of G-d. We do this in every good act, paralleling G-d’s own creation of good. The most direct way that we can do this, however, is in our actions toward our fellow man.

G-d’s purpose in creation could have been fulfilled with the creation of a single creature to accept His good. Such a creature, however, could never truly resemble G-d. G-d Himself is a bestower of good, and if only one creature existed, then to whom would it do good? Certainly not to G-d, for G-d has no needs. It is for this reason that G-d created the world as an arena for an entire species of man.

When G-d first created man, Adam was one. G-d then said (Genesis 2:18), “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make him a helper as his counterpart.” As long as man was alone, he could not really be good. For to be good is to imitate G-d, the giver of good. A man alone would have no one to whom to bestow good, and therefore, could not be called “good.” This is what G-d meant when He said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” G-d then created woman as a counterpart of man.

Man also imitates G-d by becoming His partner in the procreation of children. Just as G-d is a Creator, so man also becomes a creator of life. Our Sages therefore teach us that there are three partners in the procreation of a child: his father, his mother and G-d. The sexual act is the vehicle through which man displays this aspect of his partnership with G-d, and this is one reason why its perversion is considered among the worst of sins (Derech Mitzvotecha by Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch).

In a spiritual sense, the good that man does also benefits every other human being. Thus, in doing good, one is at least indirectly benefiting his fellow man, even in the case of ritual laws that do not directly do so. Our Sages thus teach us that every person is morally responsible for every other. The author of Reshit Chochmah explains that all souls are bound together, as with rope, and the movement of one is reflected in every other. This is what the Torah means when it says (Numbers 16:22), “One man sins, and anger is directed against the entire community.” The Midrash provides us with an excellent example illustrating this: A number of people are sitting in a small boat. All of a sudden, one man begins to drill a hole under his seat. When the people complain, he retorts, “What complaint do you have? After all, I’m drilling the hole under my own seat.” Finally, a wise man answers him, “We are all in the same boat. The hole may be under your seat, but the water that comes in will make the boat sink with all of us in it.”

In a spiritual sense, we are all in the same boat. Every good thing that we do affects all mankind. In every good act that we do, we imitate G-d insofar as we ultimately bring good to all humanity. This is indeed one reason why G-d put us all in the same spiritual boat.

Of course, we do this more directly when we do good toward our fellow man. This is the archetype of all good. There is no way of imitating G-d more closely than in doing good to others.

The Talmud says that we bind ourselves to G-d by imitating His ways. But in what ways does the Talmud say that we imitate G-d? Look at its words carefully:

Just as G-d clothes the naked, so shall you. Just as G-d visits the sick, so shall you. Just as G-d comforts the bereaved, so shall you.

Elsewhere, the Talmud says that we must also imitate G-d in His mercy and compassion. The general lesson is that we resemble G-d most in our relationship with our fellow human beings.

This concept is best exemplified by the famous story of Hillel. The Talmud tells us that a non-Jew once came to Hillel and said, “I wish to convert to Judaism, but only if you teach me the entire Torah while I stand on one foot.”

Hillel replied, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. This is the core of Judaism. The rest is mere commentary.”

Many of the commentators find this story very perplexing. The commandments dealing with our relationship toward our fellow man are certainly very important. But there are also many other important commandments that apparently have nothing at all to do with other people. How could Hillel have dismissed these as mere commentary?

What Hillel was teaching us, however, was that the main reason for all the commandments is the imitation of G-d, and that this is exemplified by our relations with our fellow human beings. We must deal with our fellows just as G-d deals with us. In doing so, we fulfill His purpose in creation. This imitation of G-d is ultimately the purpose of all the commandments.

This is also the meaning of what G-d told His prophet (Jeremiah 22:16), “He judged the cause of the poor and needy, and it was well. Is this not to know Me?” As discussed earlier, we can only know G-d by drawing close to Him through imitating Him. G-d is telling us that the main way in which we know Him is by imitating Him in doing good to others.

There is a commandment in the Torah (Leviticus 19:18), “You shall love your neighbor like yourself.” One of our foremost leaders, Rabbi Akiba, said, “This commandment is the core of the Torah.” Rabbi Akiba is teaching us the same lesson as Hillel. We imitate G-d’s love for the world through our love toward our fellow man. In this way, we draw ourselves close to G-d and fulfill His purpose in creation.

In a deeper sense, the concept of love itself is the archetype of spiritual closeness. Where a bond of love exists between two people, they are close — even though they may be separated by vast distances. On the other hand, people who hate each other are far apart, even when they are sitting right next to each other. Love and hate exist in a spiritual, rather than a physical dimension. Love between two people implies a harmony and complementarity between them. It is this harmony that makes them close, irrespective of physical distance. In obeying G-d’s commandments, we seek to bring a similar harmony and closeness between ourselves and G-d. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” is therefore indeed the prime rule of the Torah. It not only leads us to a closeness to G-d, but also teaches us the meaning of such closeness.

