Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar
A Message of Blessing and Esteem
[New Year Greetings]
As the New Year 5773 approaches, I would take this opportunity to bless the House of Israel, those who dwell in the Holy Land and those who reside in other parts of the world, men, women and children. May the Lord make you a thousandfold, and may He bless you as He has spoken to you.
I would also like to bless Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, the Jewish National Fund, its executive officers, its employees, its friends and its functionaries all over the world. KKL-JNF has great merit for redeeming the lands of our holy country, for developing the land, fortifying the ramparts, cultivating the fields and planting many forests. KKL-JNF has planted, to date, over two hundred and forty million trees all over our holy land and has developed excellent roads and trails throughout our sacred land.
All this is in addition to the blessed accomplishments of KKL-JNF all over our holy land, in general, and in the Negev and the Arava, in particular. We have been privileged, thank God, to see how the people of KKL JNF, may the Lord bless them and protect them, have made the desert bloom everywhere they have worked, as well as the great benefits they have provided for the lives and the livelihoods of the people. There is no greater fulfillment of the commandment to inhabit the land of Israel than this.
Therefore, I would call upon you, most eminent and gracious of our people, to extend your hands in holiness and raise your contributions, with wholeheartedness and munificence, in order to strengthen and support the inhabitation of our holy land in both matter and spirit, to rebuild its ruins, to make its deserts bloom and to protect its resources. May we be strong and be strengthened for the sake of our people and for the cities of our Lord.
May it be His will that we merit seeing the fulfillment of the prophetic vision of Isaiah (51:3) soon, that the Lord hath restored Zion and all its wastelands, and made its wilderness like Eden and its desert like the garden of the Lord, with joy and gladness therein, with thankfulness and song.”
With best wishes from the hills of Zion and Jerusalem,
Shlomo Moshe Amar
Rishon Lezion Chief Rabbi of Israel
President of the Great Rabbinical Court
Original letter (Hebrew) - PDF
Rabbi Yona Metzger
To our dear brothers and friends, to the supporters and benefactors of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, the Jewish National Fund, in the Holy Land and worldwide, greetings and felicitations.
As the New Year approaches, 5773, I would like to bless all of you. May the New Year be a good one, with prosperity and growth, peace and quiet, joy and success. May it be a year of redemption and relief, and may the words of the prophet Isaiah (35:10) be fulfilled. “Those redeemed by God shall return, and they shall come to Zion with song, find happiness there and sigh in sorrow no more.”
I would take this opportunity to express appreciation and note the importance and uniqueness of your projects and contributions in advancing the important goals of KKL-JNF, endeavors of great magnitude supported by friends of KKL-JNF all over the world, which contribute so much to the prosperity and growth of the State of Israel, preserving and developing its natural resources.
I would also like to express heartfelt blessings for the special work of KKL-JNF, of its executive officers, directors, employees and emissaries, who devote their time and energy for the realization of the important aims for which KKL-JNF was established, and for the realization of which it has worked continuously since it was founded to this very day.
In retrospect, the chairmen and directors of KKL-JNF can review the past year and derive satisfaction from the wide range of their undertakings and the diversity of their endeavors related to the development of the land of Israel—creating infrastructure for settlement, planting forests and trees, restoring historic sites and bringing the younger generation to them for viewing and learning, promoting Jewish inhabitation of the Negev and of the Galilee, undertaking special research projects for resolving problems in modern agriculture, and assisting in resolving security issues in the different regions of Israel.
Especially noteworthy were the special projects undertaken by KKL-JNF over the past year in rehabilitating the Carmel forests after the great fire that took many lives and destroyed vast areas of trees and vegetation. The KKL-JNF executive initiated an extensive restoration project with long term planning based on the great experience acquired and the varied research undertaken by the organization. Although this great endeavor has not yet been completed, and it will take a long time before restoration of its previous state, much has already been done, and much more will be done in the coming year—may it be a good year.
Meanwhile, the constant work has not been neglected, the maintenance of the different sites that exist, the development of new sites, the many events arranged for youth and for families, events that strengthen the bond between the people of Israel and the land of Israel. KKL-JNF has also done a great deal to save the water economy in Israel, which is in grave danger. Much work has been done for the maintenance of existing reservoirs and the construction of new reservoirs. The work done by KKL-JNF encompasses all the needs of the people dwelling in the Holy Land.
It is a great privilege to assist this important organization, to support its holy and important efforts in building the land and extending its limits, in improving its infrastructure and developing its agriculture and water economy. May they be blessed by the Almighty, all those who take part and support the important commandment of inhabiting the land of Israel, which was so highly praised by our sages of blessed memory.
“May we be strong and be strengthened for the sake of our people and for the cities of our Lord.”
Chief Rabbi of Israel
President of the Chief Rabbinic Council