Eight religious leaders brought their congregations together for eight dates in one room. It was a dangerous move
In a small building in the foreboding shadow of Jerusalems Mount Zion, Rabba Tamar Elad-Abblebaum appeared upon a gathering sitting attentively before her. We have had a long way to go to prepare for this evening, she articulated 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 meagre dress and kippah worn in her synagogue, there were some spans worn around necks. Others sat in the traditional black costume of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and various nuns in their practices gathered together at the back of the room. Many were wearing no religious clothe at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for just eight epoches, a music institution in the lowest depression of Jerusalem is turning into a communal house of prayer, called 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 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 religious people 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 likewise open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum responded: I never believed something like this would be possible in my lifetime. Jews who live in the territories publicly praying along with Palestinians, this is a big probability and a huge step. But this is not a political assignment; we wanted beings are derived from the right and from the left and to show that faith is beyond ideology. Here, “were about” reshaping actuality 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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