Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Happy Hanukkah Wishes from the Canadian & Ontario Governments

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark Chanukah

Ottawa, December 20, 2011 — “More than two thousand years ago, a small group of Jewish believers overcame the odds and courageously defeated and repelled their oppressors, liberating Jerusalem and reclaiming the Holy Temple as their own. As they rededicated the Temple, a second miracle occurred: a small amount of oil that should have lasted one night instead burned for eight. Since that time, Jewish people around the world celebrate the holy tradition of Chanukah, the yearly eight-day Festival of Light, in commemoration of those miracles.

“Born out of the triumph of light over darkness, of freedom over oppression and of tolerance over persecution, this celebration reminds us that miracles can occur even in the darkest of moments, and that justice must always overcome tyranny. Chanukah also reminds us that, here in Canada, we are truly blessed to live in a free, just and tolerant society, one which has been enriched by the innumerable contributions and achievements of the Jewish-Canadian community.

“On this first night of Chanukah, Laureen and I extend our most heartfelt greetings and wishes of hope and peace to families and friends in communities across Canada and around the world who tonight light their Chanukah menorahs.”

Minister Kenney issues statement celebrating Chanukah

Ottawa, December 20, 2011 — The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement in celebration of Chanukah:

“In homes across the country, friends and families will gather together today at sundown to light candles in celebration of the first night of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.

“The eight-day holiday commemorates the triumph of the Maccabees in their revolt against the oppressive Seleucid Empire of Antiochus IV Epiphanes more than two thousand years ago. The Maccabees’ victory resonates today as a great triumph of religious freedom over subjugation, and – as signified by the lighting of the Menorah – of light over darkness.

“Chanukah is a joyous time of family gatherings, gift giving, traditional ceremonies, and the enjoyment of holiday songs, food and children’s games. For all Canadians, the holiday represents an opportunity to reflect on the exceptional contribution of the Jewish community to our country.

“As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I wish a happy Chanukah – Chanukah Sameach – to all those celebrating in Canada and around the world.”

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