Presidents light fourth candle at White House

'Maccabees fought for liberty, freedom of religion,their traditions, and for our traditions,' Israeli President says at ceremonial lighting.

Shoshana Miskin ,

President Rivlin and US President Obama
President Rivlin and US President Obama
Kobi Gideon (GPO)

President Reuven and First Lady Nehama Rivlin visited the White House on Wednesday and were welcomed by US President Barack Obama and his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama.

During the traditional White House candle lighting ceremony, President Obama noted that he was proud and happy to host President Rivlin and his wife, adding that Hanukkah was a symbol of the struggle for freedom and for freedom of religion.

President Rivlin illustrated how Hanukkah is the holiday of spiritual activism. 

"[The Maccabees] did not fight 'against', they fought 'for’ - for liberty, for freedom of religion, for their traditions, for our traditions, for their ability to celebrate their own identity”, said Rivlin. “It is a holiday which represents the spirit of the human being, created equally in the Image of God."

The President concluded the candle-lighting ceremony by saying he hopes that someday freedom of religion, culture and moral freedom would be the right of all citizens of the world without exception.