From the Ivory Tower to the Days of Sulha: Parallel Concepts of Reconcicilation in Judaism and Islam and Anecdotal Manifestations
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Type of Work15 p.
DepartmentPolitical Science and International Relations
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Humanities -- Research -- Periodicals.
Social sciences -- Research -- Periodicals.
Last August, I had the opportunity to participate in what turned out to be the most incredible experience of my life. I interned with religious peace activist Eliyahu MacLean to assist in the coordination of the Sulha Gathering, as part of the Sulha Peace Project. The Sulha Gathering, built on a Middle-Eastern reconciliation ritual, is an annual four-day festival devoted to peacebuilding between Israelis and Palestinians. What is unique about the Sulha is that it approaches peacebuilding from a religious framework, using Judaism and Islam as tools for peace, instead of as weapons of incitement and ethnocentric hatred. The Gathering was an incredible success that taught me a great deal about the power of religion and spirituality to penetrate deeply into the core of conflict, and to bring people together from a place of sincerity and depth. The Sulha Gathering creates the consciousness for true peace to be built between Israelis and Palestinians. This paper focuses on how various religious symbolism and ritual embues the Sulha with significance and lays the foundation for meaningful connections between Muslims and Jews.