Observing Ramadan is more than daytime fasting and nighttime feasting
Below I’ll talk about extremists, but most Muslims are not. Do you want proof? Last Friday, 130,000 prayed at the Temple Mount without a single act of violence. Yes, a few hundred (only) shouted support for terrorism but clearly, they are exceptions confirming the rule: As with all religions, Islam comes to perfect a person’s mentality, especially during Ramadan.
Ramadan is a time to repent. It’s a time to recommit to subjugation to G^d. It demands not just abstinence from food, drinks, and sex but also refraining from smoking, cursing, and displaying anger. It’s holy. Although I’ve heard repeatedly that Muslims also fast on Yom Kippur, Ramadan very much looks like 30 half days of Yom Kippur and 30+ half days of Festivals.
Ramadan is an opportunity to develop qualities such as tenacity, discipline, endurance, and self-control. Its fasting strengthens a sense of connection and empathy. Fasters are encouraged to be considerate and merciful, especially to those less fortunate. And more.
I often have asked Muslim bus drivers: What is harder on you? The not eating, the not drinking, the nightly eating, the high sugar intake of the festive foods, or the hardly sleeping? All of them said: The lack of sleep.
I’m thirty years in Israel. That is 30 Ramadan months. I distinctly remember that terror groups tried to get in a few more murders of Jews before the holy month of introspection and renewal of their souls. If anger is forbidden, how to murder? That awareness went missing recently.
Ramadan seems to have changed. Now it appears to stand for pride and ‘resistance.’ Terror enhances nationalism and pride. In Israel, it became the ideal time to do whatever makes you feel good. From shooting rockets at Jewish cities (a war crime) to drive-by shootings to stabbing attacks.
When one dies trying to murder Jews one becomes holy. What better time to become a ‘holy martyr’ than in the holiest month of the year?
NB: No woman was ever violated because of how she dressed, and no Jew was ever murdered because he ‘provoked’ Antisemites. Jew-haters are happy to adorn their genocidal acts with banners of pretexts, but the real reason has nothing to do with the time of the year or the political current. It’s a millennia-old hatred that stays fresh forever. That it is unbecoming to Muslims and disgraces Islam seems to escape the perpetrators.
I wish Muslims in and around Israel a happy Ramadan, and that soon, 80% will be as respectful and protective of Jews as 80% of Germans now.