Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon led the world body’s chief and envoys from around the world as they cast their “sins” into New York’s East River to mark Rosh Hashanah.
“As the Jewish New Year begins, the UN is also beginning a new year. We hope the UN will participate in ‘cheshbon hanefesh’ [soul-searching], an accounting of its actions of the previous year,” Danon said at the ‘tashlich’ ceremony held Friday.
The service, dating back to medieval Germany, is traditionally held next to a flowing body of water on or shortly after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and ahead of the Jewish Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur, and involves the symbolic casting off of sins, which usually take the form of bread, to be eaten by fish.
Jerusalem has been a frequent critic of the UN, which it says unfairly targets and obsesses over Israeli actions while ignoring other ills around the world.
“I would like to take this opportunity to offer my blessings to the Jewish people,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The ceremony has been held annually at the UN since 2015. Rosh Hashanah starts Sunday evening.
A statement from Danon’s office said “dozens of ambassadors and dignitaries from around the world” took part, but gave no further details.