In a rare convergence of both Jewish and Muslim calendar, October 3rd at sundown is the start of the Jewish New Year 5766 and the beginning of a 10 day period of contemplation, self-examination, purification, celebration and fasting.
October 4th also at sundown will mark the beginning of the month of Ramadan, also a month of fasting, reflection and spiritual self evaluation for Muslims.
With this two Abrahamic faith observing their holy month in October, wouldn't it be a great gesture if the goverment of Malaysia can build the bridge of friendship by extending to the global Jewish communities their best wishes for a new year?
Incidentally, October 4th is also the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi the author of "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy"
Holidays begin for Jews, Muslims
At sundown Monday night, Jews in Corvallis and around the world will begin to observe the High Holy Days, a 10-day period of reflection and repentance.
In a rare coincidence, Islam's observance of Ramadan also begins this week. The two world religions' sacred holidays don't often overlap, but Muslims are to begin their month-long fast with the sighting of the new moon on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
The Jewish High Holy Days begin with an Erev Rosh Hashanah service at 7:30 p.m. Monday and concludes with Yom Kippur celebrations in mid-October.
During this most holy time of year on the Jewish calendar, Jews take a personal inventory of their attitudes and actions in the past year and try to make restitution. After a day of prayer and fasting on Oct. 12, Yom Kippur brings an opportunity to ask God's forgiveness for sins and start the new year with a clean slate.
The final Yom Kippur service at 5 p.m. Oct. 13 ends with the traditional blowing of the shofar, a ram's horn, and then a "break-the-fast" meal is served for all.
"In most synagogues, including ours, anybody who has a shofar is asked to bring it," said Amy Buccola, vice-president of the local Jewish community. "During a few significant moments all of them are blown together, which creates a very powerful effect."