Eight religious leaders introduced their flocks together for eight periods in one chamber. It was a dangerous move
In a small building in the foreboding shadow of Jerusalems Mount Zion, Rabba Tamar Elad-Abblebaum gazed upon a gathering 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 meagre dress and kippah wear in her synagogue, there were some traverses worn around necks. Others sat in the conventional black robe of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and various nuns in their attires be gathered at the back of the chamber. Many were wearing no religious garb at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for only eight days, a music academy in the lowest valley of Jerusalem was transformed into a communal house of prayer, called 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 city.
The project, part of the Jerusalem season of culture, was initiated 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 practices, but also open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum alleged: I never belief something like this would be possible in my lifetime. Jews who live in the territories publicly praying along with Palestinians, this is a big risk and a huge step. But this is not a political project; we wanted beings to come from the right and from the left and to show that faith is beyond dogma. Here, we are reshaping actuality and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen not only brought closer Israels discordant beliefs, but also men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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