Religious holidays commence

By Will Vail

Ramadan and the Jewish High Holy Days are underway, and many U of C students are celebrating these religious holidays. The core of the many prayers and fasts, which are a staple of both holidays, is atonement to God and self-betterment.

Ramadan is also the month in which Muslims believe the Koran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.

The Jewish High Holy Days begin with Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year, and end with Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement.

“[Ramadan] is a time of meditation but also community,” said Hasan Ali, president of the Muslim Students Association (MSA). “We have dinner together after sundown and we want to try and coordinate daily prayers.”

MSA will serve a daily Iftar, or breakfast at sundown, in the Bartlett Lounge for all who wish to participate in Ramadan. They are also participating in a Fast-a-thon Iftar dinner. On October 21, anyone who wishes to fast for a day can sign a waiver saying they will not eat or drink until nightfall. Local businesses will then donate money to the Chicago Food Pantry depending on the number fasting.

The eve of October 12 and on October 13, Yom Kippur for the Jewish community, is a day of reflection as well. The Chabad Jewish Center will be holding Yom Kippur services at the Quadrangle Club with chants led by Rabbi Yossi Brackman at 6 p.m., Wednesday, October 12 and at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, October 13. There will also be a free break fast party on October 13 at 7 p.m. at the Chabad Center.