By Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Let me wish all my friends a most Happy Hanukkah!
The Festival of Lights comes each year as winter’s dark days are closing in on us. Now is the time to gather family close, feast on latkes, play dreidel, and light the candles.
History teaches us that in 200 B.C.E. the Maccabees rebelled when King Antiochus banned Jewish worship in Jerusalem, the capital city where the holy Temple was built. This year, we can celebrate a little extra, to be living in a country that is unafraid to say out loud what two thousand years of history has been unable to erase– that Jerusalem was and remains Israel’s capital!
We’re blessed to live in a country where our religious freedom is constitutionally guaranteed; where we see menorahs alongside Christmas trees. That liberty, which so many sacrifice to preserve, is something we must never take for granted.
The miracle of Hanukkah came when the lamps in the Temple shone for eight days – but that wasn’t possible until the people had the courage and determination to stand up for their freedom. So today, when you light the Hanukkah candles, may you bask in the warm glow of celebration with your family, and also remember the courage of the Maccabees for the example they set for generations to come.
Happy Hanukkah from my family to yours.