Following a similar line of reasoning, we can understand what our Sages mean when they teach us, “He who denies the doing of kindness (Gemilut Chassadim) is like one who denies the most fundamental principle (G-d Himself).” G-d is the ultimate bestower of kindness, and one who divorces himself from such deeds, places himself poles apart from G-d. G-d is the ultimate doer of good, and this man denies doing good. He is therefore said to be like one who divorces himself from G-d.

G-d is the source of all life, and therefore, the more one resembles G-d, the more he partakes of life. One who clings to G-d is said to be truly alive, as the Torah says (Deuteronomy 4:4), “You who have clung to G-d are all alive today.” We thus find (Proverbs 10:2), “Charity saves from death.” When one gives, he resembles his Creator, the source of all life.




High-Level Panel on The Role of Parliaments for Building Peaceful and Inclusive Societies and Combating Violent Extremism

High-Level Panel on The Role of Parliaments for Building Peaceful and Inclusive Societies and Combating Violent Extremism

UN Headquarters, New York, 21 July, 15.00 -18.00

LIST OF SPEAKERS

Co-organisers UNESCO, the Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN, Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics

With the Patronage of H.E. Prof. Frederico Mayor, President, Fundacion Cultura de Paz

Keynote Speakers: 

  • Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
  • Mr Jehangir Khan, USG and Chairman of the Counter-terrorism Implementation Task Force
  • Mr Jehangir Khan, USG and Chairman of the Counter-terrorism Implementation Task Force
  • H.E. Ambassador Kiarat Abdrakhmanov, Permanent Representative of Kazahstan to the UN
  • Video Address, H.E. Frederico Mayor

Moderator: Gianni Picco, former USG
Panelists:
Panel 1 – The Call for National Legislation to Implement the Culture of Peace and Combat Violent Extremism

  • MEP. Lara Comi, EU Parliament Representative (Italy)
  • M.P. Saman Jafri, Member of Parliament of Pakistan
  • The Honorable Diane Watson, U.S. Congress(rt) and former Ambassador
  • M.P. Oezcan Mutlu, Representative from Bundestag, German
  • M.P. Jalila Morsli, Member of Parliament of Morocco
  • Video Address – Senator Pier Ferdinando Casini, Chairman, Italian Senate Foreign Affairs Committee

Panel 2- The Multi Track Partnership of Religious Leaders, Educators and the Media in Putting the Legislation into Action

  • Dr. Lahoucide Khabid, President, Atlas Center for Diplomacy in Morocco
  • Dr. Boris Pincus, President, Religions in Dialogue
  • Imam Agha Jafri, Founder, American Muslim Congress
  • Rabbi Y. David Cohen, President UN NGO Institute for Noahide Code
  • Dr. Wafik Moustafa, Chairman, Muslim Conservative Network UK
  • Rev. Thomas Del Balle-Reyes, Catholic Holy Cross Church
  • Shoshana Nicole Bekerman, Director, Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics

Moderator: Mayor Martin Oliner
Affiliated Sponsors: 

  • Alsadiqin
  • American Muslim Congress
  • American Association of Central Asian and Caucasian Countries Religions in Dialogue
  • Australia Oriental Media Buddhist Charity Association
  • The Institute for Noahide Code, UN NGO, Atlas Center for Diplomacy

22.07.2016 – ODG

Building peace starts on the parliamentarians’ benches as much as on the benches of schools

On 21 July, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, addressed a High-Level Panel on “The Role of Parliaments for Building Peaceful and Inclusive Societies and Combatting Violent Extremism”, organized by the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations, UNESCO, and the Interparliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics, at UN Headquarters in New York.
“Building peace and preventing violent extremism cannot be won with hard power only”, stated the Director-General. “We need soft power also, we need to win the battle of ideas, through education, through democratic debate, through a better understanding of each other’s cultures and religions” she continued. “Parliaments play a critical role to address the challenges of our times, when not everything can be solved at the level of Governments or United Nations Agencies alone,” said the Director-General in her opening speech highlighting that “parliamentarians have the unique power to bring solutions closer to the people, and make sure their needs and concerns are at the heart of our response.”

The event brought together parliamentarians and representatives of the diplomatic community, the United Nations system and civil society in an effort to establish a closer collaboration on the development of a culture of peace and preventing the unprecedented rise of violent extremism. It aimed at the adoption of legislation for mandatory education on culture of peace and measures to prevent terrorism and violent extremism. It also aimed at strengthening the multi-track diplomacy partnership, to engage governments, the UN system, religious, academic, and media leaders to fulfil their respective roles to implement such aligned legislation. The Director-General gave an overview of UNESCO’s action worldwide to prevent and counter violent extremism stating that “this starts on the benches of school, it must start with peace education, with textbooks and curricula that teach human rights, to prepare individuals to live as responsible citizens. Ms Emilia Gatto, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations, stressed that “there are no easy answers… we need to tackle the root causes of violent extremism, including marginalization, inequalities, discrimination, human rights violations, and hate speech, using the full toolbox offered by Agenda 2030”. H.E. Ambassador Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations, urged that a long-term and comprehensive approach was needed to preventing and countering violent extremism, involving also regional and international cooperation, as a true requirement to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.

