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Spritual life: Join us in prayer for good New Year

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 September 2018

Archant

Next Monday will be Rosh Hashanah, when Jews throughout the world will welcome in our new year 5,779.

For us, New Year is not an occasion for wild, raucous and drunken celebration. There will be no fireworks.

On the contrary, Rosh Hashanah is quite a serious, even a solemn, festival, as families gather together in synagogue to pray and to think over the events of the past year and to hope that the next year will bring health, prosperity and peace to us and to the world.

Jews are often perceived as an insular and inward-looking religious community – not surprising in view of the torrents of insult and abuse directed against us, both in the past and today.

But this view is not correct. As we hear the repeated strident calls of the ram’s horn on Rosh Hashanah, we affirm God as Creator and Sustainer of all the world and its inhabitants. We dream of that future day, foretold by our prophets, when all nations and peoples will acknowledge God’s sovereignty and justice.

In our synagogues we will join in reciting a familiar prayer, composed for Rosh Hashanah way back in the 4th century:

‘We trust in You, O God, and hope soon to witness the glory of Your power - when false gods will vanish from the earth and all idolatry will cease. Help us to perfect the world by bringing it under Your rule, when all men and women will call upon Your name, abandon evil and turn back to You alone.’

Please wish your Jewish friends, neighbours and colleagues a good New Year and join us in this heartfelt prayer.

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