Tag Archives: Pasadena

Pasadena celebrates the Festival of Ridvan (Paradise)

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The Bahá’í community of Pasadena will get together on Saturday, May 2nd to celebrate the annual Festival of Ridván. The event is open to the general public at the Western Justice Center, 55 S. Grand Ave.

The word “Ridván” means “Paradise.” For twelve days from April 21 to May 2, 1863, Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, resided in a garden of Baghdad that he dubbed “the Garden of Ridván”. There Bahá’u’lláh publicly proclaimed his mission as God’s messenger for this age. At the time of his proclamation, Bahá’u’lláh was an exile in Baghdad, banished from his native Persia because of his teachings.

The Festival of Ridván is celebrated by Bahá’ís throughout the world with great joy and fellowship. Bahá’u’lláh wrote of the garden, “This is the Paradise, the rustling of whose leaves proclaims: ‘O ye that inhabit the heavens and the earth! There hath appeared what hath never previously appeared. He Who, from everlasting, had concealed His face from the sight of creation is now come’.”

The Bahá’í Faith teaches the oneness of God, the oneness of religion, and the oneness of mankind. Bahá’ís believe that in every age, God sends a divine educator, a manifestation of God, whose purpose is to restate and renew the eternal truths of religion and to address the specific needs of the age in which he appears. They believe that Bahá’u’lláh is the manifestation of God, whose purpose is to restate and renew the eternal truths of religion and to address the specific needs of the age in which he appears. They believe that Bahá’u’lláh is the manifestation of God for this age in mankind’s evolution. This “spiritual springtime” as it is called in the Bahá’í writings, when the efforts of all the previous messengers of God, such as Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Christ, Muhammad, and Bahá’u’lláh’s prophet-herald, the Báb, will blossom and bear their fruit. Thus, the occurrence of the Festival of Ridván at the height of the spring season bears a special significance for Bahá’ís.

In his writings, Bahá’u’lláh promulgates the equality of men and women, the essential harmony of science and religion, the independent investigation of truth, economic justice based upon spiritual principles, the urgent need for the elimination of all forms of prejudice, universal compulsory education, and international auxiliary language, and a world government for the maintenance of a lasting peace.

Bahá’u’lláh’s exile to Baghdad was the first of several banishments that occurred until his death in 1892. Dismayed by their inability to curb Bahá’u’lláh’s continuing influence and growing Faith, Persian religious and government leaders convinced the officials of the Ottoman Empire to banish Bahá’u’lláh to Adrianople, Constantinople, and finally, to the horrendous prison city of Akka in the Holy Land. Bahá’u’lláh suffered forty years of torture, imprisonment and exile.

The World Center of the Bahá’í Faith is on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel.

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Pasadena Baha’i Naw Ruz video

Happy Baha’i New Year and 1st day of Spring!

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Speaking up for the Baha’is at Sinai Temple, Los Angeles

Thanks to a reader in Israel, I found out that Roger Cohen, author of the article “Iran, the Jews, and Germany” mentioned in a previous blog posting, would be in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 12th at Sinai Temple for “…a crucial dialogue with the Iranian Jewish community.” The Temple was about 1/3 full, with probably about 200 people there, eagerly awaiting to hear what Cohen had to say.

Mr. Cohen started the evening with an opening statement touching upon the article, “What Iran’s Jews Say” and expressed his desire to defend our right to disagree with him. In the opening statement, he also shared his story of becoming an naturalized American citizen and the first written sentence of the naturalization test was: “I want to be good American.”

I believe that Cohen’s intention is good–to foster greater understanding and unity between Iran and the US. This is desperately needed right now. He also mentioned that is far too easy to demonize a country on tragic misunderstanding and error. That is true as well. The Iranian people have been unfairly portrayed in the US media. He actuallly went to Iran to meet the people and the government–so his reporting was based on first-hand experience of what’s going on in Iran today.

The only issue I have with his columns on Iran is that they miss out on one of the biggest (unreported) stories in Iran: the persecution of the Baha’is. The Baha’is are the largest religious minority in Iran, 300,000 strong. The Baha’is of Iran cannot practice their Faith publicly, nor attend university unless they renounce their Faith, have seen their cemeteries razed, their property confiscated, and have been killed with impunity since the inception of the Faith in the 19th century. None of these details were mentioned in the articles. Mr. Cohen did acknowledge that in his trip to Iran, he did not meet or speak with any Baha’i.

Dr. Mahmoudi speaks in support of the Baha'is of Iran

Dr. Mahmoudi speaks in support of the Baha'is of Iran

After Mr. Cohen spoke, Rabbi Wolpe asked him several hard-hitting, but generally fair questions. Rabbi Wolpe then opened it up to the audience to ask Mr. Cohen his questions. There was actually another Baha’i in the audience, Dr. Mahmoudi from LA, who made a comment about the suffering of the Baha’is in Iran before my question. I did not know her before that evening. It took a while to be able to ask my question. My arm felt like it was going to fall off waiting to be called! Finally, at the last minute, Mr. Cohen was asked to pick the final questions of the night:

I asked him about the Baha’is, acknowledging him for mentioning the Baha’is, even if in passing in his article, and also pointing out that the ad-hoc leaders of the Faith are currently in prison (see previous articles in this blog), awaiting trial, with no access to their lawyer, Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, with the possibility of the death penalty. I asked him in the spirit of fairness, in his stated goal to show a more complete image of Iran in the US, “could you please write an article about the situation of the Baha’is in Iran?”

