After sundown on Sunday, at the end of the day-long Tisha b’Av fast that commemorates the destruction of the Holy Temples in ancient Jerusalem, the more than 200 people who gathered at one Seattle-area synagogue faced east for their evening prayers.
Half of them turned toward Mecca.
A joint observance of the Jewish holiday and Islam’s Ramadan at Temple B’nai Torah in Bellevue, co-sponsored by the Seattle Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, demonstrated the common features – in addition to fast days that occasionally coincide – that Judaism and Islam share.
The “Two Faiths, One God” program at the Reform temple featured a halal break-the-fast meal, lectures on the two faiths’ beliefs and practices, and demonstrations of a Torah scroll and a copy of the Koran.
The event was part of the synagogue’s long history of interfaith outreach.