Obama and wife Michelle at White House Hannukah party 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
After pardoning two turkeys ahead of Thanksgiving, US President Barack Obama and wife Michelle took time to wish Jews a happy Hannuka on Wednesday evening.
"For the first time since the late 1800s – and for the last time until some 70,000 years from now – the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving," Obama said. "It’s an event so rare some have even coined it 'Thanksgivukkah'."
"As we gather with loved ones around the turkey, the menorah, or both, we celebrate some fortunate timing and give thanks for miracles both great and small," he continued.
The US president drew parallels between the first pilgrims arriving at the New World and the Maccabees at the center of the Hannuka story, saying both have "made tremendous sacrifices so they could practice their religion in peace."
"In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, they reclaimed their historic homeland."
"As the first Hanukkah candle is lit, we are reminded that our task is not only to secure the blessing of freedom, but to make the most of that blessing once it is secure," Obama continued.
"From my family to yours, Chag Sameach."