Shortly after returning from his unannounced six-hour trip to Afghanistan on Sunday, US President Barack Obama attended a private Seder in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House on Monday with his Jewish staff and their families.

In a greeting to Jews worldwide, Obama declared that “the enduring story of the Exodus teaches us that wherever we live, there is oppression to be fought and freedom to be won.”

In an official photograph released by the White House, Obama is seen dipping his finger into a cup of wine, as is the custom when recalling the 10 plagues in Egypt.

“This evening, Jewish individuals, families and their friends in America, Israel and around the world will gather around the Seder table to celebrate the sacred festival of Passover,” the president wrote in his Pessah message to Jews in the US, Israel and around the globe.

“With rich symbols, rituals and tradition, they will tell the story of the Exodus – the journey of the children of Israel from slavery to freedom, from grief to joy, from darkness to light, and from suffering to redemption.”

“The enduring story of the Exodus teaches us that wherever we live, there is oppression to be fought and freedom to be won. In retelling this story from generation to generation, we are reminded of our ongoing responsibility to fight against all forms of suffering and discrimination, and we reaffirm the ties that bind us all. These bonds are the source of inextinguishable courage and strength, and provide hope that we can repair this world.”

Obama concluded on a personal note, using the Hebrew term for “a happy holiday.”

“My family and I send out warmest wishes for a joyous and meaningful Passover. Hag sameah.”

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