“Tonight at sundown, families and friends lit candles in celebration of the first night of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.
“Over 2,000 years ago, the Maccabees successfully rose up against their foreign oppressors and liberated Jerusalem and the Holy Temple. Chanukah marks the triumph of good over evil - of light over darkness - and serves as an important reminder to all that the pursuit of justice and freedom is righteous, and a moral imperative.
“The eight-day holiday is celebrated by the nightly lighting of a chanukiah, to commemorate the miracle of Chanukah oil in which enough oil for only one day burned for eight days in the reclaimed Temple; the eating of fried foods, such as latkes and sufganiot; and the spinning of the dreidel in a traditional game that celebrates the great miracle.
“Chanukah provides a meaningful opportunity for all Canadians to reflect on the importance of faith, freedom, and tradition, and to recognize the invaluable contributions of Canada’s Jewish community in building our country. Indeed, the Jewish community has always championed Canadian values, including democracy, the rule of law, pluralism, and of course, religious freedom.
“As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I wish everyone celebrating Chanukah a Happy Chanukah, or a Chag Chanuka Sameach.”