Eight religious leaders raised their flocks together for eight daylights in one room. It was a dangerous move
In a small building in the foreboding darknes of Jerusalems Mount Zion, Rabba Tamar Elad-Abblebaum searched upon a mob sitting attentively before her. We have had a long way to go to prepare for this evening, she pronounced 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 modest dress and kippah tattered in her synagogue, there were some bridges worn around necks. Others sat in the traditional black gown of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and various nuns in their attires gathered together at the back of the area. Many were wearing no religion garb at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for just eight daytimes, a music academy in the lowest valley of Jerusalem was be converted into a communal house of prayer, reputation 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 metropolitan.
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 people 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 also open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum enunciated: I never guessed 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 parties received 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 is not simply brought closer Israels discordant religions, but too men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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