Ramadan and Tisha B’Av
I started eating last night [28 July / 9 Ramadan / 9 Av ] right as my Jewish colleagues, here in my summer workshop in the US, started fasting – an amusing reversal of situation as in the past few days when I was having my iftar after sunset as my friends were finishing their dinner. We joked about it a bit, I taunted one with cherry tomatoes. We exchanged tips about fasting. (“drink plenty of water!”. Okay, nothing novel there, sorry.)
Tonight, religious Muslims and Jewish colleagues are breaking their fast together.
No, it’s not an “interfaith ceremony” and there will be no speeches or sermons. Just take-out food.
And I’m not making a grand “why can’t we all just get along” point here. Nor is this a statement on the fact that fasting is not meant to just make you hungry so you can binge eat after sunset, not to make you mourn about a destroyed building, but give you the opportunity to think and reflect on what who you are, what you do, and how you can become a better person and consequently make the world a slightly better place (though it is).
It’s just dinner. Simply goes to say that normal people can share food and a good laugh, and perhaps understand one another a bit better when they start thinking and listening.
Wishing you all an accepted, easy, and meaningful fast.
[Thanks to Nadia El-Awady and Barry Leff for the inspiration.]