Journey from the MidWest to the MidEast ...

The Indianapolis-based International Interfaith Initiative (III), in collaboration with the Village Experience, led a trip of a diverse group (including representatives from Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Evangelical, and Hindu religious communities) to the Middle East from December 27, 2009 to January 9, 2010. It was a follow-up to the very successful III Mideast trip of 2008. Read about the adventure on this blog. Look for partnership opportunities for your group at ... and be part of the next trip from Indy to the MidEast.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Yerushalayim Shel Zahav

There was a moment yesterday that I was transported. I wish I could explain, but with all the emotion, from the walk along the security fence, the refugees both in Behtlehem and Amman, to a building community on our bus. But walking through the Herodian period museum I looked down to the bedrock. For over 3000 years people have been living there and often in opposition and yet through fighting, destruction and hate that same day, I watched a Jewish kindergarten walking through the Muslim quarter on a field trip, listened to some boys arguing Talmud in a yishiva in the Jewish quarter and spoke with a Turkish man, opening a new store in the old shuq whose family had been in the Muslim quarter for generations. These images give me hope. Hope made more real by an interreligious council working to bring Palestinians and Jewish Isrealis together. I have hope as I listen to young Israelis say that Israel needs to be more than about fighting. Our group hopes we can make a difference. I think I sense a difference, I can't deny the problems of land, water and culture clashes, but there is a picture of a my new friend Hyam and I, her in Hijab and me with my kippah, walking on the Temple Mount, the Noble Sanctuary. Every journey begins with a single step.
Oseh Shalom bim'romav, hu ya'asheh shalom, aleinu v'al kol Yisrael, v'al kol yoshve tevel, v'imaru amen.

May the one who brings peace to the heavens, bring peace to the whole of Israel and people the world over. and let's us ALL say Amen.

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