Eight religious leaders returned their parishes together for eight eras in one chamber. It was a dangerous move
In a small building in the foreboding darknes of Jerusalems Mount Zion, Rabba Tamar Elad-Abblebaum ogled upon a crowd 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 parish 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 cross worn around necks. Others sat in the traditional pitch-black cape of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and several nuns in their attires gathered together at the back of the room. Numerous were wearing no religious clothe at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for only eight dates, a music school in the lowest hollow of Jerusalem was transformed into a communal house of prayer, called Amen, bringing together Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and their parishes to worship together in one area. It was a sight rarely seen in this segregated metropolitan.
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 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 traditions, but also open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum said: I never speculated something like this would be possible 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 projection; we wanted parties was derived from the right and from the left and to show that faith is beyond dogma. Here, the administration is reshaping world and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen not only brought together Israels discordant religions, but too men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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