Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA)

The IEA works to promote real coexistence and human peace in the Holy Land and the Middle East through interactive inter-religious dialogue. We believe that, rather than being the cause of the problem; religion can and should be a source of solution for conflicts in the region and beyond. We do not believe in blending all traditions into one undifferentiated group, but in providing a table where all can come and sit in safety and ease, while being fully who they are in their respective religions
Sep 9, 2013

Friday for the Muslims and Shabbat for Jews

Thursday, May 9th 2013

Encounter of students from the two schools – Dekel, Karmiel & A-Sallam, Majd el-Krum

 

The theme of the encounter was the sanctity of Friday for the Muslims and the sanctity of the Shabbat for the Jews.

The children were divided in mixed groups, each facilitated by bi-lingual facilitators who guided them with relevant working sheets.

Each of the groups wrote about the two days in the two communities. The pupils noted the similar and different, for example:

 

Friday for the Muslims

  1. No work
  2. Sanctity and prayers
  3. Cooking
  4. Family visits

Shabbat for the Jews

  1. No work
  2. Prayers
  3. No-cooking
  4. Family visits

 

We ended with a feedback conversation in which the children shared how wonderful, successful was the day and how much joy and fun it was.

Links:


Attachments:
Jul 8, 2013

East of Jerusalem group: Holy Day in Islam/Judaism

East of Jerusalem Interfaith Encounter

Second encounter – February 1st 2013

The second encounter we held, unlike the first, in Almog Junction. Since there were delays in receiving the permits we could not hold the encounter in Jerusalem and agreed to hold it in Almog Junction. This was indeed more comfortable for those who live in Jericho but several participants who live in Nablus could not join.

The "official" theme was the holy day in Islam and Judaism – Shabbat for the Jews and Friday for the Muslims. We asked the participants to describe the details of the day, its obligations and commandments as well as the idea behind.

We began with presenting Friday in Islam. There is no prohibition to work on Friday but the day is dedicated to rest, family and prayer. The central prayer takes place at noon and includes prayers and sermons.

We then spoke about the Jewish Shabbat. Shabbat is a day of rest but there is emphasis on avoiding productive work, such as writing, building etc. In the modern time the prohibition also includes switching lights on and riding a car.

This statement that the prohibitions of Shabbat include daily issues as riding a car, spurred wonder among some of the participants. Therefore the conversation continued to flow in this direction – are these actions forbidden in any case? Even when needed for work? These questions led to discussion on the quality of the Divine command – do we need to understand the rational behind it or are there things we do just because God commanded? Answers were varied but we agreed that many of the actions we do because we were commanded to do them and we believe in the one who commanded us.

This discussion about the quality of the commandments led to a conversation about the different ways to interpret the Torah and especially about the fact that the commitment in Judaism is not only to the Torah as it is written but also to its interpretations by the sages along the generations. We agreed to return to this subject in the future for a longer discussion.

The conversation continued and following the question of the relations between the written Torah and its interpretations we started to talk about the way the Jewish Torah is perceived in Islam. Some of the participants were surprised to discover that many Biblical events are mentioned in the Quran and that it explicitly refers to the Jews and their Torah. It was explained that the Quran does not annul the prophets before it – Moses and Jesus – and its aim is to unite these religions. The revelations that preceded Muhammad and their teachings are also holy and important. After a short discussion about these statements and their meaning we understood that Islam accepts the Jewish Torah but not all the interpretations that were given to it during the generations, believing that some of them include some errors. We decided that in one of the coming encounters we will bring a detailed resource page with references of the Quran to the Torah and the Jews.

Links:


Attachments:
Jun 5, 2013

Joint "Day of Good Deeds" - March 5th, 2013

First all students gathered in the school yard and divided into groups. Each of the groups took one of the tasks for the day, such as:

  • Painting the walls;
  • Planting trees in various corners of the school;
  • Drawing paintings that illustrate joint life and mutual respect;
  • Drawing religious people of different communities;
  • Drawing traditional costumes of the two communities.

 

At the end of the day we held joint activities for the students: music, dancing and a joint lunch.

 

To conclude: we had an inter-cultural encounter between the students of both sectors, which testifies to the willingness of the students to contribute together good deeds for the benefit of the community and the environment and to take advantage of this opportunity to do something good, small or large. The students enjoyed very much the joint work and each one of them felt they contributed to the success of the day.

Links:


Attachments:
 
   

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