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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

27 August - 24 September: Elul-Ramadan

Ramadan according to the Hebrew calendar commences during the month of Elul.

The beginning of the fast is from 27 August to 24 September.

Ramadan begins the fast just before the dawn prayer known as the Fajr prayer and ends at sunset.

Sunset 24 September to Sunset 25 September is The Night of Power and Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets). On this night, a banquet or feast can be held to mark the end of Ramadan. The Holy Quran came down from heaven on this night to judge mankind.

The month of Elul is preparatory to the day of Judgement facing each of us on Rosh Hashanah. This day all mankind is judged for their sins during the year. Fasting before the time of Judgement is a means to expiate sins earning God's favour for a good year ahead.

Deeds are weighed in the balance. The book of deeds accompanied each person called The Record is opened up on the Day of Trumpets along with the weighing scales. Those whose deeds show righteousness will receive a good year after Rosh Hashanah. Those whose deeds are evenly matched will wait till the Day of Atonement for Judgement. Those who have done evil in the year, whose deeds are more evil than good, will have a bad year the following year. According to the traditions of Judaism.

Ramadan according to Islamic reckoning is here and provides an opportunity to fast along with the Muslims, since fasting is a means to gain repentance, forgiveness and God's favour.

9th Av Fast Day

This Jewish fast day is coming up in August. Commencing the 5th of August from sunset the previous evening. This day commemorates the day the first and second Temple was destroyed. No food or drink, marital relations or bathing in water may be done according to Judaism.

This is another fast day we should endeavour to observe.

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