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100s of Muslims and religious Jews break their fast together

By Mason White 4:44 PM July 17, 2014
Joint break-fast event in Jerusalem 

By: Anav Silverman
Hundreds of Muslims and religious Jews, broke their fast together on Tuesday night, the Tazpit News Agency reported.

As 122 Gaza rockets struck Israel, hundreds of observant Muslims and observant Jews, united to break their mutual fast day together.

The events brought the people of the two different faiths
together, as the Jewish fast of the 17th of Tammuz, commemorating the Roman breach of Jerusalem’s walls, fell during the Muslim fast of the month of Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam.

Thirteen fast-breaking gatherings were held across Israel. The events, which were part of a global movement of interfaith break-fasts for the 18th day of Ramadan and 17th day of Tammuz, were led and organized by a group called “Choose Life.”

Over 32 events, promoted on the group’s Facebook page that had Hebrew, English and Arabic translations of the event’s names, took place internationally in mosques, synagogues, and community centers.

Cities such as London, Paris and Kuwait City, as well as across the United States in the cities New York, Austin and Cleveland, took part in the interfaith gatherings.

In Israel, joint end-of-fast events featuring joint prayer and study sessions were held in Eilat, Be’er Sheva, Yerucham, Kibbutz Ein Dor, the Gush Etzion Junction, Yeshivat Otniel in the south Hebron Hills and in Jerusalem.

The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development and Jerusalem Peacemakers, co-organized one event out of three break-fast gatherings held in Israel’s capital, featuring joint study sessions and vegetarian food.

Over 100 people attended the break-fast event held on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion at the Jerusalem Intercultural Center. Rabbis and sheikhs traded words of blessing to the audience.

Rabbi Yonathan Neril, founder and director of the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, said: “This gathering empowers the children of Abraham – Jews, Muslims, and Christians – to come together in the holy city of Jerusalem and see the humanity in one another.

“It’s not about us versus them. It’s about us and them, about how we can live together in one land,” said Rabbi Neril.

Palestinian Muslim, Sheikh Haj Ibrahim Abu El Hawa, co-founder of Jerusalem Peacemakers with director Eliyahu McLean, believes that the joint break-fast event carried an important message.

“The new generation needs to carry the message of how we can live together, because we are not born with signs over our heads that say we are Jewish, Muslim, Christian, or Buddhist. We are all one,” said Abu El Hawa.

“Let the world know that there are Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, and Muslims in Jerusalem and all over the land who do not buy into the narrative that we are enemies, that we have to hate one other, that we have to be at war with one another. We actually see things differently,” concluded McLean.