Eight religious leaders brought their gatherings together for eight epoches in one room. It was a dangerous move
In a small building in the foreboding shadow of Jerusalems Mount Zion, Rabba Tamar Elad-Abblebaum looked upon a army 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 crosses worn around cervixes. Others sat in the conventional black robe of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and various nuns in their dress gathered together at the back of the area. Numerous were wearing no religious garment at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for simply eight epoches, a music school in the lowest depression of Jerusalem was transformed into a communal house of prayer, named Amen, bringing together Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and their parishes to worship together in one area. 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 religious anatomies 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 also open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum did: I never believed something like this would be possible in my lifetime. Jews who live in the territories publicly praying together with Palestinians, this is a big gamble and a huge step. But this is not a political campaign; we wanted people was derived from the right and from the left and to show that faith is beyond ideology. Here, we are reshaping world and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen not only brought together Israels discordant beliefs, but also men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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