Washington, D.C., September 22, 2015 - American Muslims wish a very Happy Yom Kippur to all of our Jewish friends across the globe.
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year that takes place in the month of Tishri and celebrates Creation. Jews observe the Lunar Calendar, and as such the festivities occur 11 days earlier in each successive year on the Gregorian calendar.
On the day of Rosh Hashanah G-d opens the Book of Life and observes his creatures, and decides their fate for the coming year. What follows for the next 10 days is self-reflection to justify one's existence to God, a period called Shabbat Shuva, and on the 10th day, God closes your book and it is a time for the celebration; Happy Yom Kippur.
Indeed Muslims can relate this festivity with Ramadan where Eid is the capstone celebration at the end of a month long fasting and reflection. Jains with Paryushun, Hindus with Navaratri ending in Dussehra on the 10th day, and Christians with 40 days of lent thru resurrection on Easter.
Rabbi Michael Lerner writes, " We engage in honest, wrenching self-evaluation; we create practical strategies for changing in the future; and, as a result, the day cleanses us from the residues of past failures. "Kippur" in biblical Hebrew means "cleansing." We feel reborn, and that is a source of great joy. Indeed, this joyous rebirth is one of the reasons that the holiday of Succos five days later is called "the time of our joy."
Rabbi continues, "The same applies to all spiritual rejoicing: it must embrace the whole person, including the body. Of course it is not the food alone. The feast involves love and camaraderie for family, friends, and guests, as well as song and words of Torah inspiration. In that way, the pleasure of eating becomes part of the spiritual joy. But the joy is not complete without the food-without the body. "
In synagogues people pray to God to forgive them for their wrongdoings and to give them a good year - during the service a Shofar, or ram's horn, is blown, to alert congregants to the seriousness of the festival and the fact that God is deciding their fates for the coming year - which will be sealed on the Day Of Atonement ten days later.
May we all reflect on our lives and make a commitment to be a good human for the next year. Happy Rosh Hashanah, and Happy Yom Kippur.
"Festivals of the World" is an educational series by Mike Ghouse since 1993. When we live in the same communities as neighbors, we might as well learn about each other. The best way to build cohesive societies is for its members to participate in festivities as well as commemorations of each other, or, at least understand each others' joys and sorrows. Please note the simplicity in writing is designed for people of other faiths to learn and to know, so we can function cohesively.
America Together Foundation is all about bringing Americans Together for a peaceful, safe and secure America. Foundation for Pluralism is part of America Together Foundation.
God bless us all, and God bless America!
Mike is a speaker, thinker, writer, pluralist, TV-Radio commentator and a human rights activist committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His info in 63 links at MikeGhouse.net and writings at TheGhouseDiary.com
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