Eight religious leaders made their gatherings together for eight periods in one chamber. It was a dangerous move
In a small building in the foreboding darknes of Jerusalems Mount Zion, Rabba Tamar Elad-Abblebaum seemed upon a army sitting attentively before her. We have had a long way to go to prepare for this evening, she replied 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 modest dress and kippah wear in her synagogue, there were some spans worn around cervixes. Others sat in the traditional pitch-black robes of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and several nuns in their dress be gathered at the back of the chamber. Many were wearing no religion garment at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for just eight dates, a music institution in the lowest hollow of Jerusalem is turning into a communal house of prayer, named Amen, bringing together Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and their parishes to worship together in one chamber. It was a sight rarely seen in this segregated city.
The project, the members 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 religion representations 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 rules, but too 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 threat and a great step. But this is not a political projection; we wanted parties to come from the right and from the left and to show that faith is beyond dogma. Here, we are reshaping world and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen not only brought closer Israels discordant beliefs, but too men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
Read more: www.theguardian.com