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In the beginning…

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These are Vicki’s prayer beads:

prayer beads by vicki web size

She made them Sunday at the Neshama Interfaith Center’s Prayer Bead Workshop.Vicki told me that she never considered herself to be artistic, yet she created these exquisite beads in less than an hour.  Perhaps her artist’s soul was inspired after learning from friends of different faiths that we all try to connect with God in similar ways: using our hands to direct our hearts and minds toward the divine.

prayer beads workshop at rcm

Roswell Community Masjid (RCM) hosted the event.  Here are some of the other beads we examined and traditions we discussed:

prayer beads rosary

Rosary beads (Catholic & Anglican)

Jews do not use prayer beads, but wear a talit (prayer shawl). Its strings & knots number 613, a reminder of the mitzvot (commandments)

Jews do not use prayer beads, but instead wear a prayer shawl with strings & knots that number 613, a reminder of the mitzvot (commandments)

 

 

 

33 beads, used by Muslims to reflect on the 99 names of God

33 beads, used by Muslims to reflect on the 99 names of God

 

 

 

 

 

 

Variety of beads used by Buddhists in meditation

Variety of beads used by Buddhists in meditation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is just a taste of how my week began, with friends of many faiths engaged in conversation and in creation of art.  Though some Sundays are ordinary beginnings to the week, this past Sunday felt like the first day of something special.

With gratitude to the Neshama team—especially Sue Chase, Executive Director & photographer—our hosts at RCM & everyone who participated in the workshop.

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Comments (2)

Lovely!

What a marvelous interfaith workshop with Rabbi Pameal Gottfried – I learned a lot about “beads” and “beading” from the variouus faith treaditions. Pamela – you are a “gem”!

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