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Obama's Hanukkah Message: Faith and Perseverance

President Obama released his Hanukkah statement Friday, offering up a message of faith and strength amid adversity.

"The Maccabees and the miracles they witnessed reminds us that faith and perseverance are powerful forces that can sustain us in difficult times and help us overcome even the greatest odds," said Mr. Obama.

The message was released both in English and Hebrew.

The eight-day Jewish holiday begins at sundown tonight. It is observed with the lighting of candles atop a menorah, eating food related to Hanukkah and recalling the story behind the holiday.

"Hanukkah is not only a time to celebrate the faith and customs of the Jewish people, but for people of all faiths to celebrate the common aspirations we share," said Mr. Obama.

Hanukah celebrates the events of year 167 BC, when Jewish rebels led by Judah the Maccabee defeated the Syrian-Greek Antiochus IV, briefly regaining their independence.

Part of the miracle the holiday celebrates is that a one-day supply of oil in the Holy Temple lasted 8 days.

"May Hanukkah's lessons inspire us all to give thanks for the blessings we enjoy, to find light in times of darkness, and to work together for a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow," the president said.

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