Jews, Muslims and Christians to build a joint house of worship
But, for one week in September, a small structure of four walls and a bit of balcony, called the Alpert Youth Music Center, will become AMEN, a home for something that has never before been attempted in the Holy City—a place of worship for the three great monotheistic religions “who share a passion for Jerusalem in which they will co-exist temporarily under the wings of the Almighty.”
Under the radar, away from the public eye, a small clutch of religious leaders have been gathering for years to believe, to hope and to reconnect via the atavistic language of faith. The experiment, of which the public will see merely the tip of the iceberg in the weeklong joint house of worship, is no less a turning inwards towards an ancestral form of communion than it is an explicit turning away from the polarization and vulgarity of contemporary political discourse.
Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, the rabba (feminine form of rabbi) and founder of the Zion synagogue community in Jerusalem, told The Media Line “This sort of thing is very natural for an entire sector of the public. You pray together. It goes back to the most ancient ways people here in this city prayed, and prayed communally, so communicated. Today we live in categories that, frankly, we could do without. “When you move beyond certain empty, but limiting, borders in which we are by and large constrained today, you find a yearning for a shared experience that our forefathers invented, that is in no way separate from the distinct heritage each of us carries. There is nothing new age about this. We are not creating anything new. It is very important that it be clear: It is the real Jewish tradition in which others were invited and we were invited; and in our joint work we are very strict about hosting and visiting.”
The concept they have created, which the believing public is invited to join between September 5 to 11, is part of a festival known as Mekudeshet ('Blessed'), which is part of Jerusalem’s Season of Culture.