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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 19, 2005

Presidential Message: Hanukkah 2005

I send greetings to all those celebrating Hanukkah, the festival of lights.

More than 2,000 years ago, the Jewish people led a revolt against oppressors who forbade them to pray, study the Torah, or observe their religious customs. Led by Judah Maccabee and fueled by their faith, their small army triumphed over tyranny. When they reclaimed the desecrated Temple and prepared it to be purified and re-dedicated, the holy oil that should have lasted only one day instead burned for eight days. During Hanukkah, Jews around the world honor this miracle by lighting the menorah, a symbol of hope shining through darkness.

As Jewish Americans prepare to light the Hanukkah candles this year, we give thanks for God's many blessings and His watch and care over our Nation. We remember our many military families and ask God's special blessing on those who have lost loved ones in freedom's cause. We are grateful for the courage and commitment of America's men and women in uniform and pray for their safety as they serve around the world to spread peace and liberty.

Laura and I send our best wishes for a joyful Hanukkah.


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