March of Life celebrates the Jewish New Year with Rosh haShana Night

“A happy and sweet new year” – that’s what people traditionally wish for the Jewish New Year Rosh HaShanah with apple and honey. A joyful celebration that crowns the God of Israel as King of the world and over all nations. Together with the March of Life directors, we celebrated Rosh HaShana Night, which was live on YouTube.

After a year and a half in which the Covid-19 pandemic changed and determined everyday life worldwide, the March of Life directors from 10 nations came together in Tübingen for reorientation. Despite the many restrictions, the March of Life has kept moving and has even seen growth and expansion in many places. Yuli Edelstein, Chairman of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, honored this commitment to Israel and against anti-Semitism with a greeting. In it, he expressed his gratitude, “That you still hold March for Life events and proudly march with Israel flags in various places around the world to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive and help us fight anti-Semitism.”

Arie Itamar, Holocaust survivor from Israel, was born in Odessa and managed to escape to Central Asia on the last train before the invasion of the Wehrmacht. But in the Soviet Union, his Jewish identity did not play a major role. Therefore, his first Rosh HaShanah celebration was in a DP camp in Germany in 1946 near Munich, before he left for Israel on the refugee ship “Exodus 1947”.

Rosh HaShanah marks the beginning of the ten days of repentance, during which God holds judgment over the world and seals His judgment on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. Ten days in which there is an opportunity to question and examine one’s own actions and clarify relationships. Rozalie Jerome, director of the Texas/USA marches and descendant of Holocaust survivors, explained the meaning of the holiday and how it became real for her personally with the message of reconciliation from the March for Life. Forgiveness, she said, is never a matter of feeling, but a commandment from God that everyone can decide to act upon.

March of Life founder Jobst Bittner quoted in his input a verse from the prophet Jeremiah, which is read in the synagogues on Rosh HaShanah: “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful. (Jer. 31:3-4).” Rosh HaShanah is the expression of trust in a faithful and wonderful God, about whom we rejoice with all our hearts. Thus, this evening was also marked by joy, music and dance, as well as the sound of the shofar, which is traditionally heard 100 times on New Year’s Day.

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