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This was a social experiment involving a Muslim and a Jewish boy walking together, done in both a muslim and a jewish community. Watch and see what happens. Done by Moe And ET

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a pastor, a Rabbi, and an Imam walk into……. hey, is this the beginning of a joke?

from the Independent

It has been dubbed the “Wonder of Berlin”. And if a Protestant pastor, a rabbi and an imam can realise their shared dream, the world’s first house of prayer for three religions will open its doors in the German capital in four years’ time, with the building costs being paid for by donations.

The unique project is called the “House of One”, and its aim is to provide a place of worship and contemplation for adherents of the world’s three main monotheistic faiths, although the building will also be open to all. It will house a church, a synagogue and a mosque under one roof.

“Berlin is the city of wounds and miracles,” said Rabbi Tovia Ben-Chorin, one of the three behind the project. “It is the city in which the extermination of the Jews was planned. Now, the first house in the world for three religions is to be built here,” he added.

The fundraising drive was launched this week, with a symbolic handing over of the first brick. The House of One’s backers hope to raise the €43.5m (£35m) needed to construct the hexagonal-shaped brick building, on a site next to Berlin’s central Museum Island, entirely through sponsorship. Anyone can donate money online. A single brick costs ¤10.

The idea was born in 2009, when archaeologists excavating a section of ground on Museum Island unearthed the remnants of Berlin’s earliest church, the Petrikirche, and the city’s Latin school, which dates back to 1350.

“We quickly agreed that something visionary and forward looking should be built on what is the founding site of Berlin,” said Gregor Hohberg, the Protestant pastor who initiated the project. He was convinced that multicultural, multi-faith Berlin was the right city in which to open a house of worship for three religions.

“Berlin is the city of the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful coexistence of believers from different faiths – they yearn to understand each other,” he said.

Imam Kadir Sanci, the House of One’s Muslim leader, said he wanted the project to encourage a conscious dialogue between different faiths and cultures, which would help prejudices against Muslims to evaporate. “We want our children to have a future in which diversity is the norm,” he insisted.

The plans for the House of One indicate that while the building will contain a separate synagogue, church and mosque under one roof, there will also be a large central area, in which members of the three faiths and others can meet and contemplate. Last Tuesday, the House of One construction site on Berlin’s Gertraudenstrasse was still a vacant building lot, with little more to show than a recently felled plane tree and dirty, grey sand scarred with the tyre tracks of lorries and excavators.

However, the desolate scene did not deter the pastor, the rabbi and the imam from symbolically burying their shoes in the sand at the centre of the site.

“One has to have a great deal of faith in God to imagine that a wonderful building, unique in the world, will stand on this site in just a few years,” Mr Hohberg told a congregation from different faiths at a service a little later.

He added that building work could commence in 2016, providing donations to the fund of €10m had been raised by then.

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Baby Jesus – no crib for his bed

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THE BLOG
Baby Jesus: Not Welcome Here
Cheryl MochDec 17, 2013
If you have any doubt that we live in a Christian country, you only have to look at a list of Federal holidays. There are only 10, and one of them is Christmas.

But as Americans (especially here in New York where I live) we enjoy the illusion that we are a humanistic, pluralistic society: a rainbow-hued 21st century melting pot. Sometimes we bump up hard against that illusion.

This happened to me the other morning when I arrived at work in my New York City government office.

I had been enjoying the festive decorations adorning our drab offices for the last couple of weeks — every day people added to the glitter and cheer with tinsel, candy canes, Santas and so on. As I do every year, I put out decorations of my own: Rudolph, a small plaster gingerbread house, an old cardboard pop-up of Santa’s sled near a snow-covered farmhouse.

But when I arrived at work the other day I saw something new on the front desk of our reception area, something that had never been displayed before: a crèche — a small crèche, but still, a crèche.

As politely as I could, I told the receptionists who had placed it there that crèches are not allowed as public displays on New York City government property. These two, kindly women were incredulous, and quickly pointed to the menorah as though it was a magical antidote to the crèche. Yes, good — I see that you have a menorah. But still, crèches are not allowed. They asked why, and as I tried to explain I found I could not. Instead of offering any reasonable explanation as to why the crèche was different than the menorah, I found that I was voiceless, speechless. I certainly didn’t mean to insult their tradition but I was very uncomfortable at the sight of the crèche, however small and unassuming. I stuttered and sputtered: “Because it is not allowed, that’s why. It’s the law.”

I went to my desk and Googled “nativity scene New York City.” Was I right? I quickly found a 2006 court decision called Skorus vs. the City of New York that banned nativity scenes — but did it apply only to New York City public schools? There was also a 1989 SCOTUS case, County of Allegheny vs. the ACLU, which banned crèches on government property — but not menorahs. I complained to my boss who then spoke to her boss who spoke to the EEO officer who spoke to the legal department. By the end of the day, word had gotten around. I had been yelled at and spurned by colleagues. I had received an outraged email to the effect of “How can you of all people, who is so liberal and open-minded, be so intolerant and wrong on this issue?” Meaning, “How could you — who is so Jewish yet we manage to tolerate you — object to our customs?” A Jewish colleague took me aside to say that she didn’t mind the little crèche at all. And (she added gratuitously) I like Christmas music!” Her clear message: She would not be a foot soldier in my misguided war on Christmas.

The crèche was still there later when I requested a meeting with the EEO officer who asked me, pen in hand: “What is your objection?” Again, I sputtered: “It’s the law, isn’t it?” “So you are objecting because you think it is against the law?” Again, I failed. I was wordless, voiceless. Instead I asked her, “Why does it fall to the minority to have to explain?”

The next day, I spoke to my wise and perceptive daughter, who said it’s because the symbol is too close to us as Jews. If it was Ganesha or some other distant symbol we wouldn’t care, however deeply religious and holy the symbol. But for Jews, the crèche cuts close and deep: The nativity scene is not the beginning, it’s the beginning of the end. Those are Jews in that manger, and they are giving birth to a hatred of Jews that has burned and swelled and murdered us for over two thousand years.

Maybe she didn’t say all that, but that is what she meant. And that is what I meant but could not possibly say at work to my Christian colleagues who snarled at me for quoting law as the reason I wanted the crèche removed. While you are rejoicing at the birth of baby Jesus I am searching for a safe place to hide with my family. Was my discomfort atavistic, genetically programmed into me by centuries of persecution?

If only I could tell them: A crèche is different because the United States is different because, here, there is separation of Church and state. And I cherish that, don’t you? It is my safety; it is what makes America different than Europe. And we work for the government: hence, no baby Jesus. I can admire your trees and your lights in this dark season and your Santa with his merry laugh. I can smile at your elves and shake my head at the seasonal madness at the malls.

But it all gets too serious when I see that manger with its empty cradle waiting for the birth of a baby who will be proclaimed the Son of God and whose horrible death will be blamed on me. And my tax dollars pay for that reception area and it’s a public space where Christians and Jews and Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs and Buddhists and atheists and every one else are welcome. And baby Jesus is not.

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The World is my Oyster (from Jewish Memes)

The World is my Oyster (from Jewish Memes)

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September 10, 2013 · 13:14

Car crash interview

As car crash political interviews go, it must surely be among the worst.

Stephanie Banister, who is hoping to represent the ultra-nationalist One Nation party in next month’s Australian federal election, appeared in an interview with the Channel Seven network where she was challenged to justify her controversial views on Islam and her opposition to Halal food.

The 27-year-old began the catastrophic interview by appearing to confuse the Qur’an and Halal food with “haram”, which is an Islamic term for something forbidden by God.

She went on to explain her views on immigration saying: “I don’t oppose Islam as a country but I do feel their laws should not be welcome here in Australia.”

Banister, who is due to face court charges for her alleged part in an anti-Muslim vandalism campaign, in which it is claimed she stuck a sticker reading “Beware! Halal food funds terrorism” on Nestle products at her local Woolworths, admitted she didn’t know the names of the other candidates she was running against in the 7 September election.

When further questioned by the interviewer over her views on Islam she said: “Less than 2% of Australians follow haram” – which the interviewer understood to mean the Qur’an.

“Jews aren’t under haram. They have their own religion which follows Jesus Christ,” Banister said.

The area she is contesting is held by the Labor party with a margin of 5.4% but MP Craig Emerson is retiring at the election.

 

 

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August 9, 2013 · 11:45

Irena Sendler 2

Irena Sendler 2

 

 For once, the term “heroine” is no exaggeration, though such plaudits did not sit easily with her. She said: “I was brought up to believe that a person must be rescued when drowning, regardless of religion and nationality.
She was beaten, tortured and sentenced to death by the Gestapo  –  who even announced her execution. But Irena survived, her spirit unbroken, her secrets untold. She sadly passed last week after saving over 2500 Jewish children but died wishing she’d rescued more…

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July 22, 2013 · 11:31