Sitting in the Peace Sukkah

It has been a busy month for Interfaith gatherings, as various communities found ways to celebrate the convergence of religious holidays among Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and to honor our connections to each other. In our area alone, this month has seen a myriad of observances:

  • A group gathered, called together by church bells, the sound of the shofar, and the Arabic chant of the Azan, the Muslim call to prayer, to share in breaking bread and sharing dates and water in breaking fast
  • Another group fasting together to remember the people of Darfur
  • Still others joining together in song from their varied religious traditions
  • People enjoying the hospitality of area mosques that opened their doors to the neighborhood

We sat in the Sukkah (a booth constructed with palm branches for roofing) at Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto as part of the Jewish festival of thanksgiving and remembrance of the wanderings in the wildnerness, Rabbi Shelly Lewis reminded us that the Sukkah is known as Sukkat Shalom, the “Booth of Peace.” Throughout this very special month, we have been reminded again and again of the spirit captured by Psalm 133:

How good and pleasant it is
When we dwell together in unity

The convergence of Ramadan and Yom Kippur which led to this rich month happens only rarely, about once in thirty years, but it will happen again next year. Here”s to another year of celebration, good food, and new friends!

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