Eight religious leaders raised their gatherings 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 ogled 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 gathering 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 spans worn around cervixes. Others sat in the traditional black garb of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and several nuns in their garbs gathered together at the back of the area. Numerous were wearing no religious garment at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for just eight daylights, a music school in the lowest valley of Jerusalem has grown 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, is an initiative of Elad-Abblebaum and the Muslim Sufi Sheikh Ihab Balah nearly a year ago. They reached out to six other religious digits 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 practises, but also open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum said: I never imagined 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 huge step. But this is not a political job; we wanted people are derived from the right and from the left and had demonstrated that faith is beyond ideology. Here, we are reshaping actuality and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen not only to bring about Israels discordant beliefs, but likewise men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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