The Interfaith Center of Northeast Florida in partnership with the Jacksonville Jewish Center hosted a virtual meeting to discuss the origins, meaning and implications of sacred texts in Jewish and Muslim traditions. The vast expanse and deep meaning of God’s word is reflected in the title of the program, which borrows from sacred Jewish and Muslim texts. If all the seas were indeed ink, and all of humanity tried to use that ink to write all of God’s words, the ink will be exhausted before God’s words are. Each tradition teaches its faithful to revere its sacred texts. However, each tradition approaches its sacred texts in ways that are common and yet different.
The virtual program is in lieu of the annual Shabbat-Ramadan Iftar that is held each year at the Jacksonville Jewish Center. Social distancing rules prevent us from gathering physically. We still meet each other virtually and remain engaged in our annual tradition of learning about Judaism and Islam.
Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner and Dr. Parvez Ahmed discussed how each of their respective traditions view sacred texts and how it impacts the lives of their faith communities. Following their learning presentation, all registrations were divided into small diverse groups where they engaged with each other in “table” discussions led by moderators. The entire session was designed to foster dialogue and even though we are physically distant we can remain socially engaged.