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Statement on the Observance of Rosh Hashanah

September 05, 2021

On Rosh Hashanah, Jewish communities around the world celebrate the world's birth and commemorate the creation of humankind. Rosh Hashanah and the Days of Awe that follow charge those who celebrate to pause, look inward, and reflect on the past year. It is a time to undertake an inventory of the soul, a cheshbon hanefesh, and to ask of ourselves and of each other questions that go beyond our own individual faiths: Who do I want to be? What type of nation do we want to forge? What type of world do we want to create?

That is the message and gift of the Jewish New Year, a reminder of our infinite capacity to transform our lives and begin anew. To partner with the divine and our fellow human beings in the ongoing work of creation. To rebuild our communities through empathy, acts of kindness, and compassion. To seek repentance, or teshuva, when we have fallen short of our values. Rosh Hashanah is a reaffirmation that we are each endowed, by virtue of our Creator and our common humanity, with the ability to bridge the gap between the world we see and the world we seek.

In that effort, we've made significant progress, but much work remains: to protect ourselves and each other against a once-in-a-century virus; to rebuild an economy that provides opportunity for all Americans; to give hate no safe harbor and speak out with clarity and conviction against anti-Semitism wherever and however it manifests; to reaffirm our ironclad bond with the State of Israel.

May the year 5782 be a year of health, healing, and progress. And may we all be inscribed in the Book of Life. Jill and I extend our warmest wishes to all those celebrating Rosh Hashanah in the United States, Israel, and around the world.

Shanah tovah u'metukah. May it be a sweet, healthy, and happy new year.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement on the Observance of Rosh Hashanah Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/352074

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