Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, Christians, Muslims Share Fast Breaking Meal

24 July 2015, 12:47 AM
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Over 160 Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, Christians and Muslims joined to break their fasts together

Hello URI friends and family,

The Abrahamic Reunion congratulates our Muslim friends who recently finished their Ramadan and Eid il-Fitr celebrations. The Abrahamic Reunion recently hosted on Sunday, July 5th, a special multi-faith break fast gathering and meal after a shared Muslim and Jewish fast day. Joining were over 160 Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, Christians and Muslims.

View more pictures of this amazing evening here.

We, Jews and Muslims, shared a fast day. For Muslims it was the 17th day of Ramadan, and for Jews, the fast of the 17th of Tammuz. We gathered in the peaceful gardens of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute, situated on a hill covered with olive trees at the crossroads between the southern Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Beit Safafa, Har Homa, Gilo and overlooking Bethlehem and the checkpoint. 

We opened with blessings and teachings from religious leaders. Sheikh Ghassan Manasra and Father Russ McDougall, rector of Tantur, welcomed all those gathered in a diverse circle. I explained the meaning of the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz, (fast observed on Sunday because the Shabbat pushed observance one day later) how the fast starts the three weeks of mourning of the destruction of the first and second Temples culminating in Tisha B'Av. Sheikhs Jamal al-Din from Beit Haninah and Abdel Salaam Manasra, spoke about the meaning of fasting in Ramadan for Muslims. Joining were the Sisters of Zion, and Rev. Páraic from St. Andrews Church of Scotland and 70 Palestinians, brought by our coordinators Raed from East Jerusalem, Daniel from Bethlehem, Musa from Husam, Muhammad from Jericho and Arafat from Nablus.

Elana Rozenman spoke about the women’s interfaith initiatives of the Abrahamic Reunion. Rabbi Yaakov Nagen from Otniel yeshiva quoted the hadith about the meaning of Ramadan for Muslims. 

Our opening circle ended as a team of young Jewish, Christian and Muslim volunteers distributed the hot food we had delivered from Pasha kosher restaurant in Talpiot, to the many tables we set up under the trees and stars. 

As the Jews prayed mincha, the afternoon prayer, the Muslims waited patiently, their fast ended at 7:56 PM, honoring the Jews by waiting with them to break the fast- 20 minutes later. Daniel Aqleh, an Evangelical pastor from Bethlehem, Sheikh Ghassan, and Eliyahu, we each held up a date and offered a blessing from our tradition, at 8:16 PM breaking the fast together. 

Well into the night, we shared food, stories, made new friends... an experience of mutual respect, sharing and unity. We left that evening expressing appreciation for the privilege of being a part of such a gathering, many asking for more… 

We were interviewed about the event on the Voice of Israel. Listen to the interview here.

Shalom, Salaam,

Eliyahu McLean, with Sheikh Ghassan Manasra, coordinators of the Abrahamic Reunion CC

Thanks to coordinators Raed Hashimeh, Daniel Aqleh, Musa Sabatin, Arafat Abu Ras. 

Appreciation to the Global Hope Fund in Germany and Abrahamic Reunion USA, for their support to make this event happen.

 

Cooperation Circles Involved

The Abrahamic Reunion CC

“Our purpose is to bring healing and reconciliation to the Children of Abraham in the Holy Land. Religious leaders from Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze communities come together to rebuild trust in the religious community. They travel as a group throughout the world speaking about the Holy Land and giving hope that peace is possible.”