The crowd clapped at this suggestion and several people called out to him to see if he would answer my question. He said that hasn’t written about the Baha’is in Iran and was unsure if he would write about them in the future. Several members of the crowd approached me afterwards thanking me for asking Cohen the question.

Thank goodness the Jewish Journal recorded the entire program, inclusive of all questions. Click here to watch it. Running time is about 1 hr 30 minutes. I ask my question at 1 hr 22 minutes. I am not seen, only a disembodied voice.

I also left a comment on the Jewish Journal page, thanking all participants for having this dialogue. I feel bad because I misspelled Rabbi Wolpe’s name. Sorry, Rabbi!

Before the program started, I was interviewed by a Jewish TV Channel, which unfortunately, I didn’t get the name of or the possible air date. If anyone out there can reply with that info, that would be greatly appreciated.

Your Correspondent,
Al Cadena

Pasadena Baha’is prepare for the Fast

istock_000006546852xsmall1Monday, March 2, the Bahá’ís of Pasadena, California will join five million Bahá’ís worldwide in their annual period of fasting. For nineteen days each year, March second through March twentieth, Bahá’ís abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. Before dawn, families awaken to pray together and have their morning meal. The obligation of fasting begins at age fifteen and continues until the age of seventy. 

 Like Lent in Christianity and Ramadan in Islam, the Bahá’í Fast is essentially a period of meditation and prayer when the individual reflects on his or her own spiritual life. It symbolizes the importance of detachment and self-restraint and is used as spiritual preparation for the Bahá’í new year which begins March twenty-first:  http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-7-2.html

The Bahá’í Faith, the second most widely spread religion in the world after Christianity, has more than five million members world wide of whom 142,000 reside in the United States:  www.bahai.org

Sunrise/Sunset times for March

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1

Sunrise: 6:21am
Sunset: 5:48pm
2

Sunrise: 6:20am
Sunset: 5:49pm
3

Sunrise: 6:19am
Sunset: 5:50pm
4

Sunrise: 6:18am
Sunset: 5:51pm
5

Sunrise: 6:16am
Sunset: 5:51pm
6

Sunrise: 6:15am
Sunset: 5:52pm
7

Sunrise: 6:14am
Sunset: 5:53pm
8 DST Begins


Sunrise: 7:12am
Sunset: 6:54pm

9

Sunrise: 7:11am
Sunset: 6:55pm
10

Sunrise: 7:10am
Sunset: 6:56pm
11

Sunrise: 7:09am
Sunset: 6:56pm
12

Sunrise: 7:07am
Sunset: 6:57pm
13

Sunrise: 7:06am
Sunset: 6:58pm
14

Sunrise: 7:05am
Sunset: 6:59pm
15

Sunrise: 7:03am
Sunset: 7:00pm
16

Sunrise: 7:02am
Sunset: 7:00pm
17

Sunrise: 7:00am
Sunset: 7:01pm
18

Sunrise: 6:59am
Sunset: 7:02pm
19

Sunrise: 6:58am
Sunset: 7:03pm
20

Sunrise: 6:56am
Sunset: 7:03pm
21

Sunrise: 6:55am
Sunset: 7:04pm
22

Sunrise: 6:54am
Sunset: 7:05pm
23

Sunrise: 6:52am
Sunset: 7:06pm
24

Sunrise: 6:51am
Sunset: 7:06pm
25

Sunrise: 6:50am
Sunset: 7:07pm
26

Sunrise: 6:48am
Sunset: 7:08pm
27

Sunrise: 6:47am
Sunset: 7:09pm
28

Sunrise: 6:45am
Sunset: 7:10pm
29

Sunrise: 6:44am
Sunset: 7:10pm
30

Sunrise: 6:43am
Sunset: 7:11pm
31

Sunrise: 6:41am
Sunset: 7:12pm
       

 

 

 

Ayyam-i-Ha video

Ayyam-i-Ha

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Happy Ayyam-i-Ha!

Social Time

Social Time

The Pasadena Baha’i Community held their annual Ayyam-i-Ha celebration at the Western Justice Center on Saturday, February 28th from 6-9pm.

What’s Ayyam-i-Ha?  It’s the Days Outside of Time in the Baha’i calendar (Feb 26-Mar 1).  Traditionally a time of celebration, service, charity, and gift giving:  http://tinyurl.com/bhowht

Tonight’s celebration included a potluck dinner and gifts:  you had to bring a gift for $5 or less to give to someone else there. 

Performing tonight was Eric Harper.  Nura Creitz helped out on “Falling Slowly,” song from the movie “Once.”

Nura and Eric

Nura and Eric

Thanks for your kind thoughts and prayers!

Flowers and Candles

In response the situation of the seven falsely imprisoned Baha’is in Iran (read: http://iran.bahai.us), we held a devotional gathering to say prayers for their well-being on Thursday, February 19th at the Western Justice Center.  4o were in attendance.  Program was:

It was a deeply spiritual atmosphere.  I wish you could have been there!