In stark contrast to his Holocaust-denying predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the newly elected leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, tweeted the following greeting for the Jewish New Year starting at sundown today:
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) September 4, 2013
Social media users have identified the location of the attached photo of a Jewish man praying against a wall of a synagogue in Iran. The partially shown Hebrew script on the wall reads “tanhem selah,” which in the Hebrew Bible, the “Tanakh,” can be found in Psalms Chapter 67, verse 5:
“O Kingdoms will rejoice and sing praises, for You will judge peoples fairly, and the kingdoms-You will lead them on earth forever.”
“Tanhem” can be translated as ‘to govern’ or ‘to lead,’ and “selah,” can mean ‘pause’ or in this case ‘forever.’
Iran hosted a thriving Jewish community that dates back more than 2,500 years, until Jews fled the country in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution.
According to the Tehran Jewish Committee’s Web-site, about 25,000 to 30,000 Jews remain in Iran, making it the largest Jewish community in the region outside of Israel.
While @hassanrouhani has not officially been confirmed or verified,the accountt has more than 25,000 followers and is believed to be the Iranian president’s official Twitter account in English.
Since taking power last month, Rohani, 64, has promised constructive engagement with Western powers and to pursue a policy of moderation as sanctions linked to Iran’s disputed nuclear program cripple the economy of world’s sixth-largest oil producer.
His plans to “win back trust” are being tested by the turmoil in Syria, with a possible U.S. military strike against Iran-allied President Bashar al-Assad accused of deploying chemical weapons.
On Aug. 28, he tweeted:
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) August 29, 2013