In the past month, the Jewish and Muslim communities have been shattered by the terrorist killings of four boys:
Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah, and Muhammed Abu Khdeir.
On Tuesday, July 15th, the Jewish and Muslim calendars are united in a day of fast:
Traditionally, the 17th of Tammuz is a fast day commemorating the breach of the walls of Jerusalem before the
destruction of the second temple, and beginning the 3 weeks leading up to the observance of Tisha B'Av. The
17th of Tammuz is a minor fast day, lasting only from dawn to dusk. The fasts of Ramadan are also dawn until dusk
fasts, done daily through the ninth month of the Islamic calendar (which this year began on the evening of June
28th). It is a holiday of sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate (APN's intern, Hamze Awadeh,
wrote about what Ramadan means to him)
For both traditions, this is a day designated for soul-searching, an opportunity for people to take responsibility,
for self-reflection, communal purification, and repentance.
Across the United States, in Israel and the West Bank, and internationally, Jews and Muslims are gathering together
to observe this day in the hope of ending the cycle of bloodshed. Although it is not an answer, it is a hopeful
gesture. We encourage you to participate in this day of reflection.