Jewish communities here in Scotland and around the world are celebrating Rosh HaShanah, the religious holiday that marks Jewish New Year, and which is then followed by the holy Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. At this special time I know that many people will be reflecting on the events of the past year.
Once again, it has been an exceptionally tough period for all of us. Covid has continued to cause huge difficulties for everyone in society, but I'm very conscious that for our Jewish communities, as for other faith communities, it has created specific challenges. In the course of the pandemic there have been long periods where you've been unable to attend synagogue, and of course, you've not been able to mark holy days and religious holidays as you ordinarily would.
I will be eternally grateful for the sacrifices you have made. All of you have played your part in helping Scotland return to much greater normality. And I'm delighted that, as a result, the usual celebrations of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur can take place this year.
However, it is important for all of us to bear in mind that we're not quite through this crisis yet. Covid is still out there and posing a threat, so we all need to continue taking the sensible precautions which will protect ourselves and our loved ones. I know that Scotland's Jewish communities will continue to play their part in doing that, and in keeping all of us on the right track.
So at this very special time I want to thank all of you for what you've done, and what you continue to do, to help Scotland through this pandemic. I hope all of you stay safe, and I wish you all well, wherever you are for a very joyful and happy new year. Shanah tovah.