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Message on the Observance of Yom Kippur, 1999

September 17, 1999

I am pleased to send warm greetings to all those observing Yom Kippur.

On this most solemn of holy days, Jews across our nation and around the world prepare for the new year through fasting, prayer, and quiet reflection. Examining their thoughts, words, and deeds of the past year, they strive to acknowledge and learn from their transgressions, seek forgiveness from those whom they may have offended, and ask for God's mercy.

This Day of Atonement can offer a powerful lesson to people of all faiths about the true spirit of reconciliation and the unconditional love of God. It can teach us not only to face our own failures, but also to love and forgive one another as God loves and forgives us. As the Jewish people set aside this time to repair their relationships and renew their souls, let us all vow to work together to heal divisions, promote tolerance and understanding, and share the blessings of peace in the year to come.

Hillary joins me in extending best wishes to all for a meaningful Yom Kippur.


William J. Clinton, Message on the Observance of Yom Kippur, 1999 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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