Goodwill message for our Jewish communities celebrating their New Year

Our six bishops have sent greetings and goodwill to the Jewish community in our region to mark Rosh Hashanah, which begins at sunset this coming Sunday.

Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of the Jewish New Year and also marks the traditional anniversary of God’s creation of Adam and Eve.

Rams horn trumpets are sounded and special liturgies recited, plus the eating of festive delicacies such as apples dipped in honey, which symbolize a sweet future.

The bishops’ message is as follows:

We send our warmest greetings and good wishes on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah.

Every new year prompts us both to reflect on the year that has passed, and to look forward to the year ahead. The past year has seen huge challenges facing Jewish communities both in the UK and worldwide. We are deeply concerned by the documented rise in anti-Semitic language and behaviour. For this reason we were glad this year to host meetings of Jewish and Christian leaders from across the Anglican Diocese of Leeds to confirm our commitment to opposing such attitudes. We have also welcomed the contribution of the Council of Christians and Jews towards training our clergy in building good relations between our two faiths.

Looking to the year ahead there is much to hope and to work for. In February the Diocese will be bringing an interfaith delegation to visit the Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre, based at the University of Huddersfield.  We look forward to strengthening the already deep bonds of friendship and solidarity between the Jewish community and the Diocese.

This Rosh Hashanah, as you pray Prayers of Blessing over the honey, apples, dates and challah, may we assure you of our prayers for peace and blessing for you all.

Shanah Tovah!

Bishop Nick Baines

Bishop Jonathan Gibbs

Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley

Bishop Toby Howarth

Bishop Tony Robinson

Bishop Paul Slater

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