Public Papers - 1990
Message on the Observance of Passover, 5750
Four thousand years ago, when Moses sounded the bold cry, ``Let my people go,'' the Israelites began their historic journey from bondage into freedom. Today, all Americans share in the solemn pride and quiet joy of millions of Jewish men, women, and children around the world as they commemorate the Exodus.
Known as ``the Festival of Freedom,'' Passover has a special significance this year. A great march of freedom is underway for Soviet Jewry, and this year many thousands will celebrate the Seder with their families in Israel. For these people, and for their brethren waiting to emigrate, ``next year in Jerusalem'' is becoming a promise fulfilled.
The call for liberty and freedom is now being heard around the world -- in Eastern Europe, in Central and South America, in Africa, and even in the Soviet Union. Like the Israelites of old, determined peoples in both Hemispheres are beginning great struggles of their own, working to overcome repression and injustice and reclaiming their God-given freedom and dignity.
The call, ``Let my people go,'' also recalls a spiritual quest, one that has been taken up by generations of men and women who have seen in the Exodus story a symbol of hope. This year, as Jews around the world gather with their loved ones to celebrate their passage to freedom, let us renew our commitment to sustaining that hopeful spirit. Let us pray that the time is approaching when, through God's providence, every human being enjoys the life and liberty He has envisioned for us.
Barbara joins me in wishing the members of the Jewish community in America and throughout the world a fulfilling Passover holiday.