Today is both the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah and the first day of the Muslim month of Ramadan. To begin with, let me just wish L’Shana Tova and Ramadan Mubarak to all readers who celebrate these holidays.
At Beliefnet, Shahed Amanullah has some salient thoughts:
This Ramadan happily coincides with the start of the Jewish High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah, which I feel is particularly serendipitous because of the similarity of both holidays. Both have a focus on seeking forgiveness and spiritual renewal, and both feature an extended period of soul-searching. And for one day, on Yom Kippur, both Jews and Muslims will be fasting until the sun sets.
I hope both faith communities take this opportunity to share at least part of this time celebrating under one roof. After all, this opportunity only comes around every 33 years. Two years ago, during my last year in graduate school at Georgetown, I organized a joint Rosh Hashana-Ramadan celebration for our fellow students, who enjoyed baklava, apples & honey, stuffed dates, challah, Turkish delight, and Indo-Pakistani sweets in between classes. It went over very well and help bond our communities together. (link)
As is common when bloggers get into religious holidays, the theme quickly turns to food, which is just fine with me; I’d rather have ‘taste diplomacy’ than more disputatious arguments over matters of religion. (All we are saying, is give sweets a chance…) Appositely, Sepoy at Chapati Mystery, has some intense memories of rising before dawn to eat before the fast as a teenager growing up in Lahore. Again, I just can’t get over the food:
The blast of the anti-aircraft guns to signal the breaking of the fast. The mounds and mounds of dates. The fried foods and fresh fruits piled on the same table. The 7Up in Milk cold drink. The pakoras. The uncle sneaking a cigarette smoke behind the tree. The unexplained weight gain on certain people. The never-ending taraveeh. Qurâ€™an on a loop on the telly. The fetishization of color. And an ever-growing sense of invincibility in my 14 year old self. (link)
And one more: here is a blog post about Ramadan from a Sunni Sister in Jordan that’s worth checking out.