Eight religious leaders brought their parishes together for eight daytimes in one area. It was a dangerous move
In a small building in the foreboding darknes of Jerusalems Mount Zion, Rabba Tamar Elad-Abblebaum seemed upon a mob 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 sweeps worn around cervixes. Others sat in the traditional pitch-black cape of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and several nuns in their dress gathered together at the back of the chamber. Many were wearing no religious clothe at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for exactly eight days, a music institution in the lowest depression of Jerusalem was be converted into a communal house of prayer, reputation Amen, bringing together Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and their gatherings to worship together in one chamber. It was a sight rarely seen in this segregated municipality.
The project, part of the Jerusalem season of culture, was launched by Elad-Abblebaum and the Muslim Sufi Sheikh Ihab Balah almost a year ago. They reached out to six other religion 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 likewise open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum said: I never accepted something like this is a possibility in my lifetime. Jews who live in the territories publicly praying along with Palestinians, this is a big probability and a huge step. But this is not a political job; we wanted parties to come from the right and from the left and to show that faith is beyond ideology. Here, we are reshaping actuality and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen is not merely brought together Israels discordant beliefs, but likewise men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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