Ronald Reagan picture

Message on the Observance of Hanukkah

December 02, 1988

I am pleased to send holiday greetings to the Jewish community during this season of Hanukkah 5749.

Of the many messages found in the Hanukkah story, the one that has always inspired me most is this: with a strong faith in the Almighty, nothing is impossible; and without the help of our Creator, we labor in vain.

When the Maccabees vanquished the Syrians and recaptured the Holy Temple, they found only a small portion of the pure oil needed to light the Menorah and rededicate the sacred place. Men of less faith would have despaired, but the leaders of that time knew that trust in the Almighty would see them through. Their determination was, of course, rewarded; and today, many centuries later, the miracle of the lights is celebrated with undiminished wonder, thanks, and joy.

This is the last occasion I will have as President to send warm wishes to the Jewish people on a holiday. It is my hope that this festival will renew and strengthen the spirit of Jewish families everywhere, just as it lifts the hearts of all who look to the care and mercy of our eternal Father. May He bless you and grant you His abiding peace.


Ronald Reagan, Message on the Observance of Hanukkah Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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