This week Muslims and Jews celebrate their major holidays. Minnesota based Islamic Resource Group issued the following statement on this occasion.
Islamic Resource Group extends greetings to our Jewish friends and neighbors during the High Holy Days and early Eid greetings at the end of Ramadan .
Shana Tova (Good Year) and Eid Mubarak (Blessed Holiday) !
As in recent years, beginning this week, Jewish High Holy Days correspond with the end of Ramadan and the concluding holiday, Eid ul-Fitr, or "Festival of the Fast-breaking". The two religious observances bare many similarities. For Muslims the last ten days of Ramadan in particular are a time of increased devotion, repentance, and good deeds. For Jews, the ten-day period known as the "Days of Awe" or the "Ten Days of Repentance" begins with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and ends with Yom Kippur. The time between these two main holidays is a special time during which Jews are required to focus on repentance and atonement.
The common themes of repentance, renewal, and reflecting on mistakes committed the previous year are shared in both traditions, as is the concept of forgiveness for past sins, which is the goal of both faiths during these special days, which are both heralded in by a changing lunar calendar. Yom Kippur, the "Day of Atonement," the holiest day in the Jewish calendar which concludes the period of the High Holidays and ten "Days of Awe" is a day of fasting as part of this atonement that mirrors many of the goals and concepts of the month-long fast of Ramadan.
These traditions and goals are part of the many commonalities between the two religious traditions which reflect the shared origin, heritage, beliefs and practices of these Abrahamic faiths. As America’s two largest minorities, they also share the experiences of exclusion and bigotry that has raised its ugly head at different times in this nation’s history.
Today, as Muslims are experiencing an ugly coordinated campaign of Islamophobia, the voices of prominent American Jews who are only too familiar with anti-Semitism and remain resolved to fighting bigotry and defamation has been a welcome source of support. We take the opportunity during our shared times of reflection, thankfulness, and renewal, to express our appreciation for these and all efforts towards increased understanding, respect, and peace.
Shana Tova and Eid Mubarak !