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Israeli-Palestinian Ramadan interfaith encounter on "FOrgiveness" - 5.10.06

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  • Yehuda Stolov
    Israeli-Palestinian Ramadan interfaith encounters Forgiveness – October 5th 2006 On Thursday, October 5th, the first of two Ramadan interfaith encounters,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 11, 2006
      Israeli-Palestinian Ramadan interfaith encounters

      Israeli-Palestinian Ramadan interfaith encounters


      "Forgiveness" – October 5th 2006


      On Thursday, October 5th, the first of two Ramadan interfaith encounters, jointly organized by the Interfaith Encounter Association and the Hope Flowers School , took place at the Hope Flowers School 's campus in El-Khader.


      We started a bit more than an hour before sunset with brief introduction that included an opening by Mr. Ibrahim Issa, Director of the Hope Flowers School , who welcomed participants to the school and gave a summary of the school's activities. Then Dr. Yehuda Stolov, Executive Director of the Interfaith Encounter Association, presented the activities its activities and thanked the school for hosting this study day and for the long and fruitful cooperation.


      Moving to the program itself, Ibrahim explained the division of the 30 days of the month of Ramdan into three 10-day parts – the first focused on mercy, the second on forgiveness and the third on reward. This was the inspiration for this program of two study days (the second one will take place on Wednesday October 18th – see invitation below), each studying the theme of its days from the different religious perspectives. Then Yehuda asked participants to go to their small groups, introduce themselves and share stories of forgiveness – both when they forgave others and when they were forgiven by others.


      Just before sunset we shifted to the dining room where we had a joint lovely and relaxed Iftar-dinner for the breaking of the fast, sitting together and informally chatting with each other. We were lucky to have a cook that not only prepared delicious food but was also well trained in the requirements for Kosher food so the vegetarian dishes were actually Kosher (and, of course, we also provided sealed supervised meals for the more strict).


      Following dinner we went back to the small groups to continue our conversations until the end of the evening.

      Some of the issues that came up in the conversations were:

      • "It is impossible to forgive another if I do not forgive myself. It is especially difficult to forgive lack of action"
      • "It is difficult for me to forgive my mother, and to forgive myself for not working through the issues with her before her death"
      • "Communication is most essential in asking and granting forgiveness"
      • "Sometimes, even if it is impossible to talk, we can communicate in other forms, such as music, poetry etc."
      • "An advice: when there is an unfinished business with someone we can write a letter to that someone, even if s/he will never read it (due to death or other reasons)"
      • "Forgiveness comes from inner peace, resulting from knowledge and acknowledgement of the inner self, including peace with the dark side of myself"
      • "Sometimes it is the other way around: that it is easier to acknowledge and forgive the other and then I can do the same for myself"
      • "Koran calls upon people to know themselves and transform themselves before doing so with others"
      • "The way is through listening and openness – the qualities of forgiveness"
      • "In Islam these ten days are dedicated to asking forgiveness from God and fellow humans"
      • "This is parallel to the Ten Days of Repentance in Judaism. In Judaism they are the first ten days of the month of Tishrey that is now, for a few years, parallel to Ramadan"
      • "Sometimes it is difficult to forgive – in smaller or bigger issues"
      • "Israelis and Palestinians as nations also need to learn to forgive each other but forgiveness will come at the end of the long process of reconciliation"
      • "Before forgiveness healing is needed. For the healing process Israelis and Palestinians need each other"




      The Interfaith Encounter Association and the Hope Flowers School

      cordially invite you to


      The 2nd special Ramadan Study-Day:

      "Reward" on 18 October 2006




      As each decade of the Ramadan days has a special focus, we will gather together in the second and third decade of the Ramadan days in order to study together the focus of the decade from the perspectives of the different religions. We will gather before the fast ends and will combine the joint conversation and study with joint delicious Iftar dinner.


      Time:     From 
      15:00pm (leaving Jerusalem), 
      20:30pm (returning to Jerusalem). 
      Place:     The Hope Flowers School, El Khader
      Participation fee: for affiliates who paid dues for 2006:  45 NIS (80 NIS for both)
                                     for others:   65 NIS (120 NIS for both)
      ·         Price includes participation in seminar activities.
                     Transportation and Iftar dinner will be provided by us.
      ·        Affiliation dues for 2006 are 100 NIS. We ask you to make the effort, if you can, and support us. Paying the affiliation dues gives priority when space is limited and reductions off participation fees, but mainly helps running the Interfaith Encounter Association, support existing projects and initiate new ones.
      Registration:   Please send a check to the Interfaith Encounter Association (in Hebrew: AGUDAT   HAMIFGASH   HABEIN   DATI) with the filled registration form. Please indicate clearly to which of the dates, or both, you register.
      Our address is: P.O.Box 3814, Jerusalem 91037
      Please ALSO inform us by phone - 02-6510520 (voice-box 24 hours a day)
      Please also note:  In case of over registration - priority will be given to people whose full registration and payment arrived at the office and to people who paid their affiliation dues for 2006.


      The Hope Flowers School is in area C (i.e. fully controlled by Israel) and I personally have visited there numerous times in the last two years and always felt very safe. Still, we will be asking participants to sign a statement that we take part in this program on our own responsibility.


      Registration Form
      Tel No:                                                      E-mail:                                                              
      No. of persons registering:
      Enclosed Affiliation Dues for 2006  [ ] 100 NIS
       and/or                     for      participants for 5 October
       and/or                     for      participants for 18 October
      I understand:   [ ] Hebrew      [ ] Arabic      [ ] English
      I speak:           [ ] Hebrew      [ ] Arabic      [ ] English
      [ ] I ask for Vegetarian food
      [ ] I ask for supervised Kosher food
      I understand that I am attending the conference on my own responsibility






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