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Archbishop Justin sends good wishes for Yamim Nora’im

Wednesday 1st October 2014

The Archbishop of Canterbury has sent prayerful good wishes to Jewish communities in England and around the world as they observe the Days of Awe, the period of repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

In his message the Archbishop acknowledges that the past year has been hard for both Jewish and Christian communities, but says “nevertheless we both believe that the Eternal One brings renewal”.

Read Archbishop Justin’s message: 

To Jewish friends and colleagues on the occasion of Yamim Nora’im, the Days of Awe 2014/5775, 

I wish to express my most earnest and prayerful good wishes to Jewish colleagues and communities in this country and beyond, as you live through the spiritual intensity of the Aseret Yemei Teshuvah, the Ten Days of Repentance, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I know this to be a time not of frivolity, but of candid introspection - of repentance, prayer, and acts of charity and justice. Christians and others have much to learn from the seriousness and solemnity of this time, always set in a context confident of divine mercy and forgiveness.

This last year has been hard for both of our communities. I spoke earlier in the year of how unacceptable is the spike in violence and abuse against Jewish communities here in the UK. Currently Christians and others in Iraq and Syria are facing discrimination and violence on an unprecedented scale. We, together, have no scope for naïve optimism. Nevertheless, we both believe that the Eternal One brings renewal. In the year ahead, I look forward to working, in my capacity as a President of the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ), to see how our relationships at grassroots level can flourish.

One of the many moving elements of the Yom Kippur liturgy is the recitation of the Book of Jonah. He is the biblical prophet who famously gets most things wrong. Yet, by divine grace, he manages to call the surprisingly spiritually aware people of Nineveh to repentance. Here is a sign for all that the Eternal One does not give up on any of us.

May you be written and sealed for a good year and Gmar Chatimah Tovah!

Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury 



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