Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has wished a “happy and sweet” new year to Hungary’s Jewish community.
“Darkness is replaced by light, rain is followed by sunshine and sweet days will come after bitter ones. We are saying good-bye to a year of many ominous clouds and bitterness, but I trust that the sound of the shofar will mark the beginning of times with more happiness,” Orbán said in his letter marking Rosh Hashanah.
The letter was sent to leaders of Hungary’s Jewish organisations.
Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony greeted the city’s Jewish community on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, in a Facebook message on Monday.
Though Budapest’s Jewish community is looking back on a difficult period that also involved sacrifices, the year ahead will be one of reconciliation and reassurance, Karácsony said.
“Rosh Hashanah is an inherently peaceful and intimate holiday, with Jewish communities around the world taking this time to look back on the past year and await the arrival of the new year filled with hope,” the mayor wrote.
Karácsony said the coronavirus pandemic had not only challenged people’s relationships but also the solidarity found in communities.
“Now that the success of the fight against the pandemic depends on the decisions people make, the strength of the community becomes more important again,” he said.
“These decisions must be made not only for ourselves but also in the interests of our immediate and broader community.”
However, empathy and respect for each other should not be limited to just the time of the pandemic, he said, adding that “this is the only way to a liveable future”.