Eight religious leaders fetched their gatherings together for eight daylights in one chamber. It was a dangerous move
In a small building in the foreboding darknes of Jerusalems Mount Zion, Rabba Tamar Elad-Abblebaum ogled 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 spans worn around necks. Others sat in the traditional black robes of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and various nuns in their attires gathered together at the back of the room. Numerous were wearing no religious outfit at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for only eight dates, a music academy in the lowest hollow of Jerusalem was transformed into a communal house of prayer, identified 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, the members of the Jerusalem season of culture, was launched by Elad-Abblebaum and the Muslim Sufi Sheikh Ihab Balah almost a year ago. They contacted out to six other religious illustrations 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 too open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum said: I never imagined something like this is a possibility in my lifetime. Jews who live in the territories publicly praying along with Palestinians, this is a big threat and a great step. But this is not a political projection; we wanted parties to come from the right and from the left and had demonstrated that faith is beyond dogma. Here, the administration is reshaping reality and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen is not merely brought closer Israels discordant religions, but also men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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