A Passover Haggadah inscribed by President George W. Bush is on its way to a military base in Baghdad after arriving in Kuwait Thursday. For the next week, it will make the rounds of installations throughout the region as a show of support for America's armed forces in general and its roughly 1,000 soldiers of the Jewish faith serving in the region in particular.

"It must be very uplifting for soldiers with sand in their boots, pressing ahead in difficult conditions, to realize that their Commander-in-Chief cares so much to personally send a special message to them," said Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Levi Shemtov, the Washington, D.C., director of American Friends of Lubavitch who coordinated the effort. "I hope this will give a new vigor to troops in the theater."

Shemtov presented two copies of the Slager edition of the Haggadah - published by Kol Menachem, it features a commentary gleaned from the teachings of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory - to the president this week as part of an Oval Office meeting on the occasion of the 106th anniversary of the Rebbe's birth. At the meeting, Bush signed a proclamation declaring the day Education and Sharing Day, USA.

The president received one of the Haggadahs as a gift, and when he learned that the other was to be sent to soldiers serving in Iraq, he took out his pen to sign it.

"To our troops," wrote Bush. "May G‑d bless you."

In addition the president, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signed the book after a meeting with Shemtov and Rabbi Sholom B. Lipskar, director of The Shul of Bal Harbour, Fla., and founder of the Aleph Institute, a Chabad-Lubavitch organization that serves the needs of Jewish military personnel and prisoners.

"To all of you who serve," wrote Mullen, "may G‑d bless you and your families. You make such a difference."

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also inscribed the Haggadah, writing to the troops: "G‑d bless you and your families for your noble service to our nation."

"This is a very special Haggadah, having been inscribed by the Commander-in-Chief, the nation's top uniformed officer and the Senate's top overseer of the military," said Shemtov.

Turning to the meaning of the holiday, the rabbi added: "When we celebrate the festival of Passover, this is the least we can do for those at the tip of the spear defending this great nation that affords us our religious freedom."