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Hanukkah Message
December 7, 2001

Laura and I Send Our Warmest Greetings to All Those Celebrating Hanukkah, the festival of lights.

The celebration of Hanukkah is inspired by the story of the miracle of the lamp: how a ration of oil sufficient only for one day burned for eight. It is a holiday of hope that encourages trust in God's providence and God's purposes, even when we are threatened by darkness and destruction.

Hanukkah commemorates the reconsecration of the ancient temple in Jerusalem by the Maccabees and their followers, after it had been desecrated. Hanukkah celebrates the liberation of the ancient kingdom of Israel from foreign occupation. It teaches us that freedom must sometimes be fought for -- a message that continues to resonate today.

We join all people of Jewish faith in thanking God who has "sustained us and enabled us to reach this season." May the candles of Hanukkah light our memories of those lost on September 11. And may this be a season of joy for us all.

GEORGE W. BUSH

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