(photo credit: Reuters)
President Barack Obama sent his "warmest wishes to all those celebrating
the sacred festival of Passover" Friday night, comparing Pessah's
keystone liberation and freedom themes with the current changes sweeping
across the Middle East. Obama is set host his
third annual Passover seder at the White House Monday night.
On the ceremony
itself, Obama commented that "with its rich traditions and rituals, [the seder]
instructs each generation to remember its past, while appreciating the
beauty of freedom and the responsibility it entails."
The US president associated the Pessah theme of liberation and freedom
to the recent "social transformation" occurring across the Middle East,
saying he prays for Israel and its neighbors, while "reaffirming our
enduring commitment to Israel's security."
Obama wished Jews worldwide a chag sameah
, or happy holiday, saying "let us all be thankful for the gifts that have been bestowed upon us,
and let us work to alleviate the suffering, poverty, injustice, and
hunger of those who are not yet free."Obama has annually held a seder for his family and a small group of friends. This year's ceremony will
mark his third year continuing the tradition. He was the first US president to hold a seder at the White House.