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September 1st, 2010
11:04 PM ET

At Arab/Israeli dinner, Obama invokes Islam and Judaism

[cnn-video url= http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2010/09/01/sot.obama.middle.east.talks.cnn%5D

Before his working dinner with Israeli and Arab leaders Wednesday night, President Obama invoked his guests' respective religions:

For Muslims, this is Ramadan. For Jews, this is Elul. It is rare for those two months to coincide. But this year, tonight, they do. Different faiths, different rituals, but a shared period of devotion —- and contemplation.

A time to reflect on right and wrong; a time to ponder one’s place in the world; a time when the people of two great religions remind the world of a truth that is both simple and profound, that each of us, all of us, in our hearts and in our lives, are capable of great and lasting change.

Ramadan is the Muslim holy month of fasting.

Elul is considered a holy month in the Jewish calendar because it includes precedes Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, and Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Islam • Israel • Judaism • Politics

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Adesina vitrus

    All President Obama is doing is to bring back the lost Glory of USA in the internatnal Arena and to have his country secured. If u an American and u ar not supportive this, it means u don't know what u ar doing.he. Has made a difference.

    September 11, 2010 at 3:11 am |
  2. Iqbal khan

    Now compare the call for prayer with other Religeons

    September 6, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  3. Iqbal khan

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vF9xQyXzD4&w=640&h=360]

    September 6, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  4. Joseph Kakar

    Obama is doing the best and honest job for our country as well as the world . For eight years our image as down around the world.. where were the tea party then ? Just look now how much Obama made the different. Use your common sense not party affiliation.

    September 5, 2010 at 5:32 am |
  5. Joseph Kakar

    Please, do not blaim religion for it . It is the people using religion as an excuse. Stoning women In iran is NOT Islam Teaching it is the regim of Iran. majority of Islam is against that. Burning Quran and call it Islam a religion Of Devil by cheristian minister is not Christianity it is the work of one idiate in the name of christianty. And the list goes on.

    " Remember Ignorant blids people Not religion"

    September 5, 2010 at 5:24 am |
  6. Ferdinand of Castille

    This president will go down in history as the most short sighted of all American presidents. He is after all a security threat to his own country.

    September 5, 2010 at 5:01 am |
  7. Kaafi

    @Brett Favre's Fan

    they will be invited when they become religious lol, 1 more incentive for you to come out of the "closet"

    September 4, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  8. Robert Kell

    Pres. Barack Obama's Mother is a DUNHAM very old American family 1633 Boston ; Has your family longer than that ? Or did
    they imigrate after 1776 When the fighting was over!!!!! I like it when new bee's like to run off at the mouth; About real
    American;s Ones who where their for the real tea party ; not some one blowing hot AIR.

    September 3, 2010 at 11:40 am |
    • BALDWIN203

      Well said!

      September 3, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  9. Reality

    And taxpayers paid for feeding the leaders of two defunct religions? Send them a bill and include the billions we are spending to keep the followers of said religions from killing each other 24/7. #1 on the Significantly Stupid List that US taxpayers continue to pay for.

    September 2, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
    • DI

      Ouch! Quite the ignoramus, aren't we?

      September 2, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
  10. Frogist

    Uh oh... let's see if they start thinking he's a jew now....

    September 2, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  11. Brett Favre's Fan (a.k.a. ybs)

    When will Obama invite atheists and agnostics to the WH?

    With the abundance of religious love & compassion, atheists are considered the most distrusted group!

    Aren't religions one big pile of dung? 🙂

    September 2, 2010 at 7:39 am |
  12. AGA

    http://www.whyislam.org

    Please visit this site to gain a better understanding of what Islam really is.

    Cheers! 🙂

    September 2, 2010 at 12:53 am |
    • fwat

      @AGA

      Please visit your buff to gain a better understanding of where your head is

      September 2, 2010 at 11:24 am |
    • AGA

      Buff?

      September 2, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  13. David Greenberg

    The month of Elul does NOT include Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.

    Those are both in the month of Tishrei.

    September 2, 2010 at 12:39 am |
    • Kate

      Wow – someone must have thumped the copyeditor with a clue-by-four really fast, they edited 🙂

      September 2, 2010 at 12:57 am |
  14. Jeem

    "inv0ked" makes me think of magic spells. Had the President actually used that word, I would have expected a seance to be on the menu as well, unless the word was used in a more literary fashion. I can only shrug at seeing it in the tItle.

    President Obama is my favorite President out of all the ones I've seen on TV.
    I see nothing wrong with him being polite at all – it is one of the reasons I voted for him. He's doing his job.

    September 2, 2010 at 12:04 am |
  15. Jeem

    "invoked" makes me think of magic spells. Had the President actually used that word, I would have expected a seance to be on the menu as well, unless the word was used in a more literary fashion.

    President Obama is my favorite President out of all the ones I've seen on TV.
    I see nothing wrong with him being polite at all – it is one of the reasons I voted for him. He's doing his job.

    September 2, 2010 at 12:00 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.