The following statement was released by President Barack H. Obama ahead of the Yom Tov of Pesach:
“L’ma’an tizkor et yom tzait’chah – Therefore you shall remember the day that you went forth” (Deuteronomy Chapter 16, Verse 3).
My family and I send our warmest wishes to all celebrating the sacred festival of Passover.
As people of the Jewish faith in America and around the world gather together to celebrate Passover, they remember the story of Exodus. The passage of their ancestors from the Land of Egypt after 430 years of slavery led to a long journey through a desert, the ascent to a mountaintop, and then freedom in the Land of Israel. It is among the most powerful stories of suffering and redemption in human history.
The Passover Seder, with its symbols and rituals, instructs each generation to remember their past, while appreciating the beauty of freedom and the responsibility it entails. As part of a larger global community, we all must work to ensure that our brothers and sisters of every race, religion, culture, and nationality are free from bondage and repression, and are able to live in peace.
As Jewish families gather across America to enjoy the magnificent and hard-earned gift of freedom, let us all be thankful for the gifts that have been bestowed upon us. And at the same time, let us also work to alleviate the suffering, poverty, and hunger of those who are not yet free.
Again, Michelle and I wish all who celebrate Pesach a peaceful and relaxing holiday. Chag sameach.