Skip to comments.President Bush Hosts Hanukkah Reception (Plus, Daniel Pearl's Parents Light Menorah)
Posted on 12/10/2007 5:07:05 PM PST by Cinnamon Girl
Please click on the link and then on the "play video" to hear President Bush's speech at the annual White House Chanukah Party. Afterward, Daniel Pearl's parents, Ruth and Judea light the chanukiah. (No offense to anyone, but I'd turn it off after "Maoz Tzur".)
Text of speech:
5:27 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Good evening. Laura and I welcome you to the White House. Mr. Attorney General, thank you for being here. Secretary Chertoff, and family. Hanukkah is a time of joy and festivity in the Jewish religion. We're honored to gather with members of the Jewish community to celebrate this holiday.
During Hanukkah, we remember an ancient struggle for freedom. More than two thousand years ago, a cruel tyrant ruled Judea -- and forbade the Israelites from practicing their religion. A band of brothers came together to fight this oppression. And against incredible odds, they liberated the capital city of Jerusalem. As they set about rededicating the holy temple, they witnessed a great miracle: That purified oil that was supposed to last for one day burned for eight.
Jewish families commemorate this miracle by lighting the menorah for the eight nights of Hanukkah. The Talmud instructs families to place the menorah in public view -- so the entire world can see its light. The flames remind us that light triumphs over darkness, faith conquers despair, and the desire for freedom burns inside every man, woman and child.
As we light the Hanukkah candles this year, we pray for those who still live under the shadow of tyranny. This afternoon, I met with a group of Jewish immigrants to mark International Human Rights Day. Many of these men and women fled from religious oppression in countries like Iran and Syria and the Soviet Union. They came to America because our nation is a beacon of freedom. And they see a day of hope on the horizon when people all across the world will worship in freedom. The forces of intolerance can suppress the menorah -- but they can never extinguish its light.
The menorah we light tonight has special meaning. It once belonged to Chayim Pearl -- who was the great-grandfather of Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl. While reporting in Pakistan in 2002, Daniel was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists. His only crime was being a Jewish American -- something Daniel Pearl would never deny. In his final moments, Daniel told his captors about a street in Israel named for his great-grandfather. He looked into their camera and he said, "My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, and I'm Jewish." These words have become a source of inspiration for Americans of all faiths. They show the courage of a man who refused to bow before terror -- and the strength of a spirit that could not be broken.
Daniel's memory remains close to our hearts. Those who knew him best remember a gifted writer who loved the violin, and made friends wherever he went. We're honored that Daniel's parents -- Ruth and Judea -- have joined us today. We thank them for their work on behalf of the Daniel Pearl Foundation. The foundation helps bring people from different cultures together through journalism and music. It's a fitting tribute to Daniel's lifelong pursuit of truth and tolerance. By honoring Daniel, we are given the opportunity to bring forth hope from the darkness of tragedy -- and that is a miracle worth celebrating during the Festival of Lights.
Laura and I wish people of Jewish faith around the world a happy Hanukkah. May God bless you all. Tonight, we will hear a wonderful performance by the Zamir Chorale. But first I ask Ruth and Judea to light the Pearl family menorah, and lead the blessings.
END 5:33 P.M. EST
Awefully hard on the parents.
May Peace be upon the Pearls and upon all Israel. Amen.
Thanks! Chanukah Somayach to you, too! Does anyone know why Chanukah was changed to “Hanukkah” in my title?
The title you created "President Bush Explains Chanukah to You— Plus, Daniel Pearl’s Parents Light Menorah" did not match the linked source, the White House, and was changed.
Also, the link you used went to the front page, not to the text above. That also had to be changed.
Please just use the original title found above published material and include a working link to the article.
Anyone who goes to the link now will need to know that they need to click on the White House image to get back to the front page so you can watch the video. I wish it hadn't been changed.
the real miracle of Chanuka is that there are still Jews today to celebrate it.
May Hashem avenge his blood.
This Chanukah party has been an annual event at the WH since GWB took office as president. I believe that he may have begun this tradition.
"I know you Amish don't use electricity so here is a candle holder. It should give off lots of light"
Mrs. Laura Bush joins Rabbi Mendel Minkowitz, left, Rabbi Hillel Baron and Rabbi Binyomin Taub, right, during the koshering of the White House kitchen Monday, Dec. 10, 2007, in anticipation of Monday night's lighting of the Menorah and Hanukah reception. White House photo by Chris Greenberg
I wish Mrs. Bush wouldn't go for the pant suits so often.
A Menorah belonging to the great-grandfather of Daniel Pearl is lit by Judea and Ruth Pearl, his parents, during festivities Monday, Dec. 10, 2007, in the Grand Foyer of the White House. Said the President of the slain journalist, "His only crime was being a Jewish American -- something Daniel Pearl would never deny... Daniel's memory remains close to our hearts. By honoring Daniel, we are given the opportunity to bring forth hope from the darkness of tragedy-- and that is a miracle worth celebrating during the Festival of Lights." White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian
That’s a wonderful photo of Perl’s parents! May they both be blessed!
Ottawa, ON Prime Minister Stephen Harper today participated in a menorah-lighting ceremony to celebrate the eighth and final night of Chanukah.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am honoured to light the menorah to mark the celebration of Chanukah, said Prime Minister Harper. Noting that last year there were a record number of public menorah lightings in cities all around the world, the Prime Minister expressed optimism for the future of Jewish religious freedom. To me, this is an encouraging sign that the light of the menorah is growing stronger.
Also known as the Festival of Lights, the holiday commemorates the rededication of the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration 2,200 years ago. According to Jewish legend, when the Maccabees liberated the Temple, they found only enough oil to rekindle its menorah for one night. Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight nights. Chanukah symbolizes the enduring power of faith in triumphing over great adversity.
The fact that this ceremony can now be conducted in so many countries, in public, in the supportive company of their non-Jewish fellow citizens, is reason for hope that the light of the menorah may one day banish anti-Semitic bigotry into the darkness forever, said Prime Minister Harper. In the spirit of Chanukah, all Canadians should endeavour, each in our own way, to add a little more light and freedom to the world.
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