In a video released Tuesday, US President Barack Obama extended his personal greetings to the Jewish people in honor of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
Obama began in Hebrew, saying L'Shana Tova Tikatevu (May you be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life), the traditional New Year wish..
"Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Jewish spiritual calendar and the birth of the world," said Obama. "It serves as a reminder of the special relationship between G-d and His children."
Obama said that this time of year is a time for personal reflection, repentance, prayer, and remembering the blessings that come from helping those in need.
"As we begin this new year, it is more important than ever to believe in the power of humility and compassion, to deepen our faith, and repair our world," said Obama in the video and added that at these times, when many are struggling financially, it is important to help those who are less fortunate.
Obama also addressed the peace process in his speech. "At a time when Israelis and Palestinians have returned to direct dialogue, it's up to us to encourage and support those who are willing to move beyond their differences and work towards security and peace in the Holy Land," he said. "Progress will not come easy and it will not come quick. But today we have an opportunity to move forward toward the goal we share: two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side, in peace and security."
He mentioned the words of the 3rd chapter of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), which say that there is a time for everything. "In this season of repentance and renewal, let us commit ourselves to a more hopeful future."
Obama concluded by wishing all Jews "a sweet year full of health and prosperity."