WHEREAS, Hanukkah, also known as the festival of lights, is an ancient eight-day and eight-night Jewish celebration observed on the 25th day of Kislev until the second day of Tevet on the Hebrew calendar; and

WHEREAS, Hanukkah is observed by the kindling of lights on a candelabrum known as a Menorah or Chanukiah, which consists of nine branches, eight of which represent each night of the holiday and one heightened middle branch known as the “shamash”, which is used to light the other candles; and

WHEREAS, the lighting of each candle represents the Hanukkah “miracle” in which one jar of oil was said to have lasted eight days and eight nights, keeping God’s eternal flame lit in the second Temple in Jerusalem nearly 2,000 years ago; and

WHEREAS, the story of Hanukkah is the story of the Maccabean Jews, commemorating the rededication of the second Temple in Jerusalem and this miracle of oil lasting eight days; and

WHEREAS, this symbol of light and God’s eternal flame can be seen in synagogues around the world every day; and

WHEREAS, traditions of Hanukkah include gathering with friends and family for prayer over the candles, exchanging gifts, cooking potato latkes, and playing dreidel; and

WHEREAS, Hanukkah is a time for the Jewish people to remember the spirits and faith of their ancestors and for all people to recommit to building a brighter future together; and

WHEREAS, Virginia joins with the Jewish people around the world celebrating Hanukkah this year from December 16–24, 2014;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize HANUKKAH fromDecember 16–24, 2014, in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.