Eight religious leaders made their flocks 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 ogled 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 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 crisscross worn around necks. Others sat in the traditional pitch-black costume of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and several nuns in their attires gathered together at the back of the room. Numerous were wearing no religious garment at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for only eight periods, a music institution in the lowest depression of Jerusalem was be converted into a communal house of prayer, appointed Amen, bringing together Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and their parishes to worship together in one chamber. It was a sight rarely seen in this segregated city.
The project, part of the Jerusalem season of culture, was initiated by Elad-Abblebaum and the Muslim Sufi Sheikh Ihab Balah nearly a year ago. They contacted out to six other religion anatomies two rabbis, a Franciscan monk, a Catholic priest, a Coptic deaconess and a female Muslim community leader who were very traditional in their beliefs and rehearsals, but too open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum said: I never felt something like this would be possible in my lifetime. Jews who live in the territories publicly praying along with Palestinians, this is a big hazard and a huge step. But this is not a political assignment; we wanted beings to come from the right and from the left and to demonstrate that faith is beyond ideology. Here, “weve been” reshaping world and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen not only brought together Israels discordant religions, but also men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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