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EDUCATION - ADAMA Interfaith Encounter group on December 17

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  • Yehuda Stolov
    ADAMA (Abu Dis and Maaleh Adumim) met on December 17th, the 7th night of the Jewish festival of Chanukah for a festive gathering and a talk on education. This
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3 1:58 AM
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      ADAMA (Abu Dis and Maaleh Adumim) had been meeting just in Maaleh Adumim since its inception over a year ago, and the coordinators decided that it was time to begin meeting in Abu Dis


      ADAMA (Abu Dis and Maaleh Adumim) met on December 17th, the 7th night of the Jewish festival of Chanukah for a festive gathering and a talk on education.  This seemed appropriate as during ancient times, the Romans forbade Jews from learning Torah.


      In the Koran, the first words were sent to the prophet Mohammad by the angel Gabriel, "read in the name of your God, who created humans".  The prophet protested because he did not know how to read, but the angel persisted with this message. 


      Receiving knowledge is compulsory for every woman and man.  Verses in the Koran encourage Moslems to read.  The word "Jihad" comes from the word "Jihada" which means doing your best.  Asking for an education is doing this for God.


      There were wars between Moslems and the pagans, Romans and Persians.  The prisoners of war who were captured by Moslems were given an ultimatum that they can either remain in prison, but if they wanted their freedom they must teach 10 Moslems to read and write. 


      For the Christian view on education, we were given a modern perspective on schools in Germany.  Even state-controlled schools teach religion.  Churches have their own universities.  Those universities and theology students in regular universities have special dormitories where people live and eat together.


      Jewish formal education began in the 1st century CE.  Prior to this, parents taught their children informally.  The sage Joshua ben Gamla instituted schools in every town and made education compulsory from the age of 6 or 7.    In the Talmudic era, boys attended elementary school or studied with a tutor from the age of five, six or seven until the age of twelve or thirteen.  At age twelve they studied Mishnah.  No formal instruction in secular courses such as mathematics or Greek was included in the Jewish school curriculum.  Initially, children from the lower strata of society were excluded, but by the third century, education was made available to children of all classes.  Girls were, by and large, excluded from the elementary schools, though some Talmudic sources suggest that fathers taught their daughters informally. 


      After our presentations we heard the blessing said over the Chanukah Menorah while 7 candles were lit and everyone sat down to some home made latkas (potato/vegetable pancakes), special hanukah donuts (sufganiot) .  New people were introduced and we also welcomed our youngest addition to our meetings, Karen's five-week old son.  Many people stayed on for a while to get to know and connect with one another.  Unfortunately, the Palestinian's permits were about to expire, so we bid them a safe trip back to their homes with the hopes that they could stay with us much longer next time.


      (Report by Leah Lublin – Jewish coordinator)



      The Interfaith Encounter Association

      P.O.Box  3814, Jerusalem 91037, Israel

      Phone: +972-2-6510520

      Fax:     +972-2-6510557

      Website: www.interfaith-encounter.org



        Ms. Evelyne Savir (Chair)

        Dr. Shlomo Alon

        Ms. Nadia Tutunji-Nuseibeh

        Ms. Saheer Siam

        Mr. Rizk Azam

        Ms. Randa Zreik-Sabag



      Dr. Yehuda Stolov, Executive Director

      E-mail: yehuda@...


      Mr. Salah Alladin, Assistant Director



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