Eight religious leaders produced their flocks together for eight days in one room. It was a dangerous move
In a small building in the foreboding darknes of Jerusalems Mount Zion, Rabba Tamar Elad-Abblebaum ogled upon a crowd setting 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 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 tattered in her synagogue, there were some cross worn around cervixes. Others sat in the traditional pitch-black garb of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and various nuns in their habits to gather at the back of the chamber. Numerous were wearing no religion garb at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for simply eight daytimes, a music institution in the lowest hollow of Jerusalem was be converted into a communal house of prayer, appointed Amen, bringing together Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and their flocks 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 launched by Elad-Abblebaum and the Muslim Sufi Sheikh Ihab Balah nearly a year ago. They reached out to six other religious anatomies 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 patterns, but also open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum said: I never conceived something like this would be possible in my lifetime. Jews who live in the territories publicly praying together with Palestinians, this is a big jeopardy and a huge step. But this is not a political activity; we wanted people to come from the right and from the left and to show that faith is beyond dogma. Here, the administration is reshaping actuality and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen not only brought closer Israels discordant religions, but also men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
Read more: www.theguardian.com