Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

A Rabbi’s Friendship With Pope Francis I

Sharing tea and holidays with the former Cardinal Bergoglio

Print Email
Argentina's Rabbi Bergman, Rabbi Avruj, and Pope Francis (courtesy)

What is it like being friends with the pope? According to Rabbi Alejandro Avruj, the rabbi of the Fundación Judaica of Buenos Aires, not bad. During Hanukkah say, the two celebrated by lighting candles together, but other times they have just hung out in the synagogue drinking mate, a type of tea sipped out of a gourd and passed between friends. Another time still, they both attended a farewell party for a mutual friend, Father Pepe, who was on his way to seclude himself in northern Argentina.

Rabbi Avruj, who worked together with the current Pope Francis in the slums of Buenos Aires, says he has shared many personal experiences with him and counts him as a friend. In November, the cardinal and the rabbi commemorated the 64th anniversary of Kristallnacht at a celebration at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, and a few weeks later, during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, both Cardinal Bergoglio and Rabbi Avruj officiated at another service at the cathedral and prayed for peace in Israel.

“As the rabbi of the Fundación Judaica, I can say that Pope Francisco and I have had a beautiful relationship and I’m really happy for him,” said Rabbi Avruj. “He speaks with sensibility and humility.”

And like all friends who are normally invited to celebrate promotions and the exciting life events of others, Rabbi Avruj snagged an invite to the Vatican for the papal inauguration today. But before he could pack his bags last week, he also got a call from the Pope saying that he shouldn’t feel obligated to attend because it was such an expensive trip, and and he wouldn’t have any time to hang out in Vatican City, what with all the hullabaloo surrounding his new job.

According to Rabbi Avruj though, a trip to Italy to say hello to his old friend, who also doubles as the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, might still be in order.

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

A Rabbi’s Friendship With Pope Francis I

Sharing tea and holidays with the former Cardinal Bergoglio

More on Tablet:

How To Make Middle Eastern Stuffed Vegetables

By Joan Nathan — Video: Filled with warm rice and unexpected spices, they’re perfect for a cool autumn night—as a side dish or vegetarian entree