Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement to mark the beginning of Chanukah:
“Laureen and I would like to extend our warmest greetings to the families, friends and communities across Canada and around the world who are celebrating Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.
“This eight-day holiday recalls the story of the Maccabees, who liberated the Jewish people from oppression and rededicated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem by burning ritual oil in the Temple’s menorah. It also commemorates the miracle that the oil burned for eight full days, even though there was only enough to last for one.
“It is an inspiring story of the triumph of good over evil, of light over darkness and the power of faith. It is this very faith that is the cornerstone of a modern, prosperous, vibrant and democratic Israel, a faith that has inspired believers in Canada and around the world.
“Chanukah also provides a meaningful opportunity for all Canadians to reflect on the remarkable contributions, both past and present, of the Jewish-Canadian community in all areas of endeavour.