The Three Faiths Forum meeting at 8pm on Thursday 13 February was held at the Ilford Federation Synagogue, which is near Gants Hill.
The topic for the evening was, God’s Moral Law and was a Scriptural Reasoning session, when we split up into groups, with at least two Jewish
people, two Muslims and two Christians in each group.
In my group we first looked at a Jewish text from Ethics of the Fathers, sayings of Jewish sages who lived from 300BC - 200AD.
It tells us to reflect on where we came from, where we are going and before whom we are destined to give an account of our lives. It also instructs us to respect those in authority and to pray for them, and if we sit and reflect on God’s law we will receive a reward.
Next, we looked at a passage from the Christian scriptures, Luke 10:25-37, where Jesus tells the parable of The Good Samaritan in answer to the question, Who is my neighbour?
Jesus here instructs us that it is more important to help someone in desperate need than to ignore them because we are too concerned with religious duties and obligations.
Then we looked at some verses from the Qur’an where Muslims are told to respect their parents in old age and to be kind to everyone, not just fellow Muslims.
Orphans’ rights must be protected and everyone should prepare for life after death, not committing adultery nor killing without good cause and worshipping only Allah.
It was interesting reading these texts from the three faiths and again to see how much we have in common.
Before the end of the meeting Rabbi Hulbert thanked Revd. Ian Tarrant from St. Mary’s Church in South Woodford, who has been a leader of the Forum for ten years and soon will be moving to Gibraltar to take up a church leader’s post there.
The meeting finished with refreshments and then Rabbi Singer, the leader of the synagogue invited us to go downstairs to see the worship area of the synagogue. It was a beautiful space with six stained glass windows on each side of the Ark, taken from an older synagogue in Ilford.
It was good to see how special the place is to the Jewish congregation.
The next meeting of the Forum will be at 8pm on Thursday 26 March,
discussing Environment or Extinction? which should be interesting. The
venue is yet to be announced.