Rosh Hashanah And Ramadan

Q. My U.S. calendar shows these two days both occurring on September 13th this year. Has it happened before that the two have fallen on the same day? Do you see any significance in this? I read that Muslims look for the return of their Messiah, if you will, on Ramadan. Is that your understanding as well?

Thank you so much for your dedication to spreading the Word.

A. Oddly enough it has happened every year for the past 3 years but not for several decades before that. Both Jews and Moslems follow a lunar calendar, which is shorter than ours, but apparently correct differently for the extra days in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The purpose of Ramadan is to commemorate the date when Moslems believe that Gabriel gave the Koran to Mohamed. Some Moslems believe that al Mahdi was born on that day as well.

When Yom Kippur (which comes 10 days after Rosh Hashanah) and Ramadan overlapped in 1973 the Arabs attacked Israel and caught them by surprise, almost defeating them, even though both holidays prohibit undertaking an act of war on their occurrence. The Arab goal was to cause Israel to surrender lands Israel had won during the 6 day was of 1967, but instead the Jews ended up with even more land.

Israel later admitted to being in an uncharacteristic state of unpreparedness. Some believe they’re in a similar position today. Now it’s not that they aren’t expecting an attack, which was the case then, but that perhaps they aren’t strong enough to repel one of the magnitude mounted by Syria and Egypt in 1973.

Whether an Arab attack will come this month or not is any body’s guess. But every one agrees that it’s not a matter of if but when, and the odds are that some kind of flare up will happen before year’s end.

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