Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:11 pm (PST)
Thanks for this information and opportunity. I have forwarded the email to the Board
of Deputies (UK), Council of Christians and Jews in London, the Office of the Chief
Rabbi and various individuals including religious leaders and hope they will all write!
Maybe others could also try their local community leaders, etc. to generate a
Regards to all, RLH
To Mayor Antonio Costa, Lisbon
Councillor Jose Fernandes
Councillor Maria Rosetta
Your Worship and Councillors,
I'm sorry I can't write to you in your own language, but my ancestors left Portugal for Holland and England some generations ago, and my mother tongue is English.
I was gratified to learn that the City Council of Lisbon was planning to commemorate the martyrdom of thousands of Jews who died for their faith in 1506, together with all those who had suffered because of their convictions or ideas.
This seems a very appropriate gesture - one which would lead to reconciliation and goodwill among faith groups, and would be welcomed by many.
If there is any doubt that this timely and humanitarian project will be postponed or cancelled, I hope all problems will be overcome and hope you will be able to see that this excellent idea is carried through.
In Essex, south east England, where I live, there are memorials to individuals who went to the stake for their faith during the reign of Mary Tudor of England (1555-58). One plaque quotes the words of the ordinary Englishman who declared that if each one of the hairs of his head was a life, he would give them all, in order to worship as he believed was right.
There are other memorials, some in quite small villages, to recall the deaths of one or two individuals.
Accordingly, it would be altogether fitting that Lisbon should honour the thousands of her citizens who perished in 1506 and thereafter.
With kind regards
R. Linda Hart (descendant of Mendes Coutinho family)