Message on the Observance of the Jewish High Holy Days
With reverence, awe, and joy, Jewish people around the globe observe Rosh Hashanah, or the Day of Judgment, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. On Rosh Hashanah, the Almighty judges the actions of mankind; and, because it is the world's birthday, He takes stock of His creations. Yom Kippur is a time for reflection and introspection.
During these High Holy Days, Jews focus their prayers on their individual deeds and the need for repentance -- and on the well-being of their brethren and of all humanity. The liturgy of these special days portrays the Almighty as both a stern judge and a compassionate father. Those who observe these Holy Days seek renewed strength and forgiveness for their shortcomings.
Jewish New Year is also a happy time of rebirth and optimism, a time to look to
the future with hopes and high expectation. This past year has seen limited but
nevertheless positive steps on the issue of human rights in the