US President Barack Obama tied the Exodus story to the US Civil Rights struggle in America in his annual Passover message Friday, saying the tale “has inspired countless generations over the years.”
After sending his and First Lady Michelle’s greetings to Jews in the US, Israel, and around the world, Obama said his family would be holding a Seder in the White House, as he does every year.
“The Israelites’ journey to freedom required them to choose faith over fear and courage over complacency,” he said. “Above all, it required the works of an awesome God, who led them out of bondage with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.
“The story of the Exodus – the signs and wonders that appeared when hope seemed lost, the Jewish people’s abiding belief that they would one day reach the Promised Land – has inspired countless generations over the years. It inspired Jewish families to hold fast to their faith, even during times of terrible persecution. It inspired young Civil Rights leaders as they marched across an Alabama bridge in search of their own Promised Land, half a century ago.”
The Exodus from Egypt continues to inspire today, said Obama.
“Like the Israelites who Moses led out of slavery long ago, it is up to us to never lose faith in the better day that lies ahead. In our own country, we can continue our march toward a more perfect union. Around the world, we can seek to extend the miracles of freedom and peace, prosperity and security, to more of God’s creation. And together, we can continue the hard but awesome work of tikkun olam, and do our part to repair the world.”
Passover started Friday evening, and is celebrated for seven days in Israel, and eight days in the rest of the world.