Obama likens Pessah liberation to changes in Mideast

US president associates Passover story with recent Mideast "social transformation, liberation"; prays for peace between Israel, neighbors.

Obama's Seder_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Obama's Seder_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
US 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.