Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah

President Biden
Associated Press/Susan Walsh

President Biden commemorated the start to Hanukkah on Sunday as the eight days of festivities for the Jewish holiday commence. 

“From our family to yours, and from the People’s House to your own homes, Jill and I wish you and your loved ones a Chanukah Sameach, a Happy Hanukkah!” Biden said in a statement.

Biden, who is Catholic, characterized the story of the Jewish holiday as one that is “undeniably American” and offers a lesson for United States’ democracy.

“At its core, Hanukkah recounts a story at the heart of the human spirit — one that is inherently Jewish and undeniably American. It commemorates how even the most fragile flame can sustain a tradition and nourish the soul of a people,” Biden said. 

“It teaches us that even a little bit of light, wherever it is found, can dispel the darkness and illuminate a path forward. And it reminds us that whether it is the Holy Temple in Jerusalem or the temple of our democracy, nothing broken or profaned is beyond repair,” he added.

Other officials, including former President Obama, also celebrated the start of the holiday.

“From our family to yours, Happy Hanukkah and Chag Sameach! Over the next eight days, may we celebrate the many blessings in our own lives, and be reminded of the enduring power of hope,” Obama tweeted. 

The holiday is observed by Vice President Harris and Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff, who is the first Jewish spouse to serve next to a president or vice president at the White House. 

Emhoff is set to attend the lighting of the National Menorah Sunday afternoon. 

Former President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, who are Orthodox Jews, were among those under the Trump administration who observed the Jewish holiday.  

Tags Barack Obama Barack Obama Donald Trump Doug Emhoff Hanukkah Ivanka Trump Ivanka Trump Jared Kushner Jared Kushner Joe Biden Joe Biden
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