President Obama Offers Rosh Hashanah 2013 Greetings Encouraging All To Work Together (VIDEO)

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President Obama sent his greetings to Jews worldwide as the High Holidays celebrations begin with the observance of Rosh Hashanah at sundown, September 4, 2013.

In a video released by the White House, Obama addressed members of the Jewish faith with the traditional greeting, "L’Shanah Tovah" and recalled the words of Rabbi Joachim Prinz, who stood with Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington and said, "When God created man, he created him as everybody's neighbor. Neighbor is not a geographic term. It is a moral concept."

Obama emphasized the opportunity for reflection that arrives with the new year. "As the high holidays begin, it’s a chance not just to celebrate with friends and family, but to ask some of life’s most piercing questions," he said. "Am I treating strangers with kindness? Am I living not just for myself, but for others? Am I doing my part to repair the world? Where we fall short, the New Year is a new opportunity to get things right."

He also talked about the New Year as "a chance to reaffirm our commitments," specifically mentioning the economy, the "security of our allies," and "the unbreakable bond between" the United States and Israel.

Obama alluded to the unrest all over the world, but concluded his greetings with hope, asserting, "But I know that if we work together we can make this moment one of hope for all our neighbors – in America, in Israel, and around the world."

Read the full text here:

Hello, everybody. L'shanah tovah.

Fifty years ago last week, Rabbi Joachim Prinz stood with Dr. King on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Representing the thousands of Jews there that day, he told the marchers, “When God created man, he created him as everybody's neighbor. Neighbor is not a geographic term. It is a moral concept.”

For millions of Jews, this moral concept is at the heart of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. As the high holidays begin, it’s a chance not just to celebrate with friends and family, but to ask some of life’s most piercing questions. Am I treating strangers with kindness? Am I living not just for myself, but for others? Am I doing my part to repair the world? Where we fall short, the New Year is a new opportunity to get things right.

And where we still have work to do, the New Year is a chance to reaffirm our commitments. At home, we must continue building an economy that gives all people willing to work hard a fair shot at a middle-class life. Beyond our borders, we must stand for the security of our allies, even as we take new steps in the pursuit of peace. I was proud to visit Israel earlier this year to renew the unbreakable bond between our two countries, and to talk directly with young Israelis about the future we share.

Just like the generations that came before us, we live in challenging times. But I know that if we work together we can make this moment one of hope for all our neighbors – in America, in Israel, and around the world. In that spirit, Michelle and I wish you and your family a sweet, happy, healthy, and peaceful New Year.

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