President Bush drew modern parallels to the Maccabees in his annual Chanukah message.
“More than 2,000 years ago, the land of ancient Israel was conquered, its sacred Temple was desecrated, and the Jewish people were forbidden to practice their faith,” Bush said in his message sent Monday.
“A patriot named Judah Maccabee and his followers rose up against their oppressors to take back Jerusalem. When the Maccabees returned to reclaim and purify their Holy Temple, the oil used for dedication should have lasted only one day but burned for eight. Every year since then, Jews have celebrated this victory of light over darkness and given thanks for the presence of a just and loving God.”
The U.S. leader added, ” We pray that those who still live in the darkness of tyranny will someday see the light of freedom, and we ask for God’s continued guidance and boundless love and His protection of all those in need during this holiday season.”