Charlotte Rabbi says Billy Graham's legacy extends outside Christianity

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - In Charlotte, the legacy of Billy Graham extends even outside Christianity, according to one leader of the Jewish community.

"How does one person develop or find the charisma or the ability, to mesmerize so many people," Rabbi Murray Ezring of Temple Israel says.

Ezring says he stands in awe of the life of Billy Graham.

"He was a model for all of us to try to follow," he says.

Though the rabbi does not hold all the same beliefs as the late reverend, he says, "the basic bible and basic morality and ethics of the bible are the same for all of us."

Ezring remembers watching Graham's sermons through the years. Later becoming a spiritual leader himself,

Graham became someone Ezring says he looked towards.

"He, although was particularistic in his personal beliefs, he was universalistic in his treatment of people and how he tried to help people," Ezring says.

In 2002, tapes were released of private conversations between President Nixon and Graham.

The recordings were from the 70s and Graham was heard joining Nixon in making anti-Semitic remarks, for which Graham later apologized.

Rabbi Ezring says it was hurtful at the time, but he looks past it.

"When our life is over and the scale of our life stands before us, before God and judgement, our actions over a lifetime speak louder than our comments in a moment," he says.

The full lifespan actions of Reverend Graham serve now, Ezring says, as a guide for his life, and others in the community.

"Here in Charlotte the religious community tries its best to continue down that path in joining together to help as many people as we can," he says.

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