Many Washington-area synagogues paused during Yom Kippur services yesterday to honor the memory of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
The moment of silence in memory of the slain Egyptian leader, who eight years ago launched a devastating war against Israel on Yom Kippur, was called for in a message to area synagogues from the Jewish Community Council and the Washington Board of Rabbis.
"The Jewish community will remember Sadat with great admiration for his courage, for his vision, and for his stoic acceptance of the judgments of history, including the reality of Israel and the possibility that he would be martyred for his pursuit of peace," the message said.
"Our sense of loss, our outrage at this abominable crime, must reinforce the commitment to the peace process which alone can bring stability, peace and justice to the Middle East," it continued.
Some rabbis used their Yom Kippur sermons for political as well as spiritual themes. Rabbi Stanley Rabinowitz of Adas Israel Congregation linked Sadat's killing to "the resurgence of fundamentalist Islam as a political force," and assailed President Reagan's proposed sale of AWACS radar planes to Saudi Arabia, which he called "an unstable monarchy." He maintained that "every Arab leader who ever hinted at a settlement with Israel has been assassinated."