In Ancient Israeli City, an Arab-Jewish Drive to Keep Yom Kippur Peace

By Mitnick, Joshua | The Christian Science Monitor, October 3, 2014 | Go to article overview

In Ancient Israeli City, an Arab-Jewish Drive to Keep Yom Kippur Peace


Mitnick, Joshua, The Christian Science Monitor


Facing an auditorium full of fidgeting junior high school students, the odd couple offered the traditional Jewish High Holy Day blessing that the students be "inscribed in the book of life" for the coming year.

"You should have an easy fast," said Sheikh Samir Assi, chief Imam of the Al Jazaaar mosque in Acre's Old City, who was preparing this week for Eid al-Adha. This year the Muslim festival starts at the same time as the fasting day of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

The sheikh had been preceded by a sermon on forgiveness and spiritual stock-taking by Yosef Yashar, the chief rabbi of this ancient Mediterranean port in northern Israel called Akko in Hebrew and Akka in Arabic.

The clerics' joint appearance was arranged because the rare serendipity of spiritual cycles is putting the civic fabric of Acre and other mixed Jewish-Arab cities in Israel - already strained by the conflict in the Gaza Strip this summer - to the test over the coming day.

Starting Friday evening, Jews will mark the holiest day of the year with prayer and abstinence while their Muslim neighbors will be doing the exact opposite with Eid al-Adha's custom of feasts and family visits.

Rabbi Yashar and Sheikh Assi have been visiting both Arab and Jewish school groups this past week with an earnest appeal for religious tolerance and mutual respect. The ecumenical outreach is part of a preemptive city-wide campaign aimed at avoiding a recurrence of Acre's troubled recent past.

In 2008, tensions during the solemn Yom Kippur observance sparked a week of rioting between Jews and Arabs. Fearing that the once-in- 30-years syncing of sacred holidays could spur a repeat, Acre officials embarked on a multi-pronged campaign of informational outreach, sermons, and security deployments.

"At the time that Jews should be in synagogue and praying, they [Muslims] are celebrating. [The holidays] are totally opposite,'' said Ohad Segev, director general of the Acre Municipality, which counts 28 percent of the city's population as Arab. "The whole big deal is 25 hours that we need to keep things quiet."

On Yom Kippur, a day of prayer, introspection, and asking for forgiveness, most residents of Jewish towns don't drive and shops are shuttered, and the religiously observant fast for just over a full day. During the four-day festival of Eid al-Adha, or Feast of the Sacrifice - marking Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son - traditions involve family visiting and holiday barbecues.

"Just the smell of barbecue is enough to drive you crazy,'' says Yossi Aboutbul, who lives in a mixed neighborhood of villas that was engulfed by fighting six years ago.

Threat to city's image, and to tourism Accounts differ about just what started the 2008 riots, but what everyone here seems to agree on is that a group of Jews first attacked an Arab who had driven into their neighborhood. Arab family members came within hours and attacked Jewish cars.

There's a lot at stake for Acre: Beyond any further damage to the image of coexistence it wants to project to the country, ethnic violence would jeopardize tourism and an annual fall theater festival that draws thousands of Israelis to the city and is itself a symbol of that coexistence.

Though it's been calm since the 2008 riots, relations between Arabs and Jews in Israel have been soured by the Gaza war and the murder of a Palestinian teen from Jerusalem, an act of vigilante revenge for the killing of three Jewish teens in the West Bank. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

In Ancient Israeli City, an Arab-Jewish Drive to Keep Yom Kippur Peace
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.