US President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, issued their annual Hanukkah message on Friday, citing the Maccabees and calling on people of all faith to commit to building a better world. (The message in full is below.)
Some 69 percent of Jewish voters cast their ballot for the president in the US elections in November, according to exit polls released by The Washington Post. That number, though quite high, was a significant drop from the 78 percent support among Jews that Obama enjoyed in 2008.
Obama’s relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the State of Israel became a major topic for US Jews during the 2012 campaign, with Republican challenger and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney swaying some votes away from the president on the issue.
“Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all those celebrating Hanukkah around the world.
“This Hanukkah season we remember the powerful story of the Maccabees who rose up to liberate their people from oppression. Upon discovering the desecration of their Temple, the believers found only enough oil to light the lamp for one night. And yet it lasted for eight.
“Hanukkah is a time to celebrate the faith and customs of the Jewish people, but it is also an opportunity for people of all faiths to recognize the common aspirations we share. This holiday season, let us give thanks for the blessings we enjoy, and remain mindful of those who are suffering. And let us reaffirm our commitment to building a better, more complete world for all.
From our family to the Jewish Community around the world, Chag Sameach.”