Emhoff lights first candle in National Menorah-lighting ceremony

Second Gentleman Doug EmhoffDoug EmhoffBiden, Harris meet with Holocaust survivors to mark annual remembrance day The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden faces Ukraine decision amid Russia aggression The Hill's Morning Report - US warns Kremlin, weighs more troops to Europe MORE lit the first candle at the annual lighting of the National Menorah on Sunday to kick off the first night of Hanukkah, according to CNN.

“It's ... an honor to be here on behalf of the Biden-Harris administration, to be here as this beautiful menorah is lit in front of the People's House right behind us here on the people's front lawn in this land of the free,” Emhoff said during his remarks.

The Second Gentleman, who is Jewish, said Americans must fight against anti-Semitism, saying that Jews all over the world have experienced discrimination and violence. However, he said that Hanukkah was a reminder of how resilient Jews have been in the face of hardship and troubles.

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“Each year I find myself equally inspired by the story of human resilience as the people of Israel were being forced to abandon their culture and beliefs, a small but dedicated band reclaimed the temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to God,” Emhoff said.

“The ancient Maccabees - they teach us that in the face of the senseless, the selfless can prevail. In the face of the powerful, the people can prevail and in the face of darkness, light can prevail,” he added. 

“As we light this menorah on this lawn of the free, let us rededicate ourselves to doing everything we can to shine a light on hate so we can put an end to hate."

Earlier on Sunday, President BidenJoe BidenCourt nixes offshore drilling leases auctioned by Biden administration Laquan McDonald's family pushes for federal charges against officer ahead of early release Biden speaks with Ukrainian president amid Russian threat MORE also issued a statement marking the start of Hanukkah, and noting how the holiday resonates today. 

“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. It teaches us that even a little bit of light, wherever it is found, can dispel the darkness and illuminate a path forward,” Biden said.

Earlier this week, Emhoff and Vice President Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris discusses pandemic, migration during visit with new Honduran president Biden has done just three local interviews in first year in office Clyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes MORE became the first couple ever to affix a mezuzah to an executive residence.