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Pope Francis and Riccardo Di Segni, the Chief Rabbi of Rome. Pope Francis and Riccardo Di Segni, the Chief Rabbi of Rome.  

Pope offers wishes to Jews on their holy days

Pope Francis has sent a message to the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, on the occasion of the Jewish holy feasts of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot.

“On the occasion of the solemn anniversaries of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, I am happy to offer you and the Jewish Community of Rome my sincere good wishes,” the Pope Francis wrote Rabbi Di Segni.  “My thoughts also extend to the Jewish Communities in the world, in the hope that these feasts may bring abundant blessings from the Eternal One and be a source of intimate joy". "May the Almighty, in His eternal mercy, strengthen everywhere our bonds of friendship and the desire to foster constant dialogue for the good of all,” the Holy Father wrote, wishing all Jews, “Shalom Aleichem", meaning “Peace be upon you”.

The Jewish holidays

Rosh Hashanah, meaning “head of the year”, refers to the Jewish day of the new year.   The first of the High Holy Days, the two-day celebration was marked from September 29 to October 1, this year. 

Yom Kippur, known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest of Jewish feasts.  It is traditionally observed with a 25-hour period of fasting and intense prayer.  This year, it occurs from October 8 to 9.  

Sukkot, commonly translated as the Festival of Tabernacles, is intended as a reminder of the fragile dwellings in which the Israelites lived in the desert after their exodus from slavery in Egypt.  It is an agricultural festival that originally was considered a thanksgiving for the fruit harvest.  This year, Sukkot occurs from October 13 to 20.

07 October 2019, 17:12