Hello URI family,
Thank you for sending your support for our event, when on February 1st, the Abrahamic Reunion CC joined by peace musician James Twyman, hosted the 'Great Abrahamic Pulse', a global prayer for the peace of Syria. 80 people made a multi-faith journey to the Golan Heights, gathering on the Syria border: Israelis from Jerusalem, the Galilee, and the Golan; Palestinians from Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, East Jerusalem and Jericho, joined by an international group of spiritual peace seekers. This event was our contribution World Interfaith Harmony Week.
We began the day with a shared lunch at the 'Shalom Restaurant', in the Druze village of Mas'adeh. Israeli tour guide to the Golan region, Amir, took us to the Druze town of Majdal Shams on the slopes of Mount Hermon. Overlooking the Israeli-Syria security fence, Muslims, Christians and Jews, we stood on “shouting hill”, where the Druze gather to speak to relatives on the other side of the border.
We continued south to the view point overlooking Quneitra, an abandoned town on the Israel-Syria border. While Quneitra is held by the Syrian army, nearby villages are held by rebel groups, including ISIS. We could hear the sounds of battles raging in Syria, not far from where we stood.
We then drove up to Mount Bental, to hold the Abrahamic Pulse global synchronized meditation event. As we approached the mountain we noticed a full rainbow around the sun. Arriving at the summit, we planted a 'peace pole', with four languages, 'May Peace Prevail on Earth', in Hebrew, Arabic, English and Japanese. We saw stunning views of Mt. Hermon to the north, and to our east, the divided villages of the Syrian Golan Heights region.
James Twyman and Eliyahu McLean gathered the diverse crowd into a circle. James Twyman shared: “We are here to prove the enduring power of love. At 5 PM Israel time, we will demonstrate the reality of peace, praying in silence for 15 minutes, when millions of people will join us at the same moment”. I pointed to nearby Syria, directing our intentions to the 10 million Syrians who are either refugees or internally displaced from a horrific civil war.
Religious and spiritual leaders then shared these prayers:
Abuna Nael Abu Rahmoun, Anglican priest from Nazareth: “We pray for peace in the Holy Land and...for the people of Syria...for peace, justice and reconciliation... for violence to stop! We also pray for all the refugees, those who stayed in Syria...those now in Jordan, Lebanon and...Europe."
Ahmad Jamal el Nassan from Gaza City called in and shared this: "We, the children of Abraham, pray together to one God. We the people of Gaza, pray for the people of Syria... may we be free to join you in person soon.”
Rabbi Yakov Drori from the House of Love and Prayer in Tsfat, on guitar sang beautifully the Shlomo Carlebach melody: “Shalom, Shalom, let there be peace...”
Sheikh Muhammad Usta from East Jerusalem shared in Arabic: “Oh God, You are the Peace and from You is Peace…”
Sheikh Jamal al-Din from Beit Haninah, Jerusalem: “May Allah unite us and bless our efforts for the sake of peace"
Dvorah Pearlman, from Klil, founder of the annual Jerusalem Hug shared, “now we expand our Hug of Jerusalem to Hug Syria... once we connect with our own hearts, then we are connected with 'the other'
Mira Drori, Tsfat: “Lets' also make peace with our spouses and children, in our daily lives..."
Rabbi Yakov Drori added: "May Hashem put peace in the hearts of the decision makers, for Syria, and the world.”
Rev. Ed Townley from the Unity movement shared: “Love is the greatest power of all, love will overcome all obstacles."
Father Russ McDougall of Tantur Institute shared this intention for the silent prayer: "May each of us, in our silent prayer, be aware of our presence in God, and open to God's love working through us to help others."
Sheikh Abdel Salaam Manasra: "In the name of Allah, and my family's lineage of sheikhs, we pray in hope that peace will awaken in the nation of Syria, and the world. As we stand here our hearts cry, but our hope is great, our prayers will fill the world... we say enough! to the violence, enough! to the killing, yes to love, yes to peace. We must always stand against injustice, peace will prevail!"
James Twyman led a chant and dance for unity, and Eliyahu led us in a chant of “Shalom, Salaam”..then raising our hands together.. our circle converged to bless the peace pole, the intention to anchor our prayers there.
At 5:00 PM Israel time, we prayed in silence for 15 minutes, tuning into the Abrahamic Pulse global synchronized meditation. For those minutes, the sounds of the battles below ceased entirely! Howls from a pack of jackals broke the silence.
We gathered for a closing circle, carrying the prayers of people all over the globe who had just joined us, sending hope from the Holy Land, to Syria and the world.
We received widespread media coverage, including reports in Breaking Israel News and Al-Hurra Arabic TV network.
In addition to URI, the Unify global network helped us spread the word of the event: unify.org
Eliyahu McLean, Abrahamic Reunion CC, director
with Abdel Salaam Manasra, asst. director
Thanks to support from the Abrahamic Reunion global office in Sarasota, FL, Raanan Malek, and to West Bank coordinator, Arafat Abu Rass?.