On Thursday, February 22nd, about 40 people came together for the monthly Praying Together in Jerusalem event. Earlier in the day, Palestinian Coordinator Mohamad Jamous organized a trip in the Old City of Jerusalem with about 20 Palestinians. They joined Praying Together in Jerusalem at the end of their day. The gathering was translated into Arabic so that everyone could participate fully.
This month, the group was also joined by the director of the Elijah Interfaith Institute, Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein. The Elijah Interfaith Institute is one of the co-founding organizations of Praying Together in Jerusalem.
Before the evening prayers, Peta Jones Pellach taught everyone about the “Week of Constructive Conflict,” which celebrates the 9th of Adar on the Jewish calendar. This day remembers when a disagreement 2000 years ago became destructive, and reminds Jews of what can happen when they do not focus on constructive conflict. The goal of the Week of Constructive Conflict is to promote constructive, rather than destructive, conversations about differences. You can learn more about the project here.
Then Jews, Christians, and Muslims got into groups for evening prayers. The Jews prayed towards the heart of Jerusalem, the Christians formed a prayer circle, and the Muslims faced Mecca. Everyone prayed according to their traditions, the different voices and languages blending together in harmony.
After prayers, everyone joined together as one group again. The gathering was on the day of Moses’ passing, according to Jewish tradition. Rabbi Alon led everyone in song using the Hebrew words “Moshe Rabeinu,” or “Moses, our teacher.”