Barack Obama photo

Videotaped Remarks on the Observance of Passover

April 05, 2012

I'd like to wish a happy holiday to all those celebrating Passover.

The story of the Exodus is thousands of years old, but it remains as relevant as ever. Throughout our history, there are those who have targeted the Jewish people for harm, a fact we were so painfully reminded of just a few weeks ago in Toulouse. Just as throughout history, there have been those who have sought to oppress others because of their faith, ethnicity, or color of their skin.

But tomorrow night Jews around the world will renew their faith that liberty will ultimately prevail over tyranny. They will give thanks for the blessings of freedom, while remembering those who are still not free. And they will ask one of our life's most difficult questions: Once we have passed from bondage to liberty, how do we make the most of all that God has given us?

This question may never be resolved, but throughout the years, the search for answers has deepened the Jewish people's commitment to repairing the world and inspired American Jews to help make our Union more perfect. And the story of that first Exodus has also inspired those who are not Jewish with common hopes and a common sense of obligation.

So this is a very special tradition, and it's one I'm proud to be taking part of tomorrow night at the fourth annual White House Seder. Led by Jewish members of my staff, we'll retell the story of the Exodus, listen to our youngest guest ask the four questions, and of course, look forward to a good bowl of matzo ball soup.

Michelle and I are proud to celebrate with friends here at home and around the world, including those in the State of Israel.

So, on behalf of the entire Obama family, Chag Sameach.

Note: The President's remarks were videotaped at approximately 4:05 p.m. on March 29 in the Library at the White House.

Barack Obama, Videotaped Remarks on the Observance of Passover Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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