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Obama Hanukkah message: a time for people of all faiths to come together

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle take part in a Hanukkah lighting ceremony at the White House Saturday evening. (Official White House Photo)

President Obama's statement to the Jewish community at the start of Hanukkah:

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.

There was considerably less hubbub over the Obama message this year than last when luminaries such as Jackie Mason and Rush Limbaugh blasted the president for holding a White House function 12 days before the actual holiday began. Mason called it a PR stunt:

"A bunch of advisors, most of whom are Jewish anyways -- because he has more Jews in his cabinet than Netanyahu. He's jammed up with Jews all around him -- and they told him, if you wanna get them back, Hanukkah is a good idea," he said. "You don't have to go any place. We'll put down the tchotchke and you'll see a candle, you'll light it from this side, and that's enough information for him to accumulate without a teleprompter. So he did it in 10 minutes."

And Limbaugh said Obama had confused it for Kwanzaa:

Hanukkah is December 8 through 16 this year, so Limbaugh and Mason will have to find new material on this one.

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