Eight religious leaders returned their congregations together for eight epoches in one chamber. It was a dangerous move
In a small building in the foreboding shadow of Jerusalems Mount Zion, Rabba Tamar Elad-Abblebaum seemed upon a gang 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 parish was unlike any she, the leader of an Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem, was used to addressing. As well as the usual modest dress and kippah tattered in her synagogue, there were some spans worn around necks. Others sat in the conventional black costume of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and various nuns in their habits be gathered at the back of the room. Many were wearing no religion garment at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for precisely eight periods, a music institution in the lowest hollow of Jerusalem was transformed into a communal house of prayer, appointed Amen, bringing together Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and their parishes 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 initiated by Elad-Abblebaum and the Muslim Sufi Sheikh Ihab Balah nearly a year ago. They reached out to six other religious chassis 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 traditions, but too open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum said: I never conceived something like this would be possible in my lifetime. Jews who live in the territories publicly praying together with Palestinians, this is a big peril and a great step. But this is not a political projection; we wanted beings are derived from the right and from the left and to show that faith is beyond ideology. Here, “weve been” reshaping actuality and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen not only brought closer Israels discordant religions, but also men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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