Abrahamic Reunion IFTAR at Tantur

The Abrahamic Reunion multi-faith break fast event Sunday evening, July 5, was a big success. Joining were over 160 Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, Christians and Muslims. More about the event in an interview with us on the Voice of Israel

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 on 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…

Shalom, Salaam, Eliyahu McLean, with Sheikh Ghassan Manasra, co-directors 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.

Three faiths break the fast with a date