American Minute with Bill Federer
In 1979, Jimmy Carter was the first President to light the National Menorah, commenting on hostages held by Islamic terrorists in Iran:
“Commitments to be free are ever present in the hearts of all Americans because 50 of our fellow citizens are not free.”
Ronald Reagan, the second President to give a HANUKKAH Message, 1983, remarked:
“Whether we be Americans or Israelis, we are all children of Abraham, children of the same God. The bonds between our two peoples are growing stronger, and they must not and will never be broken.”
In his 1991 HANUKKAH Message, George H.W. Bush stated:
“When Judah Maccabee and his followers prepared to rededicate the Temple in Jerusalem, they found…only enough oil to light the menorah for one night. Miraculously, it lasted eight.”
Bill Clinton, in his 1997 HANUKKAH Message, said:
“From the days of the ancient Maccabees down to our present time, tyrants have sought to deny people the free expression of their faith and the right to live according to their own conscience and convictions.
Hanukkah symbolizes the heroic struggle of all who seek to defeat such oppression and the miracles that come to those full of faith and courage.
This holiday holds special meaning for us in America, where freedom of religion is one of the cornerstones of our democracy.
The coming year will mark the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel, where the story of the first Hanukkah took place so many centuries ago…
May the candles of the menorah light our way to a true and lasting peace for the people of the Middle East.”
President George Bush remarked lighting the Menorah in the White House, December 10, 2001:
“Tonight, for the first time in American history, the Hanukkah menorah will be lit at the White House residence…The magnificent menorah before us was crafted over a century ago in the city of Lvov…
The Jews of Lvov fell victim to the horror of the Nazi Holocaust, but their great menorah survived. And as God promised Abraham, the people of Israel still live…
We’re reminded of the ancient story of Israel’s courage and of the power of faith to make the darkness bright.
We can see the heroic spirit of the Macabees lives on in Israel today, and we trust that a better day is coming, when this Festival of Freedom will be celebrated in a world free from terror.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote to Samuel I. Rosenman, President of the Jewish Education Committee in New York, December 16, 1940:
“Please convey my best wishes to your co-workers in the Jewish Education Committee of New York, at the annual HANUKKAH Dinner…
Our modern democratic way of life has its deepest roots in our great common religious tradition, which for ages past has taught to civilized mankind the dignity of the human being, his equality before God, and his responsibility in the making of a better and fairer world.
Everywhere in the world there are men…engaged in a great spiritual struggle to test whether that ancient wisdom is to endure, or whether…some few men shall dominate multitudes of others and dictate to them their thinking, their religion, their living…
In teaching this democratic faith to American children, we need the sustaining, buttressing aid of those great ethical religious teachings which are the heritage of our modern civilization.
For ‘not upon strength nor upon power, but upon the spirit of God” shall our democracy be founded.’”
President Harry S Truman answered questions at a News Conference of August 16, 1945:
“Q. What was the American view on Palestine?
PRESIDENT. The American view…is, we want to let as many of the Jews into Palestine as it is possible.”
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.
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