Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Interfaith meeting

It rained like freezing hell yesterday - all day - without the sun peeking through for one moment and I had to get my winter coat out of storage. I didn't give a flying fuck how bad it smelled. Karmela the nun called me at 3:00 pm - If no one comes to the meeting, we'll just have an informal one. Shit, and I had just gotten my evening gown out of the cleaners for just this once. Never mind. I had hoped -somebody- would actually show up besides us three faithful coordinators. I had spent 2 hours that morning typing up my wonderful presentation on Abraham - the Jewish perspective. I perused through dusty books I hadn't looked at in a decade and found some good spiritual stuff. Shame if nobody would come. I focused on Abraham's quest and relationship with God and his hospitality. I left out circumcision because I feel funny talking about penises in front of academics. Also, I wasn't sure whether this was a commonality between all three religions because not all Christians are circumcised and I didn't want to do a guessing game in the room of who was and who wasn't. So I left that out. I left out the story of Hagar and Sarah because for me that is the root of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Sarah threw Hagar out of the house and Palestinians feel today that that is exactly what Jewish mothers today would like to do to them. I diplomatically left that out. Someone wrote to me about what a diplomat was - someone who can tell you to go to hell and you end up looking forward to the trip.

By the time the meeting began we had 13 solid people there not including one Canadian artist who showed up for 10 minutes before he left for another meeting. He even wore a French beret. Of course he's an artist. What else do they wear? I invited Souliman from the Abu Sukkar center for Peace and Dialogue. He, in turn, invited a person who works with Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, a Palestinian academic involved in getting hundreds of thousands of signatures for their peace initiative. Never mind all that - I was just happy that people showed up, that the 2 Palestinians got permits to come into Jerusalem thanks to the invitation I sent them.

Speaking of Abraham, they mentioned how it would be nice if we could go as a group to Hebron to visit the Cave of Machpela in the place of such holiness and tension between our peoples. I jumped at the idea because I enjoy the thought of freaking out all the locals, both Jewish and Palestinian, at the site of our mixed procession. But then they all thought better of it and decided perhaps it would be best if we first started out at Nebi Samuel - the Prophet Samuel's tomb - where it's a lot less tense and where we could actually pray together, but separately without too many raised eyebrows.

Anyway gotta go and buy a cake for my ex-Criminal Daughter's birthday today - she is turning Frightful Fifteen.

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