January 17, 2021
The Interfaith Encounter Group Jerusalem and beyond met online. We chose the topic “names”, so we can get to know each other’s personal backgrounds and to memorize the names of the participants.
Some people who had one name in English and another in Hebrew had unique situations such as being recognized by different names in different circles. Participants mentioned that many Muslim names have beautiful meanings, and sometimes pay homage to other family members (as do many Jews from Muslim countries). Mohamad also said that almost every Muslim family will have a Mohamad, Ahmad or Mahmoud, in memory of the Prophet. We spoke about how names are connected to identity, and tell our story.
February 15, 2021
The Interfaith Encounter Group Jerusalem and beyond met on Zoom. Each participant talked about his or her experiences and traditions related to wedding ceremonies.
Shelley said that the Jewish wedding is not only a happy ceremony, but a sacred moment for the couple. She described some of the general aspects of the Jewish wedding, such as the Chupa (canopy), the blessings, the wine and the breaking of the glass.
Mohamad said that there is a marriage contract signed by the groom that ensures also that the wife receives a proper sum in case of divorce. He described the traditional Palestinian weddings, and the different room arrangements of men and women.
Other participants shared specific traditions, such as the bride gifting an embroidered case to the groom, special ceremonies that happen one week after the wedding, gifting gold, flowers and money.
Participants also expressed their personal issues with wedding parties being so expensive, and that in many communities one spends a fortune trying to make the day special, which is another way to say, better than all the other weddings in town.
We concluded giving our warm blessings to our coordinator Mohamad who is getting married in two weeks.