POLITICS

Obama Honors Passover, Easter In White House Statements

04/03/2015 04:57 pm ET
Win McNamee via Getty Images

As families around the country prepare to celebrate Passover and Easter in the coming days, President Barack Obama released statements honoring each of the holidays.

The first family will host a Seder at the White House Friday, during which the president said he and his family will read from the Haggadah and remember "one of humanity’s great stories of liberation."

"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," Obama said in the statement. "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."

Obama shared his regards with families celebrating Passover in the United States, the state of Israel and around the world.

In a statement released later Friday, Obama said he looks forward to standing "with those around the world who are persecuted for their faith" on Easter.

Read the president's statement on Easter below:

Michelle and I join our fellow Christians around the world in observing Good Friday and celebrating Easter this weekend. With humility and awe, we give thanks for the extraordinary sacrifice that Jesus made for our salvation. We rejoice in the triumph of the Resurrection. And we renew our commitment to live as He commanded – to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. I look forward to continuing our celebration on Tuesday when I host our annual Easter prayer breakfast as we remember the teachings of Jesus in our daily lives, stand with those around the world who are persecuted for their faith, and pray for peace, justice and freedom for all people.

Read the president's full statement on Passover below:

Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in the State of Israel, and throughout the world.

Tonight, for the seventh year, I’ll hold a Seder in the White House, and we’ll join millions of Jewish families as we retell one of humanity’s great stories of liberation. The Exodus was neither easy nor quick. The Israelites’ journey to freedom required them to choose faith over fear and courage over complacency. 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.

And it continues to inspire us today. Tonight, my family will read the passage of the Haggadah that declares we must see ourselves as though we personally were liberated from Egypt. The Exodus reminds us that progress has always come slow and the future has always been uncertain, but it also reminds there is always reason for hope.

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.

From my family to yours, Chag Sameach.

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