Sunday, September 16, 2012

Erev Rosh Hashanah

As we look forward to the beginning of our Jewish New Year and the evening service for Erev Rosh Hashanah at Congregation Adas Emuno, what better way to begin than with a greeting from the President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres:

And here now is the extended text of his New Year's wishes to Jewish communities worldwide, as published in

As we stand poised on the threshold of the New Year, it is my distinct pleasure to convey my heartfelt good wishes to all the Jewish communities around the world, in my name and on behalf of your brethren in Israel, eager to embark upon another year with hope and optimism. 
As a small country with so very few natural resources, we are doubly proud of the human resources that Israel has generated and that represent the most valuable capital to which a country can aspire. 

From our soil have emerged Nobel Prize laureates and the spirit of innovation, creativity and daring. These achievements have put us at the forefront of scientific and technological advances and inspired our designation as a 'start-up nation.' We cope with issues such as water and food scarcity by developing groundbreaking solutions in research and development, and continue to explore new frontiers that will revolutionize our lives such as the field of brain research, which promises to unlock the yet to be deciphered mysteries of the human brain and do much to enhance the well-being of humanity. 
We look upon the Jewish communities around the world not only as our extended family, but also as our full partners, and feel it is imperative that our deep-rooted Jewish bonds continue to be safeguarded, cultivated and brought to fruition.
The young generation is our future's promise and its engagement in the cause of building a brighter tomorrow for Jews in Israel and around the world is key to our success. Educational programs, regular visits to Israel, first-hand experiences and people-to-people meetings have made their mark and serve to build the bridges that unite us. 

These bridges are firmly rooted in the heritage of values which we share. Beyond the commitment which we uphold to each other, we must never fail to recall our duty to better the world around us, in keeping with the fundamentally Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam. Throughout history, the Jewish people have contributed to society their greatest aptitude—dissatisfaction. Always striving for a better tomorrow, our people have attained results to be proud of. 
Today, we perpetuate this legacy through our dedication to moral values, our drive towards knowledge and our unyielding pursuit for peace. It is this call for participating in the ceaseless march of humanity in our unique way which unites us. 
Once again at the dawn of a new year, we stand upon the ancient pillars of morality, knowledge and peace, facing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and gazing upon the future of our people and of the world. Our unity is our anchor, our moral call is our wind. Both will help us chart the way towards a horizon of growth, security and well-being for the Jewish people and a brighter tomorrow for humanity at large. 
From Jerusalem, my friends, I want to wish the Jewish people the world over a happy, peaceful, healthy and prosperous year. Shana Tova U'Metuka!

And while we're on the theme of Israel, let's also enjoy the lovely voice of Avigail Cohen as she sings a song entitled, appropriately enough, "Erev Rosh Hashana" (Rosh Hashanah Eve):

You don't have to understand Hebrew to appreciate the beauty of the music or the feeling it conveys, but in case you'd like a version with an English translation (granted a less than perfect rendering), we are very happy to oblige:

And so, as we prepare to enter a new year, and to pray that this year will be a good year for us, we at Adas Emuno extend our greetings and best wishes for 5773 to all of the members of our congregation, and their families, and our community, to Jewish communities all around the world, including Israel, and to the entire planet on this, the birthday of the world!

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