JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli leaders offered Rosh Hashanah greetings to Jews around the world.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a message released Sunday as both a letter and a YouTube video called the Jewish New Year “a time for celebration, a time for reflection.”
He noted that the holiday come this year just after the death of statesman and former Israeli president Shimon Peres. “And I think Shimon would want us to celebrate Rosh Hashanah this year by looking back with pride and looking forward with hope,” Netanyahu said.
“On this Rosh Hashanah, I ask Jews around the world to remain hopeful and continue pursuing justice and truth. This is the story of the Jewish people. This is the story of the State of Israel.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also released a holiday greeting Sunday as both a letter and a YouTube video.
Rivlin said that Israel faces the difficult challenge: to “strengthen the bond between Israel and the Diaspora – especially the younger generation.”
In a message directly to young Jews around the world, Rivlin said: “Do not take Israel for granted, do not forget that our destinies are tied together.”
“You hear arguments about religion, between right and left, and you see the conflict that has been forced on us with our neighbors and feel you have no voice. I say to you, this year, come to Israel and visit, come to Israel and learn, Israel is a strong democracy, come and hear and be heard. Because we are one people, and have a duty to each other.”
Rivlin also said that the country faces the challenge of “how to build bridges between all the different communities in Israel; religious, secular, Jewish, and Arab. We must build together a shared hope for Israel for our shared future in this land”.
He concluded, “as President of Israel this shared hope is at the top of my agenda, and I see you all as important partners in this mission.”