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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 26, 2002

Presidential Message: Hanukkah, 2002

I am pleased to send greetings to everyone celebrating Hanukkah, the festival of lights.

For eight days and nights, Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and the ancient story of Israel's courageous faith. In a victorious struggle against their oppressors, the Maccabees heroically overcame enormous odds to liberate the ancient kingdom of Israel. Hanukkah reminds us that faith can give us the strength to overcome oppression. Today, the spirit of the Maccabees continues to live and thrive among the Jewish people and in the State of Israel.

During the eight days of Hanukkah, Jews throughout the world gather with family and friends to rejoice and celebrate. Each night, they light a branch of the menorah to commemorate the miracle of the lamp that, with only enough oil for one day, burned in the ancient Temple for eight days. The festival of lights culminates on the eighth night when all the candles burn in unity, symbolizing the eternal light of the Temple and the long-standing struggle of the Jewish people against adversity.

Americans join in thanking God for our blessings and renew our commitment to the values of faith, family, and community that make us strong. The candles of Hanukkah remind us that in the face of darkness, goodness will prevail.

Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a joyous Hanukkah.



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