Ramadan Rabbi's fast progress

July 31, 2014

Orthodox Rabbi Natan Levy's decision to fast for Ramadan as a gesture of understanding towards Muslims attracted TV attention as it came to an end this week.

Braving detractors who said he was naïve and the odd call for his excommunication, the Board of Deputies' interfaith consultant reckoned that approval outweighed criticism by 70:30.

While the shadow of the Gaza conflict hung over his initiative, people were all the more deeply moved by it as a result, he felt.

"It gave me a lot of hope in the power of Jews and Muslims to sit and speak together," he said. "I was invited into people's homes in a way I had never been before. It showed Muslims that we thought of them through their religious practices and not just what we see in the media."

He admits to "missing the rigour" of the daily fast. But he need not experience withdrawal altogether - because it's Tishah b'Av next week.

Last updated: 1:15pm, July 31 2014