Tuesday, May 24th, 7-9pm, in Boynton Beach, FL
Over forty clergy and congregants from seven Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Baha’i congregations met at L’Dor V’Dor hosted by Rabbi Barry Silver and facilitated by Sheikh Ghassan Manasra of the Abrahamic Reunion, an organization dedicated to interreligious dialogue, encounter, and peacemaking in the Holy Land and the world.
This was the second Abrahamic Reunion meeting in the West Palm Beach area, calling attention to religious unity in the face of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and religiously motivated violence in the world. The theme of the meeting was “Love and Connection: Can Religions Coexist in Today’s World?”
Presentations were made by Rabbi Silver (L’Dor V’Dor), Imam Dr. Zaher Badaraany (Masjid Al Tawad, Lantana, FL), Rev. Paul Kane (St. Paul’s Episcopal, Delrey Beach), Deacon Dennis Demes (Palm Beach Catholic Diocese), Sheikh Ghassan Manasra, Rev. Dr. Anna Less, and David Less (The Abrahamic Reunion), Ted Brownstein (Baha’i / Lake Worth Interfaith Association), Bassem Alhalabi PhD (FAU), and Rabbi Jenny Kuvin.
Imam Zaher reminded the group that “The word love was mentioned in more than 95 spots in The Holy Quran…and Perhaps the things Muslims need in this world in particular and non-Muslims in General is to talk about true love and to search for it again.”
Rabbi Silver challenged the group to repudiate violent anti-interfaith statements from Hamas, while the Abrahamic Reunion read it’sDeclaration Of Interreligious Tolerance (see below) affirming its stand against religiously motivated violence of all kinds. He also shared from the Torah, “Thou shalt love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Found in both Exodus and Leviticus).
Ted Brownstein read a Baha’i prayer likening all religions to “rays of one sun” – and shared with the group the Marrakesh Declaration, which was issued in Muslim nations protecting the rights of religions minorities to exist within Muslim nations.
Rabbi Kuvin taught that the etymological meaning of shalom, commonly translated from Hebrew as peace, literally translates to “spirits learning to flow together”.
Deacon Demes offered prayer and shared that this is the “Year of Mercy” as declared by the Pope, exemplified by bringing Syrian refugees into the Vatican.
Rev. Kane shared the words of Pope Paul VI “if you want peace, work for Justice.”
Rev. Dr. Anna Less led the group in a short exercise returning to the breath and sending peace to peoples of the world in need of peace.
Refreshments and conversation continued after the presentations including lively discussion about the violent parts of the Torah, Bible, and Quran, the abuse, misinterpretation, and misquoting of scripture by radicals and extremists, scholarly and public repudiations of religious violence,
The group plans to meet again during Ramadan for an Iftar dinner, which breaks the daily fast during the fasting month.
The Abrahamic Reunion is a 501c3 registered in the United States, and funded completely by donations. Donations go to support peacemaking projects and interfaith dialogue in Israel and Palestine, and interreligious text study and encounter groups in Sarasota, West Palm Beach, London, Istanbul, and other locations. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the Abrahamic Reunion Declaration online here: http://www.abrahamicreunion.org/the-abrahamic-reunion-declaration/
The Abrahamic Reunion Declaration
Published: November 30, 2014 ~ 0
Signed November 30th at the House of Hope, Shfar’am:
The Abrahamic Reunion, a group of spiritual leaders–Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Druze– have been working together for 10 years promoting inter-religious harmony in the Holy Land.
We are women and men of the faiths of this land – our land – who meet together, walk together, eat together, and pray side by side in mutual respect. We demonstrate by our personal example that we can live together in peace and cooperation.
At this difficult time, we want to reaffirm to the public our heartfelt conviction, that (within) our religions are the pathways of love and peace.
We condemn the violence, hatred, racism, and suffering being inflicted upon our communities in the name of religion. We believe and we teach that the holy places of all the religions in the Holy Land must be respected, and not defaced in any way, for any reason.
We are the Children of Adam and Eve, the Children of Abraham. To our regret, recently we have forgotten that we are from the same family. Arabs and Jews… let us remember that we are one family.
Religious Leaders signing document at the House of Hope, November 30, 2014:
Sheikh Abdel Salaam Manasra, Head of Qadiri Sufi Order of the Holy Land
Sheikh Ghassan Manasra, Lights of Peace Association/Anwar Il Salaam, Director, Abrahamic Reunion, coordinator
Elana Rozenman, Emun-Trust, Director, Abrahamic Reunion, founding member
Sheikh Abu Amin, Bedouin Mukhtar, Al-Sawaed
Rabbi Yosef Yashar, Chief Rabbi of Acco
Rabbi Eliyahu Kaufman, journalist and historian, Haifa
Rabbi Mordechai Minzberg, educator, Mea She’arim, Jerusalem
Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger, Project Coordinator, Shorashim/Judur/Roots
Rev. Daniel Aqleh, Evangelical Minister, Bethlehem
Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean, Abrahamic Reunion coordinator
Elias Jabbour, Greek Melkite Christian, Hope of Hope, Director, Abrahamic Reunion, founding member
Abrahamic Reunion members co-signing, though not present November 30 at House of Hope:
Imam Khalil Albaz, Imam of Tel Sheva
Haj Ibrahim Abuelhawa, Mount of Olives
Ibtisam Mahameed, The Tent of Sarah and Hagar, Director
Deacon Jiries Mansour, Greek Melkite Church, St.Anthony’s School, principal
Reverend Father Masoud Abu Hatoum, Greek Melkite Church
Rabbi Yosef Hadane, Chief Rabbi of the Ethiopian Jews
Sheikh Hussein Abu Rukkun, Druze from Isafiya, Druze Council
Hadassah Froman, educator, wife of late Rabbi Menachem Froman, z”l
With support from and signing also:
Rabbi David Bigman, Ma’ale Gilboa Yeshiva
Father Nael Abu Rahmoun, Anglican Church, Nazareth
Sheikh Sameer Asi, Imam of Al-Jazzar mosque, Acco
Sister Trudy Nabuurs, Sisters of Zion, Ecce Homo Convent, Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem