Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman
Peace Among the Abrahamic Religions


Rabbi of a Reform Jewish congregation in Jerusalem called Kehilat Kol Haneshama. A leader of the Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism and of Rabbis for Human Rights, his congregation is a model for inter-religious understanding, dialog, and healing in Jerusalem.


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Theme: Peace Among the Abrahamic Religions

The bitter irony of conflict between Jews and Muslims in Israel-Palestine challenges our theological and spiritual understanding. The involvement of Christians in many of the most critically contentious situations (often for the worse) also taxes our comprehension. Is the violence in the Middle East religiously-based? Or do its roots lie elsewhere – in struggles over land, power, and wealth? If, as seems likely, the latter is the case, how are religious beliefs and practices exploited to heighten emotions and intensify crises?


The real question, of course, is how religious insight and inspiration can inform interreligious dialogue in such a difficult and dangerous context. Levi Weiman-Kelman can speak to that dimension of the problem like few others in the region.


Excerpt from Thriving in the Crosscurrent: Clarity and Hope at a Time of Cultural Sea Change (Jim Kenney, Quest Books 2010), p. 201.
The shift from dialectic to dialogic in interreligious relations may prove to be one of the most significant drivers of the larger cultural sea change. When Mohammad Khatami, former president of Iran, called for a “global dialogue of civilizations” he was offering a compelling alternative to historian Samuel Huntington’s widely discussed impending “clash of civilizations.” Huntington saw religion as the principle defining aspect of a culture or civilization. Therefore, Khatami’s challenge was particularly meaningful. If religions can master the challenge of authentic dialogue, then not only they, but global culture itself will take the path of dialogue.

Further Reading:
Congregation Kol HaNeshama at the center of Reform Judaism in Israel (Note the critical blog comments following the article. Levi must be doing something right!)

Levi Weiman-Kelman: “A Jew’s Prayer for the Children of Gaza” (2009)”