At a time of tension and demonstrations involving the Israeli Druze citizens, Rabbi Judith Edelman-Green represented TRUST WIN at a Druze Eid El Adha celebration. Below is her report of this significant event — for the first time, the Druze women opened their Eid El Adha celebration to Christians, Jews, and Muslims as a show of unity — and the women not only attended, but were part of the speakers giving blessings. Siham Halabi’s strong leadership is empowering women to strengthen the ties between the religions of Israel.
Greetings for a blessed Eid to all our Muslim sisters and brothers
TRUST – Emun
URI — United Religions Initiative
TRUST WIN Report – Eid El Adha festival celebration in Dalyiat el Karmel on August 8, 2018
I would like to report that FIFTEEN Jewish women attended the festival of Eid el Adha . The organizer, Siham Halabi, invited me as a Rabbi to speak words of interfaith understanding and solidarity. I brought with me another fourteen Jewish women, from Raanana, Kfar Sava, Sefat and all over the north. A few people were first timers, but most already felt the bond of friendship with the people of Dalyiat el Karmel.
The first part of the celebration involved the blessings of religious leaders, men from the Druze religion, Sheiks, a prayer was sung beautifully. Siham was the Mistress of Ceremonies and the organizer, and two Christian women sang and spoke as honored guests. I joked that I am the Rabbi of the Druze people because I have been invited 3 times in two months and feel very at home there. Below is my speech.
The second half of the evening a festive dinner served. The reason the tables look empty in the photograph is because our table stayed and chatted with Hediya for a very long time after most of the women had risen to get dessert and coffee from the buffet. Hediya’s daughter and granddaughter attended the celebration, which brings the interfaith meetings to the second and third generations. Hediya’s daughter translated from Arabic into English as she has before.
Every guest received a pen as a momento of the evening. We also brought gifts and wore our finest clothes.
It was a bonding and meaningful evening, leaving us wishing for more and more gatherings.
Yours, Rabbi Judith Edelman-Green
Blessing for Eid el Adha- Dalyiat El Karmel
With our Druze sisters and brothers , August 2018
Rabbi Judith Edelman-Green
We are so honored to share the holiday of Eid el Adha with you, it is so kind and generous of you to invite us! We have become sisters with the women of the Druze community through shared activities= and we with you Eid el Adha Mubarak!
We bless you in celebrating the sacrifice, and all the lessons which can be learned from it. Here is what I think may be a shared lesson for all of us-
Yishmael means, GOD HEARS. Hearing in a spiritual way the pain and suffering of the other. Whatever is your pain and suffering is ours, we share your feelings , any lack of equality for you is a lack of equality for all of us. Our Torah portion this week is Re’eh, to SEE. GOD SEES. In a spiritual sense if we lift up our eyes, we see AND hear the love and beauty in each other, in sharing cultures, in celebrating Eid el Adha together.
As Jews, we share a parallel holiday, the 10 days of repentance, starting with Rosh HaShanah where we read the story of the sacrifice. Abraham , Ibraham says, ‘Here am I.’ He is truly and completely present in thought and in body.
Rashi the commentator from the middle ages explains: Here I am. Such is the answer of the truly righteous , it is an expression of humility and readiness.
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson: The word for God used here is elohim. Our relationship to the cosmos, to life itself, shuttles between a sense of strict consequences (justice) and emotional connections (love.) Elohim signifies god in the mode of justice, and (Y-H-V-H) signifies god in the mode of love. Here, god’s justice calls Abraham to the test. Through his response (and the through god’s response to that response) we will see God’s love, Y-H-V-H, emerge.
We learn from your holiday and from our parallel one that giving to the poor and to each other is the holiest way to move in this world. Being a religious person means caring for the other, that is the true nature of sacrifice. Neighborliness, as you give a third to the poor, a third to relatives , a third to your families, these are values shared by your Jewish sisters and brothers.
We are so honored that you have invited us to share in this meaningful festival, you have shared whatever love, meaning, joy, celebration, teachings with us. You are generous and kind and we bless you on Eid el Adha!!!!