Message on the Observance of the Jewish High Holy Days

September 13, 1985

Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the year 5746 in the Jewish Calendar. It is also the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days, which conclude with the observance of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

This is the most sacred time of the year in the Jewish tradition, and it is also a time when we are reminded of the depth of our Nation's inheritance from that tradition. During this period, members of the Jewish community look both forward and back in a spirit of repentance. This theme of repentance is one that all Americans can understand because it is an inextricable part of America's oldest traditions. The Jewish High Holy Days provide us all with an opportunity to reflect on our responsibilities toward God and our fellowman and to resolve to do better in the future in meeting those responsibilities than we have done in the past.

This time of year also reminds us of the close and enduring relationship between the United States and Israel. Our two nations are joined not by the fragile strands of temporary interests but rather by the deep bonds of our common values. The Jewish High Holy Days remind us of the permanence and depth of those values. As the shofar's call ushers in the new year, let us all pray that the values of this season will be reflected in our own lives and in the creation of a world at peace.

Ronald Reagan