Eight religious leaders introduced their congregations together for eight periods in one room. It was a dangerous move
In a small building in the foreboding shadow of Jerusalems Mount Zion, Rabba Tamar Elad-Abblebaum ogled upon a bunch sitting attentively before her. We have had a long way to go to prepare for this evening, she suggested 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 junctions worn around cervixes. Others sat in the conventional pitch-black attire of the Copts, another in the Muslim hijab and various nuns in their practices gathered together at the back of the chamber. Numerous were wearing no religious garment at all. But they were all there to pray.
Last week, and for merely eight periods, a music academy in the lowest valley of Jerusalem was transformed into a communal house of prayer, referred 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 metropolitan.
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 contacted 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 conventional in their beliefs and traditions, but also open to discussions with other faiths.
Elad-Abblebaum answered: I never believed something like this would be possible in my lifetime. Jews who live in the territories publicly praying along with Palestinians, this is a big danger and a huge step. But this is not a political campaign; we wanted parties are derived from the right and from the left and been demonstrated that faith is beyond dogma. Here, we are reshaping reality and we are doing it through prayer.
She emphasised how Amen is not simply brought together Israels discordant beliefs, but too men and women, which is almost unheard of in such inter-religious gatherings.
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