'Chag Sameach' from the White House

US President Barack Obama cites concept of tikkun olam, Civil Rights movement in annual Passover greeting.

Tova Dvorin ,

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama released a Passover (Pesach) greeting statement late Saturday night, in honor of the first day of the seven-day Jewish holiday. 

"Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in the State of Israel, and throughout the world," Obama began, as quoted by US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro on his Facebook page. "Tonight, for the seventh year, I’ll hold a Seder in the White House, and we’ll join millions of Jewish families as we retell one of humanity’s great stories of liberation." 

"The Exodus was neither easy nor quick," he noted. "The Israelites’ journey to freedom required them to choose faith over fear and courage over complacency."

"Above all, it required the works of an awesome God, who led them out of bondage with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm."

Obama connected the story of the Exodus to the American Civil Rights movement. 

"The story of the Exodus – the signs and wonders that appeared when hope seemed lost, the Jewish people’s abiding belief that they would one day reach the Promised Land – has inspired countless generations over the years," he said. "It inspired Jewish families to hold fast to their faith, even during times of terrible persecution. It inspired young Civil Rights leaders as they marched across an Alabama bridge in search of their own Promised Land, half a century ago." 

"And it continues to inspire us today," he added. "Tonight, my family will read the passage of the Haggadah that declares we must see ourselves as though we personally were liberated from Egypt."

"The Exodus reminds us that progress has always come slow and the future has always been uncertain, but it also reminds there is always reason for hope," he continued. "Like the Israelites who Moses led out of slavery long ago, it is up to us to never lose faith in the better day that lies ahead."

"In our own country, we can continue our march toward a more perfect union. Around the world, we can seek to extend the miracles of freedom and peace, prosperity and security, to more of God’s creation. And together, we can continue the hard but awesome work of tikkun olam, and do our part to repair the world."

"From my family to yours, Chag Sameach," he concluded.