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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
Bloomington, IndianaHerald-Times Editorial
December 4, 2002
Local Jews, Muslims point way toward respect, peace and unity
What can Bloomington offer to the Jews and Arabs living in constant conflict? A powerful lesson that people of different cultures and religions can come together in peace and understanding. So it was Sunday night during a fellowship dinner of the Bloomington Muslim Jewish Work Group. More than 50 local Jews and Muslims participated.
It was hard not to be inspired and uplifted reading H-T reporter David Horn's account of the evening, in which Muslims lit Hanukkah candles and Jews listened to Arabic prayers.
The meeting at the Indiana University International Center came on spiritual nights for Muslims and Jews -- the 27th night of Ramadan and the third night of Hanukkah.
Hardened "realists" will say it is easy to find common ground when the ground you are standing upon isn't claimed by your neighbor -- as is the case for Israelis and Palestinians. But the beauty of such a fellowship dinner is that it cuts through all the hatred, bias and strife to show the humanity of all people.
Efforts of the Bloomington Muslim Jewish Work Group represent but a small seed in a huge, scarred battlefield. But it is a start. And the more seeds of understanding and unity that are planted, the greater chance for peace.
May the efforts of these dedicated and caring residents blossom and spread. They represent the true spirit of this holiday season.
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