Eight religious leaders fetched their flocks 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 seemed upon a crowd sitting attentively before her. We have had a long way to go to prepare for this evening, she read with a soft smile. Today we all do something very brave.
Certainly this flock 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 crossings worn around cervixes. Others sat in the traditional pitch-black gown of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and several nuns in their attires gathered together at the back of the area. Numerous were wearing no religious garb at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for merely eight daylights, a music academy in the lowest depression of Jerusalem was be converted into a communal house of prayer, identified 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 city.
The project, part of the Jerusalem season of culture, was initiated by Elad-Abblebaum and the Muslim Sufi Sheikh Ihab Balah almost a year ago. They contacted out to six other religious representations 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 rules, but also open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum suggested: I never accepted something like this would be possible in my lifetime. Jews who live in the territories publicly praying along with Palestinians, this is a big jeopardy and a huge step. But this is not a political programme; we wanted beings received from the right and from the left and to show that faith is beyond dogma. Here, we are reshaping world and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen is not simply brought closer Israels discordant beliefs, but too men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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