Trump’s Hanukkah message pledges support for Pittsburgh synagogue victims


(JTA) — President Donald Trump remembered the Pittsburgh synagogue victims in his message for Hanukkah and said “Light will always break through the darkness.”

“Melania and I send our warmest greetings to our Jewish brothers and sisters in the United States, in Israel, and around the world celebrating Hanukkah,” Trump said in the message released Sunday, hours before the first candle was lit in the United States. The holiday ends on Dec. 10.

The president noted that the tradition of lighting the Hanukkah menorah came after Jews were persecuted for practicing their faith.

“Unfortunately, Jews today continue to face many different forms of violence, hatred, and bigotry around the globe. We remember all those from the Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha Congregation — whose lives were tragically taken in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, this past October,” the statement said. “As one Nation, we pledge our continued love and support for the victims, their families, and the community, and we pray that the victims’ families find some measure of peace and comfort during this holiday season.

“Over the coming days, may the warming glow of each candle on the menorah help fill homes and hearts with love and happiness. Together, we reaffirm the truth that light will always break through the darkness.”

The White House had been scheduled to hold two Hanukkah receptions on Wednesday, but a national day of mourning for former president George H.W. Bush, who died Friday night, has been scheduled for that day. Federal government agencies and the New York Stock Exchange will be closed Wednesday in honor of Bush.

The receptions were moved to the following day.

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