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National Archives

Public Papers - 1991

Message on the Observance of Hanukkah


I am delighted to send greetings to Jews in the United States and throughout the world as you celebrate Hanukkah.

This holiday of renewal and dedication is a tribute to the enduring values of faith and freedom. For more than 2,000 years, Jews have kindled the lights of the menorah to celebrate the victory of the Maccabees over religious tyranny. However, the real miracle of Hanukkah is much more profound. When Judah Maccabee and his followers prepared to rededicate the Temple in Jerusalem, they found only a small cruse of oil that had not been defiled, and it contained only enough oil to light the menorah for one night. Miraculously, it lasted for eight days and nights until more oil could be secured. Thus, Hanukkah is as much a festival of spiritual freedom as it is a commemoration of the Jewish people's struggle against political oppression.

As you gather with family and friends during Hanukkah, I know that you will be offering special prayers for a lasting peace for Israel, the Middle East and the world. Today, many people -- people of all faiths and all walks of life -- share in that great hope.

Barbara joins me in sending best wishes for a joyous Hanukkah.

George Bush

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
1000 George Bush Drive West, College Station, Texas 77845
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