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Learning About Cultures Other Than Our Own

January 20, 2016

In December’s session of Teaching Torah to Teens (TTT), we welcomed two special guests from The Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia to co-lead our discussion.

After a kiddush of sufiganiyot and a taste of Neziner’s hospitality, we headed to our usual classroom to begin. Husnaa, one of our guests, is a Muslim student in the tenth grade. She came to share the beliefs, customs, and traditions of the religion of Islam with us. Husnaa brought her prayer rug and her personal copy of the Qur’an. As it was my first time ever seeing and looking through a Qur’an, I was intrigued by how beautiful the book itself was. It was very colorful with intricate, baroque designs. I enjoyed learning about the different traditions of the religion such as the month of fasting: Ramadan, and the Five Pillars of Islam, which include praying five times a day.

After going through Hebrew High at BZBI, I learned about the founding of Islam and have many friends through school that belong to the faith. My school, Central High School, has a very large Muslim population and was recently named the most diverse in the country. It’s crucial to have knowledge on other cultures than our own in order to get a better understanding of society and the people in it. I realized just how analogous a lot of characteristics of Islam are with Judaism.

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