Last night, Jewish families, friends and neighbors all over the world lit the candles for the first night of Hanukkah. As the President and First Lady look forward to hosting the traditional Hanukkah celebration at the White House tonight, we remember that Hanukkah is not only a time to celebrate the faith and customs of the Jewish people, but for people of all faiths to celebrate the common aspirations we share and to give thanks for the blessings we enjoy.
At the Hanukkah celebration last year, President Obama said:
in every corner of the world, Jews have lit the Hanukkah candles as symbols of resilience in times of peace, and in times of persecution – in concentration camps and ghettos; war zones and unfamiliar lands. Their light inspires us to hope beyond hope; to believe that miracles are possible even in the darkest of hours. It is this message of Hanukkah that speaks to us no matter what faith we practice or what beliefs we cherish…it invites all of us to rededicate ourselves to improving the lives of those around us, spreading the light of freedom and tolerance wherever oppression and prejudice exist.
We invite you to join us here at the White House tonight for the President's remarks, the lighting of the menorah and a performance by saxophonist Joshua Redman beginning at 6:35 p.m. EST on WhiteHouse.gov/live.