On Thursday, November 30th, the Abrahamic Reunion successfully obtained permits for 30 Palestinian men, women, and children from Nablus and Jericho to come for a day of peacebuilding in Jerusalem with visiting Jewish Renewal rabbis. To start the day, everyone went to the Botanical Gardens of Jerusalem together. The Jewish and Arab staff there expressed gratitude, amazed to see families from the West Bank enjoy their gardens. The group then enjoyed a meal together and shared teachings about the Muslim and Jewish holy days of this time of year: Mawlid il-Nabi and Hannukah.
Rabbi Yitz Husbands-Hankins, Renewal rabbi from Eugene shared a teaching: “Hannukah is about the fixing of the eyes…the light of Hannukah teaches us to see the best in each other and to lift each other up.” Mahmoud Abdel Aziz shared the customs as practiced in Nablus during Maulid al-Nabi: parades and sharing of sweets.
The day of peacebuilding ended on the roof of King David’s tomb, when the group joined November’s Praying Together in Jerusalem event, over 60 people altogether.