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Jews around the world today begin the Ten Days of Repentance, the most reflective period of the Jewish year that begins with Rosh Hashanah and ends on Yom Kippur.

The most important word during this most important period of the Jewish year is “Teshuvah,” or Repentance. Teshuva tells us we can change. It tells us that what we have been until this moment need not limit what we can become from this moment. It says we can be better tomorrow than we were today, and that in the affairs of humankind, nothing is fixed. Of all the manifold gifts bestowed upon us by the Almighty, is there any gift greater than the power He gave us to change?

Today, it is not just the Jewish people who find themselves and their freedoms imperiled. It is all of us. Therefore let us all approach this Jewish New Year with unity, solidarity, and a renewed strength of purpose.

On this Rosh Hashanah, may God bless the Jewish people here and around the world, and may it be His will that good people of all religions, cultures, and nations shall work as one for the sake of freedom, peace, justice, and life.