"God's October Surprise" Brings Holidays, Faiths Together

October 4, 2005

Source: The Sacramento Bee


On October 4, 2005 The Sacramento Bee reported, "Today is the first day of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. It is also the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan [in the United States]... Because the two faiths follow different calendars, the sacred months seldom coincide. The last time it occurred was more than three decades ago. For many local religious leaders, the moment seems ripe with possibility to mend frayed ties between the two communities. Halfway across the world, news reports describe daily losses of Palestinian and Israeli lives. Local leaders say starting a dialogue this month may be the antidote... David Wechsler-Azen, a rabbi at Congregation Beth Shalom in Carmichael, is one of a number of people calling the coinciding of holy days 'God's October surprise.' He is supporting a coalition of religious groups known as 'The Tent of Abraham, Hagar and Sarah' in calling for a national day of fasting and reconciliation for people of all faiths Oct. 13... Wechsler-Azen and others are asking people to fast together and to donate the money they save on food to help hungry children."