Eight religious leaders accompanied their gatherings together for eight daytimes in one chamber. It was a dangerous move
In a small building in the foreboding shadow of Jerusalems Mount Zion, Rabba Tamar Elad-Abblebaum examined upon a audience 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 intersects worn around necks. Others sat in the conventional pitch-black robe of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and various nuns in their dress to gather at the back of the area. Many were wearing no religion garment at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for precisely eight days, a music institution in the lowest depression 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 contacted out to six other religious fleshes two rabbis, a Franciscan monk, a Catholic priest, a Coptic deaconess and a female Muslim community leader who were very conventional in their beliefs and rehearses, but also open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum said: I never guessed 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 huge step. But this is not a political job; we wanted people are derived 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 not only brought together Israels discordant religions, but likewise men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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