The Muslim world is on Thursday celebrating the start of the month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from early morning to night and pray for a whole month.
Countless people around the world and Israel will consecrate the next month to the purification of the soul by avoiding food, drink, smoking, and sexual relations. In the Arab sector they point out that during Ramadan many will try to "quit lying, gossip and profanity."
The fast lasts for nearly 16 hours, starting at 3:45 AM and ending at 8 PM. On the last day thousands of children and their parents attended processions in Arab towns and handed out candy to motorists.
Most Muslim business owners tend to give discounts on food and gifts during Ramadan. Muslims will try not to yield to the extreme heat that makes fasting difficult.
Amir Asi, a lecturer and adviser on Arab affairs, said: "Ramadan is considered by some Muslims as a way to weight loss and by others it is a comprehensive insurance policy for the sins committed in the past year and the opening of a new page with God.
"Just as not all Jews fast on Yom Kippur, not all Arabs fast during Ramadan. One must remember that according to Israeli law there are no days off for Ramadan. Youths and children who do not go the mosque every day, flock to the mosques.
"A passing trend or repentance, I recommend tasting kataif, the sweet dessert favorite associated with breaking the fast," he remarked.