Rabbi Daniel Swartz will participate in discussions on climate change with Pope Francis.
SCRANTON, Pa .– Rabbi Daniel Swartz of Temple Hesed in Scranton initially thought it might be a scam when he received a letter from the Vatican several months ago.
“The Jewish holidays we just celebrated are sometimes called ‘the days of fear.’ What sort of rough translation is “norah” in Hebrew. Which sits on the border of “wow” and “oy. You know, half wonder, half terror. It’s sort of exactly how I feel, ”he said.
Rabbi Swartz and his wife are going on vacation to Italy on Saturday.
After that, they will go to the Vatican where the rabbi will participate in a discussion with Pope Francis on climate change.
The Vatican invited only 50 people from all over the world.
Swartz is one of the few Americans and one of the two rabbis.
“This Pope has been such an inspiration to me in terms of caring for the planet and the poor and therefore bringing a little Scranton over there to Italy is great,” added Swartz.
The team worked hard on a global declaration on the importance of tackling climate change.
Rabbi Swartz played a big role in drafting the document he will sign at the Vatican.
His name will join scientists and world leaders, but Rabbi Swartz believes religious leaders play an equally important role in the fight against climate change.
“Hope is the belief that if you work hard enough it can get better. And that’s something religions have carried since religion was invented. This possibility of hope. And so, we really want preach hope to the world, ”he said.
How they are going to do it is something they will discuss with Pope Francis.