Eight religious leaders drew their parishes together for eight daylights in one chamber. It was a dangerous move
In a small building in the foreboding shadow of Jerusalems Mount Zion, Rabba Tamar Elad-Abblebaum ogled upon a audience 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 gathering 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 worn in her synagogue, there were some junctions worn around cervixes. Others sat in the conventional pitch-black dres of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and several nuns in their garbs gathered together at the back of the chamber. Many were wearing no religion garment at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for precisely eight days, a music school in the lowest depression of Jerusalem was transformed into a communal house of prayer, appointed Amen, bringing together Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and their gatherings to worship together in one room. It was a sight rarely seen in this segregated metropolitan.
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 contacted out to six other religious illustrations 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 rehearsals, but also 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 together with Palestinians, this is a big jeopardy and a huge step. But this is not a political programme; we wanted parties are derived from the right and from the left and to demonstrate that faith is beyond ideology. Here, we are reshaping world and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen is not simply brought together Israels discordant religions, but too men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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