With time, I felt a growing need to encounter Muslims as well, to get to know members of the third monotheistic religion, many of whom lived in Germany, where I was. For such an encounter, JCM was ideal. There for the first time I got to know Muslims, and through JCM it was possible to hear them speak of their own life and convictions in an atmosphere of openness, of respect, and of friendship. In this encounter with “the Other”, I was able to experience the common ground on which we stand as believers in the One God, as people who adore the same God in different ways. JCM also gave the possibility of looking at topics that were difficult for all concerned and to discuss them in a controversial way, but one that was penetrated by a deeper peace.
I now live in Israel in a life that is essentially one of silence and solitude, so I am no longer directly involved in dialogue. But the encounter between Jews, Christians and Muslims is not only part of who I am; it belongs to daily life here. Thus it is at the center of my prayer, of my relationship with God. Israel's reality is extremely complex, not only politically. All three religions are present here, and that with the multiple currents that make them up. The religious and cultural complexity within the religions and in their relations with others are intertwined with the political complexity. This can be very enriching, but at the same time, it does not make life simple. When I experience difficulty in accepting another culture or religious practice, remembering my JCM experiences helps me to return to a more open and respectful attitude of encounter in Peace – Shalom - Salaam.
I want to thank JCM and to say how grateful I am that the conferences continue. I am happy to remain connected with JCM through the written translations I do for these conferences. I wish JCM God's abundant blessing, that these encounters might continue to contribute to understanding and peace in our world.