Unity and Forgiveness - study day and launch of new Galilee group
Majd El Krum, 30 January 2003
The conference "Love Your Neighbor as Yourself" that was held by the
Interfaith Encounter Association in Akko in December. It was funded by the
United States Institute of Peace (USIP) to whom we are deeply thankful.
One outcome of that conference was the establishment of a new on-going
dialogue group in the Galilee.
The launching study day took place in 30 January, at Sallam School in Majd
El Krum, with some 60 participants - Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze
- and was moderated by Ms. Njiba Sirhan, the schoolmistress. After warm
welcome greetings by the Mayor Mr. Muhammad Kinan, we heard the Muslim
presentation from Sheikh Muhammad Kiwan, Imam of Majd El Krum and Chair of
the Interfaith Encounter Association. Sheikh Kiwan spoke about the
responsibilities of the human in front of God, to himself, for peaceful
relations with his or her neighbors, and even animals and plants. Part of
these responsibilities is not to hurt the feelings of others and to be
forgiving if hurt by them.
Then the Christian perspective was presented by Fr. Jirias Qasis, Head of
the Greek Orthodox community in Jdeide, through the story of Joseph who
became a victim of his brothers' hatred but despite his sufferings, when
he was in the position to pay them back he did not do so but forgave and
embraced them. Finally, Yehuda Stolov, the Director of the Interfaith
Encounter Association, presented the Jewish view through the verse the
forbids hatred in heart and recommends confronting the one who harmed you
in order to start a dialogue process that will lead to reconciliation. The
scholars of the Talmud, followed and summarized by Maimonides, developed
this short recommendation into a well defined detailed procedure.
We were happy to host also Mr. Elias Gabour of Shfaram and Mr. Ghantus
Ghantus of Sachnin who greeted the participants.
The Interfaith Encounter Association
P.O.Box 3814, Jerusalem 91037, Israel
Yehuda Stolov, Director
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