Rabbi Shlomo Didi knows Lake Kinneret well. As rabbi of the Jordan Valley and a resident of Tiberias, Didi has not only married couples beside the Kinneret, he has also offered prayers for rain along its shoreline, which has receded markedly.
On Monday Didi was again praying for rain - but this time, he was not alone. He was joined by Ian Clark, the priest of the Scottish church, and Muhammad Dahamshe, the Imam of Kafr Kana.
"A joint prayer does not consider differences of religion," says Didi. "There is one god, we are all human beings and are all praying to the same god."
"The dismal condition of the Kinneret threatens each and every one of us," said Shimon Kipnis, general manager of the Scots Hotel, which initiated the joint prayer, and on whose beach the prayers were held. "We see how the shoreline is receding and that the water level is nearing the 'black line.' The purpose of this event was to unite all the religions and offer a joint prayer to the creator of the universe, that he bless us with a rainy season."
Kipnis added that creating cooperation between the three religions was one of the hotel's objectives, and that calling upon the representative clerics was a natural step.
"They were only too happy to accept my suggestion," said Kipnis.
Dozens of artists who also participated in the event sat on the beach and painted the service.
"Rain is a blessing that brings joy, and we have to pray for it," said Didi, who also serves as rabbi for the kibbutzim. Some of those present at the prayer service related Monday that the rabbi's previous prayers had been answered, and were indeed followed by rainfall.
"We hope that his prayers will be answered this time, too."
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