White House holds Hanukkah menorah lighting ceremony – ZellaNews

“This is a White House custom, however for the primary time in historical past it’s a household custom,” President Joe Biden stated throughout the occasion within the East Room. He stated the White House was honored to have second gentleman Doug Emhoff, who’s Jewish, main the lighting.

During remarks on the ceremony, the President stated, “The Hanukkah story supplies a robust lesson and nourishes the wellspring of hope. In darkness there’s mild. In cynicism there’s hope, and optimism, and the unyielding perception that miracles are doable.”

He additionally recalled one thing the late Democratic Rep. Tom Lantos of California as soon as stated: “The veneer of civilization is paper skinny. We are its guardians and we are able to by no means relaxation.”

“Well, it is paper skinny and we’re its guardians,” Biden added, referencing latest anti-Semitic acts. “All it takes is a gap — a silver, a crack, the briefest nod of acceptance or legitimacy — for historic evils that lengthy plagued our society to come back dashing in.”

During the occasion, Emhoff recalled a latest go to to his New Jersey childhood residence, saying, “I truly acquired to see into the home, and I noticed the windowsill the place our household menorah sat.”

“And then to suppose that immediately I’m right here earlier than you as the primary Jewish partner (of) an American president or vice chairman, celebrating Hanukkah within the folks’s home — it is humbling,” Emhoff stated. “And it is not misplaced earlier than me that I stand earlier than you all on behalf of all of the Jewish households and communities on the market throughout our nation. I perceive that and I actually recognize it.”

Emhoff underscored that “our historical past, our values as Jews, are an important a part of who we’re as Americans. Jewish values are American values, and I consider this deeply.”

First woman Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris additionally spoke. Both emphasised the importance of the vacation’s symbolic story of sunshine amid darkness.

“Every yr our household, like so many all over the world, collect to mirror on the teachings of the Hanukkah story,” Harris stated. “The energy of the folks. The chance of the longer term. That even in despair, there’s hope. That even in darkness, there’s mild.”

According to the White House, the menorah used throughout the ceremony is the Liberty Bell menorah, on mortgage from the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

“The artist, Manfred Anson (1922-2012), was a Holocaust survivor and collector of Judaica, who designed this menorah in honor of Philadelphia’s very personal Liberty Bell,” a White House description says. “The bells had been solid from a memento tchotchke that Anson collected after immigrating to the US, and every is inscribed with the identify of a Jewish American.”

A phrase inscribed on the Liberty Bell, “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof,” can also be featured prominently on the menorah.

Along with Emhoff, the menorah was lit by Dr. Rabbi Aaron Glatt, Jewish neighborhood chief Susan Stern and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat.