Russian Jews Heartened by Putin’s Pre-Rosh Hashanah Letter

As the final preperations were being made for Rosh Hashanah in Moscow, Russia, a messanger arrived at the Marina Roscha shul with a special delivery: A letter from President Vladmir Putin with warm wishes for the new year.

Photos: Levi Nazarov

As the final preperations were being made for Rosh Hashanah in Moscow, Russia, a messanger arrived at the Marina Roscha shul with a special delivery: A letter from President Vladmir Putin with warm wishes for the new year.

The letter, by now an annual tradition, arrived as preperations were being put in place to welcome thousands of people for davening and meals. Tens of thousands of food packages were also prepared for distribution, and workers have already begun preparing for Sukkos by building the shul’s large sukkahs.

“To the Jews of Russia, I greet you in honor of one of the oldest and most revered holidays in the Jewish calendar – Rosh Hashanah,” President Putin wrote in his letter addressed to Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar.

“The holiday symbolizes spiritual purification and improvement of deeds. During these days, people calculate their deeds from the past year, and plan for the upcoming year. The Jewish communities are doing much for the successful development of the State of Russia, devoting tireless attention to fruitful social work, actively participating in the implementation of educational and patriotic projects, alongside many charitable projects. And of course, I am pleased to note their efforts aimed at maintaining inter-ethnic, inter-religious peace and harmony in our country, their constant adherence to enduring universal human values ​​such as good neighborliness, trust and mutual understanding. I wish you health, prosperity and a happy holiday!”

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