Local Representatives of a Variety of Faiths Come Together for the Holidays

December 18, 2006

Author: Terri Jo Ryan

Source: Waco Tribune-Herald


Eight months ago, when the Islamic Center of Waco hosted an event for the Greater Waco Interfaith Conference, mosque leader Al Siddiq playfully challenged Rabbi Mordechai Rotem of Temple Rodef Sholom to host the next event at his place.

Rotem’s initiative is to invite all the followers of the Abrahamic religions - Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Bahai Faith - to a joint celebration of the season of light.

The community event, called “Lighting the Path to Understanding,” is set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Temple Rodef Sholom, 1717 N. New Road. It is sponsored by the Greater Waco Interfaith Conference, an organization created more than 30 years ago to promote harmony, understanding and tolerance among the faith traditions of the greater Waco area.

Rotem said he noted that three major religious holidays come upon the heels of one another: Hanukkah, (beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev), which started at sundown Friday; Christmas, which takes place Dec. 25; and Eid Al-Adha or “Feast of the Sacrifice,” (the 10th day of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijja), which starts at sundown Dec. 30 this year.

The metaphor of light as holiness and hope is a common bond of the religious traditions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Bahai Faith, he said.