Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement in celebration of the start of Chanukah:
“Over two thousand years ago, a small group of Jewish freedom fighters called the Maccabees rebelled against religious persecution to reclaim the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The story of Chanukah reminds us all that the history of the Jewish people is one of resilience and perseverance against tremendous odds and all too often in the face of violent oppression.
“Today, we join members of the Jewish community here in British Columbia and all over the world as they mark the first of eight nights by lighting the candles of the chanukiah, giving blessings and exchanging gifts. In doing so, they celebrate the miracle of the oil the Maccabees found while rededicating the temple — thought to only be enough to light their lamp for one day, but instead burning for eight straight days.
“This year, Chanukah will have to look a bit different. As we work together to fight a second wave of COVID-19, I urge families to celebrate only with people in their immediate household and to find new, virtual ways to connect with extended family and other loved ones. This is incredibly difficult, especially at this time of year. But better days are ahead of us if we all do our part now to slow the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“Chanukah’s call to reflect on the triumph of light over darkness is as important as ever. The pandemic may have turned our lives upside down, but it has not shaken the commitment we share to keep families, friends, neighbours and fellow British Columbians safe. On behalf of all British Columbians, I wish everyone celebrating this holiday a Happy Chanukah, a Chanukah Sameach. May the light shine brightly in your homes.”