Abraham and Isaac — or, as some would have it, Ibrahim and Ishmael — took center stage when some of America’s most prominent Modern Orthodox rabbis and Muslim imams discussed their respective legal systems and foundational texts, and their implications for Jewish-Muslim relations today.
The October 30 seminar “Ancient Texting” brought together 15 rabbis expert in Halacha, or traditional Jewish law, and 15 imams steeped in shariah, traditional Muslim law, for a recent daylong seminar at Manhattan’s historic Temple Emanu-El, a Reform congregation. While much of the day’s discussion was theoretical and textual in nature, conversations often revolved around issues concerning both communities. The speakers also touched on areas of conflict between them, such as differing positions regarding Israel, and problematic texts in the tradition of each faith.
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