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Wisdom Newsletter February 2022

Prayer of the Moment
 
  1. Prayer of the Moment
  2. Interreligious Heroes book launch event on March 1
  3. Release of Coronaspection video: "Global Crisis"
  4. Praying Together in Jerusalem
Prayer of the Moment
Holding the vision of a united humanity, united facing God, across all its religious differences, we recognize this is a moment of global urgency, one that calls for prayer. Building on Elijah's "praying together" meetings, we would like to draw the focus of our community to the war in Ukraine, that presently is the focus of global attention. The only thing we can do as the Elijah community is pray, and pray together.

To this end we have opened a Facebook group called 
"Prayer of the Moment", that allows us to share prayers for the moment of urgency, whatever it may be. 
The first two prayers for the war in Ukraine, taken from our most recent meeting of Praying Together in Jerusalem, have been posted.
Now, it is up to you to share your prayers in the Facebook group. Please post short videos or offer written prayers. They can be from your tradition or spontaneous offerings from your heart. 
Share them with friends. Share the Facebook group with friends. Ask others to join in this global moment of prayer. Post prayers to your own Facebook page using the hashtag #PrayerForTheMoment.
Let all our hearts open up in compassion and care, expressing our common humanity, as it calls out for God's help and direction.
Interreligious Heroes book launch event on March 1
Mahatma Gandhi. Thomas Merton. Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Eva Fleischner. Fethullah Gülen.
These five individuals may have been born in different countries, spoke different languages, and practiced different religions but they shared a vision for human flourishing that required the cooperation of people of different faiths. These interreligious heroes are just five of the 40 highlighted by the new book "Interreligious Heroes."


On March 1 at 1:00 pm EST, The Elijah Interfaith Institute will co-host a book launch for Interreligious Heroes with the Hebrew College. 
You are hereby invited to join us online by signing up here.
Interreligious Heroes is available at half price by ordering at Wipf and Stock and using the coupon code ELIJAHINTERFAITH.
Global Crisis
The Covid 19 pandemic is not over and the world is watching anxiously the war on the Russian-Ukrainian border. In these uncertain times, we recognise even more clearly how all of humanity is bound together in suffering, in happiness and with regards to our future.

We present to you this video from our Coronaspection series dealing with the theme of Global Crisis.

Venerable Norman Fisher (Buddhist) opens the presentation by reflecting on the irony that any comfort or peace that one of us may experience is at the cost of the suffering of another. He explains that according to his Buddhist beliefs, that is the nature of existence, and that the central idea of the religious life is to pay attention to the suffering of others, to have an awareness that while we revel in our good fortune, others are in pain. 

Elder Jeffrey Holland (Mormon/ Christian) picks up on the central notion of our connectivity and describes it as his awareness that all of humanity is one family under God. He explains how the experience of the pandemic has made him more conscious of the needs of others and his responsibility towards them. 

Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric (Muslim) also suggests that the pandemic (and other crises) can have a positive outcome. He is optimistic that religious leaders are now more conscious of the fact that there is only one God and of the common struggles that each human faces. Rabbi David Wolpe (Jewish) continues the emphasis on the oneness of God and proposes that religious differences are different ways of having dialogue with God. They are also a vehicle to enable dialogue on a human level. The optimism that suffering can allow us to emerge more united is continued by Shrivatsa Goswami (Hindu) believes that the commonality of suffering overrides religious difference or at least breaks down barriers to communication. 

Professor Nader Saeidi (Bahai) goes one step further and says that when we discover the common purposes of religions, we realise that are actually one and the same thing.

At this time of crisis, where we are possibly on the verge of another war in Europe, Elijah hopes that the wisdom of religions can prevail and help political leaders realise that all our destinies are linked.
Praying Together in Jerusalem
Join us for this month's gathering of Praying Together in Jerusalem:
 
“War and Peace”
 

We are watching a war unfold between Russia and Ukraine and feel helpless to prevent it. It is time to ask what our religions have to say about whether and when war is permissible and to hear the wisdom of religions on how peace can be brought about.

Scholars and leaders from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism will share their wisdom and local leaders will lead us in prayers.

 
Thursday, March 3rd at 5:00 pm Jerusalem time.
10 am ET time
8 am Pacific time
3 pm UK time
4 pm Central European time
5 pm Israel time
8:30 pm India time

We are meeting on Zoom and live at the Swedish Theological Institute. 
Sign up here
About our teachers:
Swamini Adityananda Saraswati (India)
Swamini is the Associate Executive Director of the Elijah Interfaith Institute. Having served humanitarian and interfaith causes for over 20 years, Swamini has worked from the ground level to the United Nations and World Bank levels towards addressing climate change, hunger, thirst, violence, AIDS, war and other concerns within nations including India, the United States, Tanzania, Uganda, and more. She is a Hindu monastic of the Saraswati order.
Rabbi Joel Levy (Israel)
Rabbi Joel Levy is Director of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, where he is also active in inter-denominational and interfaith work. He was ordained by Rabbi David Hartman in 2000. Rabbi Levy has also been the part-time rabbi of Kol Nefesh Masorti Synagogue, Britain’s first fully egalitarian traditional shul, since 2001.
Professor David Ford (UK)
David F. Ford is Regius Professor of Divinity Emeritus in the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Selwyn College. Alongside continuing work on Christian theology and on inter-faith relations, Professor Ford’s current research includes work on: the Gospel of John; glorification; theology, modernity and the arts; Scriptural Reasoning; contemporary worldviews; and education in schools and universities. He is currently a member of the Theology, Modernity and the Arts project at Duke University Divinity School.
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