Sunday, 26 Sep 2021 - 20 of Tishri, 5782

British PM Boris Johnson: ’Shana Tova and may you be inscribed and sealed for a good year’

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In his Rosh Hashanah message, he reminded that the coronavirus “for reasons we still don’t fully understand, has hit Jews of Britain particularly hard.” More than 500 members of the community died from the virus.

”The sound of the shofar would signal not just the arrival of a new year, but also the end of one that many would like to forget,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he delivered a message for Rosh Hashanah to the Jewish community.  

He reminded that the coronavirus “for reasons we still don’t fully understand, has hit Jews of Britain particularly hard.” More than 500 members of the community died from the virus.

He added that ‘’the disproportionate losses you have suffered have been compounded by the necessary privations of lockdown,” in a reference to the closure of places of worship. ‘’Synagogues that have remained open for centuries, welcoming worshippers on Shabbat even as Nazi bombs rained from the sky, were forced to close their doors just when people needed spiritual comfort more than ever,” the Prime Minister said.

‘’It’s been a year of cancelled and postponed bar and bat mitzvah celebrations.”

Last week, Boris Johnson made it illegal to gather in groups of more than six with synagogues allowed to hold greater numbers  provided congregants in groups of more than six maintain social distancing and followed safety guidelines.

Britain’s Chief Rabbi Mirvis has called on the people to abide by virus guidelines at “risk posing a danger to the lives of others”.

Johnson said the tightening of restrictions has “come as a real blow to those who hoped to mark the high holy days with some degree of normality.”

‘’When it comes to totting up good deeds from the year gone by, I can’t think of anything greater than doing what was needed, however tough, to save the lives of your fellow citizens,” he said, conclusing his message with the words: ‘’Shana Tova and may you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”

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