Jan 21, 2009
The Rabbinical Council of America, the largest grouping of Orthodox Rabbis in the world, today conveyed to President Barack Obama, and his administration, sincere wishes for success and blessing. The letter stated as follows:
Dear Mr. President:
The Rabbinical Council of America extends warm congratulations as you assume the highest office in the land.
The inauguration of a new President is always an auspicious occasion, but this one is of transcendent significance. We represent a community rooted in ethical values, impelled by religious faith, all too familiar with oppression, and profoundly grateful to the United States for its welcoming embrace. From all of these perspectives, the election of an African-American President is cause for joy, and the juxtaposition of your inauguration and Martin Luther King Day cannot help but inspire thoughts of providential confirmation that the American dream is finally being realized in the area where it was most wanting.
During the recent campaign, your qualities of mind and of leadership became evident to Americans of all political, ideological, and religious persuasions no matter how they ultimately cast their vote. You are now the steward of our hopes and aspirations. We are confident that, with the help of God, you will build on the respect and good will that you have earned to lead a united country in a successful confrontation with the daunting challenges that we face both within and without.
We reiterate our warmest congratulations. And - as is customary among Jews - a heartfelt prayer for your good fortune: mazeltov!
Rabbi Shlomo Hochberg, President
Rabbi Basil Herring, Executive Vice-President