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Greetings From Washington, D.C.

Rosh Hashanah wishes from the prez

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Obama at a heath-care reform rally in Maryland yesterday.(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In addition to your mother and your grandmother and all your friends with “Yay, 5770!” Facebook status updates, you know who else wants to wish you a happy Rosh Hashanah? Barack Obama. A video greeting from President Barry was posted to the White House blog yesterday afternoon, and he opens with a very well-executed (and charmingly, Obamily cadenced) “L’shana tova tikatevu,” also tossing in a “may you be inscribed for blessings in the Book of Life” to “members of the Jewish faith here in America and around world.” He also gets a chance to tout one of his favorite judicial qualities, asking that we “reject the impulse to harden ourselves to others’ suffering, and let us instead make a habit of empathy.” The rest of it is about what you’d expect: Let us use this time of reflection and reconciliation for families, communities, and even nations to heal old divisions. Let us stand up to anti-Semitism. Let us extend freedom around the world. Let us work to achieve peace and security for Israel. (“That’s why my administration is actively pursuing the lasting peace that has eluding Israel and its neighbors for so long,” he explained.) He winds up by quoting Isaiah, that the Jews are “a light unto the nations,” and by calling Judaism “a great and ancient faith.” And finally: “Michelle and I wish all who celebrate Rosh Hashanah a healthy, peaceful, and sweet new year.” And a good yontif to you, too, Mr. President.

Warm Wishes for Rosh Hashanah [WhiteHouse.gov]

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Greetings From Washington, D.C.

Rosh Hashanah wishes from the prez

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