Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon / Pete Souza
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch as Israel's President Reuven Rivlin and Mrs. Nechama Rivlin light the menorah during the first night's Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House, Dec. 9, 2015.

US President Joe Biden said Sunday in an address to mark the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the “Festival of Lights,” that the story of the eight-day holiday is one that is “inherently Jewish and undeniably American.”

The president apparently did not, however, record a video Hanukkah greeting to American Jews. It’s not clear why.


Each year, the National Menorah is kindled at the White House in Washington DC, but the event is privately sponsored, “a project of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad),” according to the website of The National Menorah.

A live stream of this year’s lighting ceremony will be broadcast from Washington DC on Sunday at 4 pm Eastern time. Click here to watch the streamed event.

The Maccabees, “guided by an abiding belief in their Creator and an inextinguishable commitment to their faith, prevailed against all odds” in their battle against the Syrian Greek occupation of the Jewish nation, he noted in his brief address.

But at its core, he said, “Hanukkah recounts a story at the heart of the human spirit – one that is inherently Jewish and undeniably American. It commemorates how even the most fragile flame can sustain a tradition and nourish the soul of a people. It teaches us that even a little bit of light, wherever it is found, can dispel the darkness and illuminate a path forward. And it reminds us that whether it is the Holy Temple in Jerusalem or the temple of our democracy, nothing broken or profaned is beyond repair.

“Much like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah is a holiday dedicated to the expression of gratitude for the blessings and miracles in our lives – big and small, seen and unseen, from ancient times until the present day,” Biden said.

“From our family to yours, and from the People’s House to your own homes, Jill and I wish you and your loved ones a Chanukah Sameach, a Happy Hanukkah!”


Previous articleHanukkah Menorahs Glow in Israel from North to South
Next articleArriving in Israel? Exit Airport Only Via Private Vehicle or Taxi
Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.