Four Jews, Four Christians, and Four Muslims Walk into a Wall….
By Rabbi Adam Stein:
And it’s not a joke.
I’ve spent the past two years working on a very special project with two friends of mine: Father John Dupuche and Sheikh Riad Galil.
Both have been involved in interfaith activities for many years, as have I (here in Melbourne, as well as in Kansas City as a rabbi and Los Angeles and Chicago as a rabbinical student).
We are organising a trip we call the “Joint Journey to Jerusalem.” We three will join, three participants from each of the three Abrahamic faiths, all of which call Jerusalem holy – 12 of us in all – on this journey.
We will spend a little over a week in Jerusalem (and hopefully a half day in Bethlehem), visiting each others’ holy sites, museums, and educational institutions.
We will eat together, live together, and discuss what we and our religions share, as well as what makes us different. We will explore this through various avenues, including delving into difficult texts.
This is an amazing opportunity for men and women, clergy and laity, to come together, not to argue or even discuss politics, but to explore our respective (and respected) religions, in a place that’s central to all of us.
It’s about sharing. And understanding.
In a way, it’s fitting that we’re promoting this trip at a time when the world is memorialising Nelson Mandela, a man who tried to understand the other.
In the end, we may be 12 people of different colour skin, different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and certainly three religions (each of which has its own divisions), but I’m sure we’ll return as a more cohesive group than the one that leaves Melbourne airport.
We even have participants of different religions paired up as roommates! (We promise no reality show hidden cameras.)
Anyone interested in reading more about the trip, and/or applying to be a participant, can download a PDF flyer by clicking here.