European leaders, including Russia's President Vladimir Putin and German's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas sent well wishes to the Jewish people for Rosh Hashanah.
While Putin touched on the Jewish contribution to Russian society, Maas referenced the rising wave of antisemitism amid the coronavirus, and German-Israeli ties following the Holocaust.
“Followers of Judaism in our country deeply respect the invaluable historical and spiritual heritage of their ancestors, and carefully pass on their ancient, distinctive religious and cultural traditions from generation to generation.
"Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is rightfully considered one of the most important occasions in the life of the Jewish community. On these days, people look back on the path travelled and make plans for the future. They aspire to purity of thoughts and deeds, and to help others," Putin's message reads in part on the President of Russia's website.
"I would like to note that Jewish religious associations are doing great and important work implementing socially significant charitable, educational and patriotic projects. I would like to highlight their tireless concern for strengthening peace and harmony, mutual respect and neighborliness between people and, of course, their contribution to the common fight against the threat of the novel coronavirus infection," the message, which was only partially published concludes. Additionally, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Facebook: "Dear Jewish community of Ukraine and all who celebrate Rosh Hashanah! Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of the new year 5781. For you, these days are always a time to think about live, introspection and spiritual adjustment for the coming year. We hope that it will be easier for all of us than the past year."Zelensky also touched on the Breslov hassidim who were recently prohibited from entering Ukraine for an annual pilgrimage to the grave of Rebbe Nachman due to the coronavirus pandemic: "For the safety of life and health of people, which is of the highest value, we were for ced to limit mass events in the country, including part of the traditional celebration of this holiday. Buy in Kyiv, the Dnieper, Uman, Jerusalem, New York and elsewhere on the planet, the Jewish people are praying for peace and prosperity for all mankind... We believe that together we will definitely be able to overcome all the challenges we face and return to the usual rhythm of life next year."
Meanwhile, Germany's Foreign Minister's message begins: "I wish all Jewish people, their families and friends in Germany and around the world a blessed, happy and healthy New Year 5781!"
He then addressed the "difficult and emotional year that lies behind us," referring to the Halle Synagogue attack and the global pandemic.
"Two people were murdered in cold blood, and those at prayer in the synagogue only survived thanks to the sturdy wooden door. The year ends in a phase of continuing uncertainty, with the entire world still fighting a pandemic. Unfortunately, this uncertainty has also fueled racism and antisemitism.
"I see this past year as a warning to us all: antisemitism and hate are threatening our society as a whole. We must resolutely counter them with civil courage and with all instruments of the rule of law, and we must stand up for an open, tolerant and pluralistic society," he wrote, before outlining an official plan to combat antisemitism in the next year. "The arrival of a new year is always a time to look to the future. I am looking forward to celebrating 1700 years of Jewish life in Germany as of next January. I find it profoundly moving that, 75 years on from the horror of the Shoah, such a large number of Jewish citizens call Germany their home. We will take the opportunity during this anniversary year, in Germany and around the world, to underline the fact that Jewish faith, Jewish traditions and Jewish symbols are part of our culture and enrich us, both now and in the future.
"Allow me also to extend a heartfelt “shana tova u‘metuka” to Israel," he added, before addressing the strong ties between Israel and Germany, which he said he hopes to "to further deepen and develop these relations on the basis of shared values."
"I wish you enjoyable festivities, despite all the restrictions the COVID‑19 pandemic brings. Stay healthy! May all your good resolutions and your wishes for the new year come to fruition," he finished.