Eight religious leaders raised their congregations together for eight days in one chamber. It was a hazardous move
In a small building in the foreboding darknes of Jerusalems Mount Zion, Rabba Tamar Elad-Abblebaum ogled 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 tattered in her synagogue, there were some intersects worn around necks. Others sat in the conventional black robes of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and various nuns in their habits to gather at the back of the area. Numerous were wearing no religious outfit at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for just eight daylights, a music academy in the lowest depression of Jerusalem was transformed into a communal house of prayer, referred Amen, bringing together Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and their gatherings to worship together in one area. It was a sight rarely seen in this segregated municipality.
The project, part of the Jerusalem season of culture, was initiated by Elad-Abblebaum and the Muslim Sufi Sheikh Ihab Balah almost a year ago. They reached out to six other religious figures 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 practises, but likewise open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum said: I never believed something like this is a possibility in my lifetime. Jews who live in the territories publicly praying along with Palestinians, this is a big danger and a great step. But this is not a political projection; we wanted people are derived from the right and from the left and had demonstrated that faith is beyond ideology. Here, the administration is reshaping world and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen not only brought closer Israels discordant religions, but too men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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