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Message on the Observance of Hanukkah, 2000

December 21, 2000

Warm greetings to everyone celebrating Hanukkah.

Every year during the month of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar, Jews around the world celebrate the Festival of Lights. They remember with sorrow the desecration of the Holy Temple, with pride the triumph of the Maccabees over the forces of oppression, and with a renewed faith in God's providence the miracle of a day's worth of oil burning for eight straight days— a miracle commemorated by lighting the candles of the menorah.

This year, Hanukkah is celebrated during the same week Christians celebrate Christmas and Muslims celebrate the Eid Al-Fitr. The coinciding of these special days, sacred to followers of the world's three Abrahamic faiths, serves as a powerful reminder of the fundamental values we share: a reverence for our Creator, a belief in human dignity, and a conviction that we must love our neighbors as ourselves. These ancient lessons still hold great meaning for us today, as the global community grows ever closer and American society becomes increasingly diverse. By taking them to heart at this blessed season, we can build a future where we respect one another's differences, embrace our shared values, and where all God's children live together in peace.

Hillary joins me in extending best wishes to all for a joyous Hanukkah celebration.


William J. Clinton, Message on the Observance of Hanukkah, 2000 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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