The weather was cold and dreary on Thursday night, November 19, but the atmosphere at Beth Am Shalom was warm and welcoming. The Women of BAS Book Club is always a wonderful place to gather and talk about the books we read, but this night was magical. Lisa Gertner invited members of Daughters of Abraham to join in our discussion of the book, Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths by Bruce Feiler.
Amazon describes the book as, “Both immediate and timeless, Abraham tells the powerful story of one man’s search for the shared ancestor of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Traveling through war zones, braving violence at religious sites, and seeking out faith leaders, Bruce Feiler uncovers the defining yet divisive role that Abraham plays for half the world’s believers. Provocative and uplifting, Abraham offers a thoughtful and inspiring vision of unity that redefines what we think about our neighbors, our future, and ourselves.”
The Daughters of Abraham is an international organization of women of Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths. In order to have a meeting, at least one member of each religion must be present. That is the only rule.
The Women of BAS were joined by Mona Khan, a practicing Muslim, Suzanne Thomas and Donna Murphy, both Christian, and Chani Gourarie, the wife of Rabbi Moshe Gourarie of Chabad. We even welcomed another member, Eleanor Geller, via Skype!
The discussion was exciting, educational, and enlightening. The book centers around the story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Chani Gourarie explained how she interprets this story and Mona Khan revealed what she and most Muslims believe. As the evening went on, we were surprised to learn just how much Judaism, Islam, and Christianity have in common.
The feeling in the room was warm, caring and supportive of everyone’s beliefs. We look forward to meeting again. As different branches of Judaism were described as varying shades of the same color, the different women created a lively palette of a rainbow – complementing and contrasting, but altogether beautiful!
In our small group of 11 women, we created a model for what we believe needs to be done by everyone to make a peaceful world. We look forward to meeting again and hope many more women will come to our future meetings to share in this unique experience. New members are always welcome.