High Holy Days

Boris Johnson’s New Year message to London’s Jewish community

By Sandy Rashty, September 19, 2014

London Mayor Boris Johnson has issued a Rosh Hashanah greeting to the capital’s Jewish community.

Mr Johnson said: “As well as looking ahead to a new year, Rosh Hashanah is a period of reflection for the Jewish community.

“It is also an opportunity for us all to consider the great things that Jewish people have done to help our city prosper.

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Early New Year boosts tourism to Israel

By Sharron Livingston, September 13, 2013

The early arrival of the Jewish New Year is proving to be a sweet one for tourism in Israel this September.

Jewish travellers have taken advantage of the proximity of the High Holy Days to the traditional holiday month of August to take an early break in the holy land.

In addition, 8,000 Christians are heading to Jerusalem to attend the Festival of Tabernacles from September 21-25.

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CST volunteers line up to combat Rosh Hashanah threats

By Marcus Dysch, August 30, 2013

A large security operation will be in place to protect British Jews observing Rosh Hashanah and next month’s other Yom Tov holidays.

The Community Security Trust said hundreds of volunteers would give “several thousand man-hours” of service across the High Holy Days.

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The limits of forgiveness

By Rabbi Gideon Sylvester, September 13, 2012

It’s the season of forgiveness, are we ready to forgive? It’s not always easy to let go of our resentment and bitterness towards those who have hurt us. Sometimes the scars are permanent. Can those who have suffered loss and injury in war and terrorism ever find it in their hearts to forgive? Should they even try?

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High Security for High Holy Days

By Sandy Rashty, Shirli Sitbon, Toby Axelrod, Nathalie Rothschild, Ted Merwin and Ruth Ellen Gruber, September 6, 2012

Around the world, preparations are under way to protect Jewish communities during the High Holy Days.

Recent attacks on Jews from Bulgaria to Toulouse have convinced community security organisations that, more than ever, this year is a year to be prepared for the worst.

In the UK, the largest ever communal security operation will be in place over Rosh Hashanah.

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Time to put the poetry back into our prayers

By Rabbi Dr Jeffrey Cohen, August 30, 2012

I love both English and Hebrew poetry, especially sacred Hebrew poetry, which has a very long tradition stretching back to the Bible.

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Small shuls rely on good police rapport

By Leon Symons, September 21, 2010

The sight of men and women standing outside synagogues on security duty on High Holy Days and festivals has become commonplace in London, Manchester, Glasgow and other major centres.

But what happens in the dozens of small communities scattered around the country?

Gabriel Lancaster at Chatham Memorial Synagogue in Kent said the 40 member synagogue, founded in 1750, has a very good rapport with its local police.

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Israelis revolt against early winter time

By Simon Griver, September 7, 2010

Tens of thousands of Israelis have signed a petition protesting against the early end of summertime.

For many years, Israelis have moved their clocks back one hour in the run-up to Yom Kippur in order to make the fast easier by enabling it to be broken an hour earlier.

But this year, because the High Holy Days fall so early, many Israelis are upset by the loss of an hour's daylight in the evenings. Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz is proposing a Knesset bill that would make Israel fall in line with the EU, which ends summertime on the last Sunday in October.

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Jerusalem prepares for Pop Idol clashes

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 19, 2010

Major clashes are expected next month in Jerusalem around the broadcast of the A Star is Born finale from the Sultan's Pool in Jerusalem.

The final of Israel's equivalent to Pop Idol is scheduled for Saturday night and strictly Orthodox rabbis object to it for fear that the preparations for the broadcast will take place on Shabbat, and that the heavy traffic expected will block the road for those planning to get to the Western Wall for the first night of selichot (penitential prayers said before the High Holy Days).

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Can God really love us when we suffer so much?

By Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, September 24, 2009

At the cemetery recently I caught myself unconsciously doing something which took me by surprise. I was reading the inscriptions on the graves of friends, many of them young, among them children, when I heard myself quietly singing the melody which forms the leitmotif of the Yom Kippur prayers: “God, God, merciful and gracious”.

The second I became aware of what I was doing, I thought to myself: “Stop! How can you sing about the God of love here?” Yet I continued to do precisely that.

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