At the beginning of March, the Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev held a dialog event as part of its series "Judaism and Islam: An Invitation to a Shared Reading of Ancient Texts." The event was moderated by former MK Dr. Ruth Calderon, a scholar of Talmud and rabbinic literature, and by Dr. Muhammad al-Atawneh of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, an expert on modern Islam and the development of Muslim religious law. The subject of the event was "In God's Image: The Essence of Man in Judaism and Islam."
The event opened with some general background on the two religions and a review of the development of the various streams within each. Participants then paired off to study texts from the Koran, the Torah, and the Talmud on the creation of man and the responsibility for human life. They were surprised and moved to find that both the Talmud and the Koran contain the well-known saying "Whoever saves one life, it is as if they have saved an entire world; and whoever ends one life, it is as if they have extinguished an entire world."
The event ended with a plenum discussion of insights from the study of the texts.