A Chag Sameach to the NZ Jewish community from NZ Catholic Bishops’ Committee

New Zealand’s Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Interfaith Relations has sent a Chag Sameach to the NZ Jewish community.

Chag sameach means “Happy holiday” in Hebrew. Chag is the Hebrew word for holiday, sameach is the Hebrew word for happy. Chag sameach is the traditional greeting among Jews before any holiday.

The message reads:

Dear Jewish brothers and sisters throughout New Zealand

Please accept prayerful greetings from the NZ Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Interfaith Relations at this time of the year when you prepare to celebrate the harvest festival of Sukkot, the Festival of Tabernacles.

It has been very enlightening to learn more about Sukkot. Most people are aware of the Leviticus story which tells of the forty years the Jewish people spent in the wilderness on the way from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. Most however would not know of the sukkah and the symbolic use of the palm branch, the citrus fruit, the myrtle and the willow and the waving of the lulav.

It is by learning more about festivals such as Sukkot, with their significance to the Jewish people that we deepen our understanding and respecting of the Jewish faith but also learn more of our common history. It also reminds us of our shared concepts such as pilgrimage and its importance in our faith traditions.

We wish you a joy-filled Sukkot and look forward to our continuing to work together towards peace, closer relations and a widespread acceptance and celebration of diversity.

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference Committee for Interfaith Relations was established in 2009 to do assist them in their interfaith work.

The Committee consists of up to eight members.

The aim of the Committee is to further understanding, mutual respect and dialogue between Catholics and members of other world religions in New Zealand, and to work with people of other faiths for the good of the whole community.


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News category: New Zealand.

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