Eight religious leaders brought their parishes together for eight daytimes in one chamber. It was a dangerous move
In a small building in the foreboding darknes of Jerusalems Mount Zion, Rabba Tamar Elad-Abblebaum gazed upon a gathering sitting attentively before her. We have had a long way to go to prepare for this evening, she said with a soft smile. Today we all do something very brave.
Certainly this congregation was unlike any she, the leader of an Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem, was used to addressing. As well as the usual meagre dress and kippah wear in her synagogue, there were some spans worn around cervixes. Others sat in the conventional pitch-black dres of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and various nuns in their garbs gathered together at the back of the area. Numerous were wearing no religion garb at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for simply eight dates, a music school in the lowest depression of Jerusalem was transformed into a communal house of prayer, referred Amen, bringing together Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and their gatherings to worship together in one area. It was a sight rarely seen in this segregated metropoli.
The project, part of the Jerusalem season of culture, was launched by Elad-Abblebaum and the Muslim Sufi Sheikh Ihab Balah almost a year ago. They reached out to six other religion figures two rabbis, a Franciscan monk, a Catholic priest, a Coptic deaconess and a female Muslim community leader who were very conventional in their beliefs and rehearses, but likewise open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum said: I never guessed something like this would be possible in my lifetime. Jews who live in the territories publicly praying along with Palestinians, this is a big danger and a huge step. But this is not a political activity; we wanted beings to come from the right and from the left and to demonstrate that faith is beyond dogma. Here, “weve been” reshaping world and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen not only brought closer Israels discordant beliefs, but also men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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