Eight religious leaders brought their flocks together for eight days 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 articulated 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 modest dress and kippah tattered in her synagogue, there were some intersects worn around cervixes. Others sat in the traditional black cape of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and various nuns in their dress 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 only eight epoches, a music institution in the lowest hollow of Jerusalem was be converted into a communal house of prayer, referred Amen, bringing together Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and their flocks 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 nearly 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 practices, but too open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum alleged: I never accepted something like this would be possible in my lifetime. Jews who live in the territories publicly praying together with Palestinians, this is a big threat and a huge step. But this is not a political campaign; we wanted beings to come from the right and from the left and to show that faith is beyond dogma. Here, “were both” reshaping world and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen not only brought together Israels discordant beliefs, but too men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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