Message on the Observance of Hanukkah

December 9, 1985

I am delighted to send my warmest greetings to everyone marking the joyous feast of Hanukkah, which commemorates one of the most significant and symbolic events in Jewish history.

The story of the Maccabees and their brave struggle has inspired Jewish families down through the ages, calling to mind the valor and zeal of their forebears and bringing to life the rich character of their heritage. Hanukkah provides a fitting opportunity to reflect on the gifts a generous God ever wills to bestow on those who are faithful to Him.

As each candle of the menorah is lighted over the eight days of celebration, Jewish families gratefully remember the miracle of God's sustaining love which has brought them through every trial and persecution. The Miracle of the Flame is a message of hope against great odds, of rededication in the midst of doubt and oppression. It, and all the other beautiful traditions of Hanukkah, remind people everywhere that the light of God's presence can never be extinguished by the night of fear and human malice.

Nancy joins me in wishing His choicest blessings on all who observe this holiday. May the fires of faith and reverence you seek to rekindle on this feast blaze with renewed power the whole year through.