Monday, September 13, 2010

The Night Before EidHashanah

After my long self-indulgent post last week, I needed a break.  It's hard work being so self-revealing, peeps!  Anyway, since my days off coincided with the end of Ramadan, I decided to take a religious holiday and celebrate Eid.  For a week.  And then, since Eid also coincided with the Jewish New Year, I decided to honor my (three) Jewish friends and celebrate Rosh Hashanah with them too.  And THEN the 9 year mark of 9/11 was fast approaching right alongside the holiest days of the year for Muslims and Jews and I just thought that I had had ENOUGH of hate and fear and sadness and suspicion.  I know that most of you feel the same way.  

So in the spirit of interfaith love and peace and good humor, my friends and I coined the term EidHashanah - it's a mashup of faiths and a mega dose of fun, and it's sweeping the nation, nay, the WORLD with it's feel-good cheer and massive doses of sugary sweets (I totally made that last part up.  But really, EidHashanah theoretically could take over the world...I mean between Jews and Muslims we've got a nice slice of the Earth's population covered.  I think.  I actually have no idea about that part either). 

And then I wrote a poem about it. 

The Night Before EidHashanah

'Twas the night before EidHashanah, and throughout the land
People of all faiths had thoughts of Park 51 on hand.
The Muslims were thankful for a small gift from heaven
When it was said that Eid would not coincide with 9/11.
Their Jewish cousins decided to start the year off right
As they sat down for challah and honey cakes that night.
While the Good Christians of the world, so innocent and sweet
Wondered why there were so many sales going on for Kosher meat.

When down from Florida there arose such a great rumbling
And rumors of hatred, bigotry and book burning.
“Oh me, Oh my,” cried the Muslims with such woe,
“Why do our fellow Americans hate us so?
A shameful act of hate and we’ve all been painted with the same brush
By oddly-named people such as Newt, Beck and Rush.
We are not the people who flew those planes,
We don’t share their faith - we are not the same.”

But the clamor did not end, while the ignorance grew,
And so the Muslims asked their cousins the Jews,
“Fellow Sons of Abraham, during this holy time for us and you,
Let us come together - oh what can we do?
We hope you can help because we read that it’s true
There’s a Gallup poll that says some Americans hate you too!*
Aren’t you fed up with the ignorance and suspicion?
Wouldn’t you just love to shofar some sense into them?”

Don't mess with the shofar!  Unless you want to get "rammed". 
(insert obligatory groan here)

“Little cousins,” the Jews replied, oh so grave,
“You are so quick to anger, that is no way to behave.
Remember patience is wise even if it is less bold
Take it from us, we’re over five thousand years old!
EidHashanah is a time of introspection and peace
We can use these examples to show people, to teach
Show them peace, teach them to love one and all
Teach them how to make some delicious matzoh balls.”

“It’s true!” the Muslims exclaimed with glee,
“We can show them that we are one big family!
Let them look beyond the veil, let them see us for who we are,
What we need are some big names, some really big stars!
We’ll call upon Muhammad Ali, Olajuwon and Jabbar
Don’t forget Dave Chappelle and Mos Def but that’s not all,
We hope that will impress them - it really really should,
But if not we’ll tell them we’ve got half of Bollywood!”

Babes in Burqas. The Centerfold. Oh yeah.
We’re just like the rest of you - out there in the world,
We have hopes and dreams and stories to be told.
We might wear hijabs and our men might have beards
But we’re not evil people, you have nothing to fear.
So what if we don’t have friends in  high places,
We’ve got lots of oil to fuel your NASCAR races!
Let’s call an end to all this anti-Islam sentiment
At least for a couple of about until Lent?
It’s the perfect time for Muslims, you see
Because Filet-o-Fishes are buy one get one free!**

Happiness is Kosher, it’s great, it’s Halal
It’s free for you and me, for one and for all.
And so we say to those Park 51 haters,
Those attention-grabbing gutless faith-breakers
Those who can’t stand to share this land with me or you,
Whether you’re a different color, or a Muslim or a Jew,
We say feh to all those schmucks and tuchus-hats
Who can’t tell a blintz from a baklava or a kippah from a ballcap. 

Remember we are one family, we don’t want to fight
So Shana Tova Mubarak to all, and to all a Good Night!

* - reference to the Gallup Poll (mentioned in the third paragraph of this article) which found that Americans’ bias against Muslims and Jews are linked.
** - Muslims follow Halal dietary restrictions, which limits the food they can eat.  Notably, fish is exempt from these rules, so whenever fish goes on sale it’s like a Muslim seafood bonanaza - and of course it’s very funny that the one time during the year we can stock up on fish happens during Lent.
*** - This poem (epistle, masterpiece, whatever.  I can be modest) has been Kosher Certified by Officially Kosher People (two Jewish friends).  We hope that you enjoy it in the spirit in which it was written.

I would be beyond thrilled if you should choose to share this post; all I ask is that you please link to my blog and/or this original post. More traffic for me = Happy Mahreen + Good Karma for you.  Happy EidHashanah, friends!
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