Happy New Year In Hebrew
September 8, 2010 by staff
Happy New Year In Hebrew, JERUSALEM (AP) – Israelis usher in Jewish New Year or Rosh Hashanah, at sundown on Wednesday with a general feeling of pessimism that a new round of talks in the Middle East sponsored by the United States can achieve peace.
President Barack Obama wants an agreement within a year, but the Israelis are deeply skeptical after decades of failed efforts.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged widespread doubts.
“There are many obstacles, many skeptics and many reasons for skepticism,” he said in a speech on vacation. He called the talks “an important step in an attempt to achieve peace,” but said, “It is an attempt because there is no certainty of success.”
Still, some were encouraged by the simple fact that the Israelis and Palestinians talking again after negotiations broke down over the war in Gaza almost two years ago.
“The Middle East quagmire becomes even more toxic, even more dangerous when the water stops,” commentator Nahum Barnea wrote in Yediot Ahronot. “But even those who fear, like me, that no agreement will come from these ceremonies, you must be happy that something is moving.”
Obama wants Israelis a happy New Year with the hope of greeting published in Yediot Ahronot and said the new peace talks succeed. A second round is scheduled for next week in Egypt.
Throughout Israel, Jews were much more excited about Rosh Hashanah that renewed peace talks. Frantically cleaned up, went into crowded markets, cooked and clogged the roads on the way to a family dinner to mark the beginning of new year’s party two days beginning at sunset.
Israeli military closed the border crossings in the West Bank until the end of the holiday out of concern that militants might carry out attacks.
Rosh Hashanah this year coincides with the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan – both religions are based on the lunar calendar.
For Jews, the feast begins a period of 10 days of soul-searching that leads to the solemnity of the fast Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. Muslims prepare to celebrate the end of Ramadan and fasting during the day with a three-day festival called Eid al-Fitr, which begins on Friday.
In Jewish west Jerusalem, the outdoor market of Mahane Yehuda was full of guests to deepen fruit and vegetables, bread and sticky cakes steaming glass of honey. Sales of two popular tourist spots – honey and grenades – were brisk.
Observant Jews prepared for long hours in synagogues during the holidays. Highlights include the ritual sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn trumpet, immersion and an apple in honey to symbolize a sweet new year.
At the same time, hundreds of thousands of secular Israelis took advantage of a weekend of four days rare. With the heat wave in full season, the beaches of the Mediterranean and the Sea of Galilee are expected to be filled.
In the Arab areas of Jerusalem’s Old City, where the main Muslim and Jewish holy sites are located just meters (yards) away, the walls were filled with bright lights and women haggled the price of new clothes as children bounced off the trailer in preparation for Eid al-Fitr.
A steady stream of faithful Muslims flowed through the cobblestone streets toward the al-Aqsa mosque, where Muslims believe the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. Hobnobbing Palestinian Muslims and Israeli Jews – even when it prevented the eyes of others – inspired at least some of the residents of this densely populated district of cobblestone tense.
“Some people believe that there can be coexistence,” said Ibrahim Othman, a Palestinian smiling man of 70 years of age.
A few steps away, 25 years old, Cherkis Chaya sat at home in the Jewish quarter.
“From my roof, you can see the Kotel and the Al-Aqsa mosque,” said Cherkis, referring to the Hebrew name of the Wailing Wall. “You can see thousands of people bowing in prayer – is amazing and inspiring.”
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