Israeli President Reuven Rivlin released a special Hanukkah greeting on Friday, ahead of the Jewish holiday beginning on Sunday night.
“My dear brothers and sisters in Israel, and around the world," he began. "At Hanukkah we stand around the lights, watch as they glow, and sing together Maoz Tzur, a song that tells about the many challenges that have risen against the Jewish people in the past."
"We celebrate the survival of our people and our faith against all the odds. We celebrate the freedom that was won in those days, and that we enjoy today with Israel as the national home of the Jewish people. It is no coincidence that the symbol of the Government of Israel is the Menorah, the symbol of Jewish independence, which lights our path.
"In each generation we must find that path; to reinforce the bonds between Jews across the world, to share together, to hold high the torch of freedom. To bring light where there is darkness. Just as it was for the heroic Maccabim, the light of the Menorah inspires us all.
“Today, hatred, incitement, and terrorism threaten the whole world," Rivlin continued. "In the face of these threats we need to be firm and strong like a rock – like Maoz Tzur – in our beliefs in freedom, justice, in the values of our tradition and of democracy."
"So this year as we gather with our families and communities and look at the wonderful lights it is my prayer that we will be reminded of the bonds that we all share, and the important role we all have of being a light unto the nations."
Rivlin then connected the holiday with the terror wave which has rippled through Israel since late September.
“Our thoughts at this time are of course with those who will be celebrating with a heavy heart; the injured and the families who have lost loved ones in the wave of terror that has struck in Israel, and around the world," he concluded. "To them especially, and to all the Jewish people, I wish a very happy Hanukkah. Shalom from Jerusalem.”