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‘We are one family’: Lapid appeals for unity in Rosh Hashanah message to world Jewry

PM says he hopes Jews will remember ‘we are one people, with one shared story, with one shared home’ as Israeli leaders send new year’s greetings

Prime Minister Yair Lapid raises a glass in toast as he leads a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on September 18, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid raises a glass in toast as he leads a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on September 18, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

With a call for unity, Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Sunday wished Jews worldwide a happy Rosh Hashanah.

“My hope for the Jewish people this year is that we remember we are one family,” Lapid said in an English-language video statement hours before the start of the festival on Sunday evening.

“It does not matter Orthodox, secular, reform or conservative. It does not matter which synagogue you pray in, or if you pray at all. It does not matter where you were born or what language you speak,” the premier continued. “We are one people, with one shared story, with one shared home.”

Lapid urged Jews to focus on what they have in common and to deliberate their differences amicably.

“That’s what a family does,” he added.

“This year, let’s write the next chapter of our story, a chapter of unity,” he said, wishing Jews a happy new year on behalf of the Israeli government.

Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who Lapid succeeded as premier after their power-sharing coalition collapsed in June, hit on a similar theme in his new year’s greetings.

“I wish my beloved people of Israel a safe and calm year, a year in which we’ll know to live together, even if we do not always agree, because all of us are one family,” Bennett said in a statement.

President Isaac Herzog said Rosh Hashanah was a time for change, reflection and for looking ahead at how best to improve oneself in the coming year.

“It demands we deepen our attention and even more so, our intention, to replace bitterness with sweetness,” he said in an English video statement.

Herzog echoed Lapid and Bennett by appealing for unity.

“We rise and fall together as a people. Let us, therefore, commit to be inscribed in the Book of Life together,” he said.

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu released a more humorous statement in Hebrew Saturday night, making a “personal” appeal in which he wished a happy new year to various people, poked fun at his political critics and quipped about his penchant for pistachios, before imploring voters to back his right-religious bloc in the November 1 elections.

This Rosh Hashanah, which will usher in the Hebrew year 5783 and kick off the High Holiday season, begins Sunday evening and runs through Tuesday evening.

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