Laura and I Send Our Warmest Greetings to All Those Celebrating Hanukkah, the
festival of lights.
The celebration of Hanukkah is inspired by the story of the miracle of the lamp:
how a ration of oil sufficient only for one day burned for eight. It is a holiday
of hope that encourages trust in God's providence and God's purposes, even when
we are threatened by darkness and destruction.
Hanukkah commemorates the reconsecration of the ancient temple in Jerusalem
by the Maccabees and their followers, after it had been desecrated. Hanukkah
celebrates the liberation of the ancient kingdom of Israel from foreign occupation.
It teaches us that freedom must sometimes be fought for -- a message that continues
to resonate today.
We join all people of Jewish faith in thanking God who has "sustained us
and enabled us to reach this season." May the candles of Hanukkah light
our memories of those lost on September 11. And may this be a season of joy
for us all.