Daily Israel Report

Israel Seeks UN Recognition for Yom Kippur

UN recognizes Christian and Muslim holidays, but no Jewish holidays. Israel's UN mission trying to change that.
By Arutz Sheva North America
First Publish: 5/16/2014, 11:57 PM

Prayer service (illustration)
Prayer service (illustration)
Aryeh Goldberg

Israel's UN mission on Friday launched a campaign to get official UN recognition for Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, AFP reports.

The United Nations has decreed 10 official holidays, including Christmas and the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr, but there is no corresponding Jewish holiday recognized on the body's official calendar, said Israel's UN envoy Ron Prosor in a letter to his colleagues.

"On the one hand, the United Nations advances values of cooperation and engagement among nations, and on the other hand, it is prioritizing one religion over the other," Prosor wrote.

"There are three monotheistic religions, yet only two are recognized by the UN calendar. Such discrimination at the UN must end," he added, according to AFP.

The calendar of official holidays is decided by the General Assembly, which added Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, the two main Muslim holidays, to the list in 1998.

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is observed on the tenth day of the month of Tishrei, which falls each year in September or October.

The day, dedicated to fasting and prayer, marks the end of the 10 Days of Awe which start with the Jewish new year on Rosh Hashanah.

The holiday is observed by many Jews, even non-practicing ones.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)