Boulder Jews and Muslims Celebrate Convergence of Holy Days, Common Ties

October 13, 2005

Source: The Denver Post

On October 13, 2005 The Denver Post reported, "For a service celebrating the second day of the Jewish New Year, it was an unusual choice of music: a Sufi Muslim chant with lyrics in Hebrew and Arabic: 'Allah Hu Allah la illah ha il Allah Elohim Echad Elohim Gadol.' Roughly translated, Jews and Muslims could agree on this one critical point: There is one God, and he is great. This scene last week at Boulder's Pardes Levavot, a Jewish Renewal congregation, recognized an unusual convergence: For the first time in 33 years, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the Jewish High Holy Days have collided on the calendar. A Philadelphia rabbi, Arthur Waskow, is promoting it as 'God's October Surprise,' an opportunity to find peace and reconciliation. In Boulder, there was one hitch: The Muslim imam who had promised to attend canceled at the last minute because his newborn was ill, and none of his congregants showed. The notion of bringing together people of two faiths often at odds remains a challenge. But in Colorado, much progress has been made, including through new dialogue groups exploring common threads, members of both communities say... At Pardes Levavot, another attempt at realizing God's October Surprise will unfold tonight. The hope is that Jews breaking their Yom Kippur fast will be joined by Muslims breaking their daily Ramadan fast."