“There is plenty in common between us and the Jews, including that we fast at the same time, and we work to spread baseless love,” said Sheikh Eyad Amer.
By Josh Plank, World Israel News
A rabbi and a sheikh spoke at an interfaith Zoom presentation in Israel on Monday on the topic of “baseless love” in the context of the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av and the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
The Interfaith Encounter Association and the Mosaica Center of the Religious Peace Initiative sponsored the event as part of “Jerusalem baseless love week” organized by the Jerusalem Tolerance Coalition.
The speakers were Rabbi Matanya Yadid, who teaches at Bar-Ilan University, and Sheikh Eyad Amer, who is imam of the central mosque in Kafr Kassem.
“This meeting is rare – two people who live in the same land with different religions and the same goal of spreading baseless love,” Yadid said, according to the Jerusalem Post.
“The lesson is to know and learn about Islam. We can disagree, but not without knowing. Without harming our own identities, we can learn that what we have in common is a lot more than what divides us,” he said.
Amer said, “There is plenty in common between us and the Jews, including that we fast at the same time, and we work to spread baseless love.”
The Jewish fast of Tisha B’Av is a day of mourning and repentance, commemorating several calamities including the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.
Tisha B’Av, which lasts from Wednesday evening to Thursday evening, coincides this year with the Muslim Day of Arafah, on which many Muslims fast from morning to evening if they are not making the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
Last year, Tisha B’av coincided with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which begins the day after the Day of Arafah. According to Islamic tradition, the holiday celebrates the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael.
Their message of baseless love demonstrates optimism in the face of events. Last year, Israel initially barred Jews from going up to the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av over fears that Muslims would riot. The decision was reversed after Muslims rioted anyway.