Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán sent the country’s Jewish community a New Year’s greeting stressing the importance of the role they played in the country throughout the centuries and praising the heritage they represent, Orbán’s press secretary Bertalan Havasi told national news agency MTI on Thursday.
“On the occasion of Rosh Hashanah, I would like to wish all my Jewish compatriots a sweet new year full of less difficulty and more joy!” Orbán wrote in a letter to András Heisler, president of the Association of Jewish Communities in Hungary; Slomo Köves, senior rabbi of the United Hungarian Jewish Community; Eduárd Deblinger, president of the Hungarian Autonomous Orthodox Jewish Community; and György Szabó, president of the Hungarian Jewish Community.
In his greeting, Orbán said that the beginning of the new year is always a symbol of hope, and in this trying time for all the inhabitants of the Earth, there is an urgent need to look forward to a new year.
Hungary — although often blamed by liberal western politicians for anti-Semitism based on false claims while ignoring contradictory data — has been supporting the country’s 100,000-strong Jewish community and backing Israel in all international forums, including the European Union.
Within the space of a year, Hungary has opened three new synagogues mostly built from central budget funds and has fully renovated three other synagogues in Szenc, Szeged and Szombathely.
According to the Gregorian calendar, the Jewish New Year arrived on Sept. 19, effectively at sunset on Sept. 18. According to the Jewish calendar, the first and second day of the month of Tishri is the synagogue New Year, the anniversary of the creation of the world and man, when they also remember the creation of man and his dependence on God.
The Jewish calendar now turns the page to the year 5,781.
Tile image: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the inauguration of the refurbished synagogue in Szabadka (Subotica, Serbia) on March 25, 2018. (MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák)