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Carter’s Rosh Hashanah Message

President Carter today issued the following Rosh Hashanah greeting:

On the eve of the Jewish High Holy Days, Rosalynn and I are confident we express the sentiments of millions of Americans in extending our deepest respects and heartfelt greetings to all our fellow citizens of the Jewish faith. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are supreme moments of moral and spiritual stock-taking in one’s personal life as well as in evaluating one’s role in society.

There are few more moving and ennobling utterances of the human spirit than that found in the Jewish High Holiday prayer: “May they all (all people) form one companionship to do Thy Will with a single heart.”

The yearning for solidarity among all persons, which the Jewish people bequeathed to our nation and to humanity, has seldom been more compelling than it is today. Our nation and the human family have paid too great a price in lives as a result of religious, racial and ethnic prejudice and hostility.

The theme of human solidarity is based on profound respect for the right of each group to be itself, and to be true to its own heritage and culture. This philosophy has been translated into unique reality in the religious pluralism and mutual caring which are distinctive features of American democracy.

Our two hundred year old American experience with unity in the midst of diversity may be the single most important cultural and spiritual example we have to offer the world. Our fellow citizens of the Jewish faith have greatly added to that diversity and to the strength it has brought to our national life. It is with this in mind that Rosalynn and I send each of you our heartfelt wishes for a satisfying, peaceful and happy New Year.

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