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Salam Shalom Conversations – Aug 06, 2019
A second “Salam Shalom Conversations” meet took place at Jewish Federation Apartments on Tuesday Aug 06, 2019.
There were JFA residents and outsiders attending the lively sharing. Exceptional presence of both communities implied that this venture is gaining support of both communities.
The program started by a brief introduction by Dr. Yonina Foster about SSC and the reason behind its’ existence, followed by a speech by Professor Faizan Haq regarding the Hajj ritual, one of the pillars of Islam. He emphasized upon the importance of the story of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and Prophet Ismail (Ishmeal) (May peace & blessings upon them), on which the pilgrimage of Hajj is based upon. Later,11-year-old Yusuf Siddiqui recited a Nasheed, a vocal melody about an Islamic belief, practice, etiquette, or lesson about Hajj in his immature but mesmerizing voice.
Dr. Yonina Foster shared about the Jewish perspective, text sharing and discussion on the value of life and the ethics of saving a person, a soul, “Pikuak Nefesh.” Two references in our texts were from Torah, Book of Genesis 18:22-32, when Abraham argues with God about saving the righteous a city of sinful people. And from Leviticus, 19:16, “Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor. In group reading we talked about a drowning situation and if/when to save a drowning person. A song, “Nefesh Achat,” arose from the Genesis text and commentary on that in the Bava Batra, 11a (commentary on the Torah). “If you destroy a single life, then you destroy a world. And if you save that precious life, then you have saved a world. Amazingly, The Quran, it was expressed, shared the very same universal message.
We are highly indebted to the community members who joined us at the event. Their presence has encouraged us to organize more events in the future. We hope that the individuals, communities, and organizations who want to foster peace and understanding between our communities will join our caravan. We are Looking for partners to help create opportunities for friendship. Women and men are invited to assist and participate.
We highly appreciate the unprecedented response we got from our community, and we expect the same in the future also as we are planning to come up with more events.