| Sep 27, 2023
Jerusalem and Surroundings Interfaith Encounter
By Dr. Yehdua Stolov | Executive Director
The encounter began with a group of Jews and Muslims. We began a round of acquaintances, sitting in a circle, for the new members who joined the group.
We started talking about the subject of prayer in each of the two religions. Each of the participants, whether Muslims or Jews, learned and shared about prayer and where did it occur? And its importance?
Prayer in Islam is to resort to God. Then the prayer is done by standing and then entering the prayer with submission. It starts with Surat Al-Fatihah and a small Quranic surah and then bowing and prostration with supplication and submission after prostration.
As for prayer in Judaism, it is done by standing and reciting biblical verses. Most prayers are performed standing or sitting. The Jews do not fully prostrate in prayer except on the High Holy Days, namely the New Year's Day (Rosh Hashanah), the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). On the other hand, the Jews usually cover their heads during prayer as a sign of piety and respect before God. Some Jews cover their heads at all times, but this is a matter of tradition and custom and not a matter of religious duty. There are other prayers on top of the three daily prayers on Saturdays and holidays (one in the morning, one after noon and one in the evening).
Prayer in Islam is 5 times (Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha) and it does not have to be in the mosque, but it is preferable to pray in congregation, and it is also a condition of modest clothing during prayer.
And there were common points between Muslims and Jews that prayer according to Mount Moriah among the Jews and among Muslims is the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and it is obligatory to be modest in prayer, and through prayer one gets closer to God.
We ended with the planning of the next encounter.