| Jul 5, 2022
Jerusalem-Yatta Interfaith Encounter group
By Dr. Yehdua Stolov | Executive Director
After more than two years of the group not meeting, and after repeated postponements for various reasons, we finally gathered thirteen men and women at the Palm Center in Jerusalem. Since many of the participants were new, we conducted a detailed introductory round and afterward, we introduced the topic chosen for the encounter: Trees (inspired by Tu Bishvat, when the encounter was originally planned to take place ...)
The Torah describes the Land of Israel as blessed with seven species - grains and fruits that are important and fundamental to a healthy life and can satisfy human needs: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates.
The Qur'an also has a special status for some of these trees: Allah said that the olive tree is a sacred tree because the olive tree prays, it is important for eating and it also symbolizes peace. Figs are also mentioned in the Koran, though not as much as olives. The date palm is used to break the Ramadan fast every evening, as taught by the Prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. There is also a limit that you should not eat even numbers from the date tree. As for grapes, if it is alcohol-free it is permitted, but if the grapes are made into wine, they should not be drunk, moved, or touched.