Message on the Observance of the Jewish High Holy Days
The Jewish New Year begins with the High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. These are days of judgment, not by man, but by God, the one eternal God who revealed Himself to the People of Israel. For Jews, these are the Days of Awe, a time for reflection and repentance -- for rededication to the service of God and to His ethical code. This is symbolized most dramatically by the sounding of the Shofar which according to Maimonides says: ``Awake, awake, O sleepers from your sleep; O slumberers; arouse ye from your slumbers; and examine your deeds, return in repentance and remember your Creator.''
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have special meaning for Jews, they are not
special days for Jews alone. At this time of year, all of us should rejoice in
the knowledge that ours is a country which has always welcomed Jews and
repudiated anti-semitism. As George Washington wrote
to the Jewish congregation in
Americans can take pride in this, and in our unwavering support for the state
It is therefore a great pleasure for Nancy and me to extend our warmest greetings for the New Year of 5747 to Jews here and throughout the world. May your names be written in the Book of Life, and may the Lord bless you with health and happiness from generation to generation.