Religion: By the Living Water

At dawn one morning last week, while most of Baghdad was still asleep, 55-year-old Abdul Rahman, a silversmith, padded down to the Tigris and squatted on the eastern bank. Covering his head with his kaffiyeh, he recited the prayer: "In the name of the Great Life, healing and purity are thine, my Father, their Father, Great Yardna of living water." Then he began his ablutions. First he washed his hands and face and cleaned out his ears, snuffed water from his cupped palm into his nostrils three times, washed his loins, bathed his knees and legs three times, dabbled all ten...

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