In his intervention, Mr Jehangir Khan, Director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, noted the key importance of dialogues with parliamentarians who represented the “citizens of the world”. He argued that violent extremism was one of the great challenges of the 21st century in particular in terms of preventing and saving the young generations from engaging in violent extremism. He also recalled the UN Secretary-General’s global plan of action, developed by the entire UN system.

Ms Hanifa Mezoui, Senior Advisor of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, commended UNESCO for having issued the Organization’s 2016 “Teacher’s Guide on the Prevention of Violent Extremism”. Ms Mezoui presented projects of the Alliance of Civilizations, aimed at strengthening religious cooperation and working through mediation as a form of preventive diplomacy.

The keynote session concluded with an address by Federico Mayor, President of the Foundation Culture de Paz, who recalled the important role of the UN High-Level Forum on a ‘culture of peace’, and urged parliamentarians to be at the forefront of the fight against extremist ideologies.

From:
http://www.ipcge.net/MOBILIZING-CULTURAL-AND-RELIGIOUS-ETHICS-TO-PROMOTE-THE-U.N.-POST-2015-DEVELOPMENT-GOALS.htm

Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics
The Role of Parliaments for Building Peaceful and Inclusive Societies and Combating Violent Extremism




November 9th Summit

November 9th Summit

On the week of the worst terrorist attacks in recent history in Europe, news that has shaken the international community to its core, a group of men and women, diplomats, journalists and Rabbis, Imams, and Reverends, met at the United Nations for the November 9th Summit mobilizing Cultural and Religious Ethics for Agenda 2030.

It is notable that it was the Permanent Mission of Panama to the United Nations that hosted this event, given that this small and prominent Latin American country, decades earlier, had been one of the visionaries to promote the Jewish lawyer, Raphael Lemkin and his 1948 Convention on Genocide, which was ultimately, the cornerstone for the International Criminal Court now based in The Hague.

Co-sponsored by the Insitute of Noahide Code/IPCGE, the platform for this event on 9th November, was the Universal Noahide Code “UNC”, setting forth to the international diplomatic and religious community what philosopher Hugo Grotius cited as the basis for the 1945 United Nations Charter and thus, the cornerstone of all international law.  Grotius further pointed out that the “UNC” is the practical means, by which humanity may strive to live in unity and in peace and can thus fulfill its potential to see all the families of the earth blessed.  These laws of peace and unity encompass respect for G-d, for human life, respect for the family, for other people’s property, for the creation, respect for judicial systems plus respect for all creatures and the environment.

Among those participating, Her Excellency, the Ambassador Laura Flores of Panama, who was the keynote speaker and opened the event welcoming everyone.  Ambassador Flores highlighted the efforts to be made now, so that future generations inherit and can enjoy a culture of peace built on respect and understanding.  Peace which indeed in thought, and also in the Wall in front of the United Nations Headquarters, is prominently displayed not far from where Ambassador Flores spoke.  There on the famed 1948 Isaiah Wall, we read, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Another notable speaker among many prominent participants as The Honorable H. Lincoln Douglas, Minister from Trinidad and Tobago, was Mr. Gianni Picco, former Under Secretary General of the United Nations.  On the 9th November, Mr. Picco who was instrumental and actively involved in releasing numerous Western hostages in the Middle East, notably Beirut, spoke about his mediation among terrorists and then some regional tyrants, to save lives, reunite families, spare the world of more bloodshed.  Moderating the events, was the Mayor of Lawrence, Long Island, Mr. Martin Oliner, where the Druze leader, Coronel (Ret.) Munib Bader spoke about how the Druze have no aspirations of becoming a country or converting anyone to their monotheistic religion or tradition, and are loyal to the people where they reside.  Because 2,000,000 Druzim live in Syria, in Lebanon, and in Israel, the Druze are uniquely positioned to bring peace among these people in the region, according to Coronel Bader.

Among other prominent speakers at the United Nations, Rabbi Elie Abadie, of Yale University Center for Faith and Culture, and Chief Rabbi of Safra Synagogue in Manhattan, and Imam Shamsi Ali, spiritual leader of Jamaica Muslim Center of New York.  Whereas Rabbi Abadie spoke about how religious leaders have to find a means to transmit religious values in a manner that is both positive and conducive to non violence, Imam Ali said that he has been actively pursuing the building of bridges between the different religions that stem from Abraham.

Rabbi Yakov David Cohen, founder of the Institute of the Noahide Code and accredited to the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations, opened the panel of religious and cultural values.  He first thanked among others, Shoshana Bekerman, without whose expert involvement, the event would have been very difficult to organize.  Furthermore, Dr. Leonard Grunstein spoke about finances and development as a means of empowering people.  Rabbi Cohen also mentioned, Mrs. Judy Schaffer, who moderated a panel on development.  But it was Rabbi Yakov Cohen, who reminded those present in this first UNC Summit at the UN, that the basis of the gathering were the 7 Laws of Noah, with the common thread of the memory of the destruction and despair, upon which the UN was established.  The Rav reminded those present that the event was being held on the 77th anniversary of Krystallnacht, a time of darkness and desperation, which memory placed on those participants, and their constituents and congregants, the unique responsibility which humankind carries to be messengers of goodness, kindness and global change.