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Archbishop sends greetings and prayers on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah 2011

Wednesday 28th September 2011

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has sent a greeting to Jewish communities on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah, marking the start of the Jewish New Year.

The full text of the greeting follows, or click the download on the right to view it in pdf form.


To Jewish friends and fellow workers on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah 2011

I am delighted to send my greetings and prayers as you celebrate Rosh Hashanah.  You will be praying ‘May it be Your will…’ over the honey, apples, dates and challah, and I join you in asking from the Almighty prosperous and joyful times ahead.

Such prayers are deeply felt.  The challenges facing Jewish communities, in the UK and elsewhere, do not grow less as the years go by.  Some of these are pressures that we all feel as we face the continuing impact of economic crisis.  Some are felt very acutely by Jewish people: the changes engulfing the Arab world will undoubtedly bring fresh concerns – as well, we hope, as opportunities.  We continue too to share deep anxieties about anti-Semitic language and behaviour and about all situations where such attitudes are tolerated or encouraged.  

In July this year, the Archbishop of Westminster and myself hosted a conference at Lambeth Palace on the position of Christians in the Holy Land.  I am most grateful to leading members of the Jewish community in Britain as well as friends from Israel who attended this event, contributed in robust, moving and effective ways to our discussions, and stayed throughout a long and emotionally intense meeting to ensure that all voices were heard and respected in the exchanges that took place.  We were all conscious of how the ongoing violence and tension hurt all the peoples of the Land, Jews and others, and the event renewed our energy in praying earnestly and daily for a future of justice and security for all without exception.  It was an occasion when Jews, Christians, Muslims and others joined in seeking sh’lom Yerushalayim, and the peace and stability of the region and the world.

I wish you a very happy new year, and every blessing as you continue the pilgrimage through the High Holy Days towards the Day of Atonement.  May the Almighty keep us in fellowship and shared joy in his promises.

+Rowan Cantuar:

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