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Herzog: ‘On a menorah with eight candles, there is room for us all’

“The Hanukkah story is all about people leaning in to their own truths and inspiring each other to stay connected,” the Israeli president says.

President Isaac Herzog at the Western Wall, speaking on the annual Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars and Victims of Terrorism, May 3, 2022. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
President Isaac Herzog at the Western Wall, speaking on the annual Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars and Victims of Terrorism, May 3, 2022. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.

On the first day of Hanukkah, Israeli President Isaac Herzog urged Jewish unity, stressing that “on a menorah with eight candles, there is room for us all.

“The Hanukkah story is all about people leaning in to their own truths and inspiring each other to stay connected,” Herzog said Monday, adding that this year’s holiday “brings with it its own challenges and its own calling. Within our Jewish family, we are all being asked to recall what keeps us whole and committed to our own common destiny.”

In the video message to “sisters and brothers all over the world,” Herzog said that “it’s no secret that the recent elections in Israel have left many Jews around the world asking real questions about belonging with our own collective.”

He said that this was “natural, and as Israel’s president, I welcome these earnest voices, which show just how much Israel means to all of us. I would like to remind us that reckoning with the tough questions has always been part of the Jewish story and the Jewish way.

“Jewish tradition has always valued conversation, debate, because it allows us to learn from each other and work through the difficult questions so that we can grow stronger, together. I believe that if we can put aside our reflexive reactions and show up with a willingness to honestly listen to each other, we will find that our many voices—both within Israel and between our Jewish communities—are our greatest strength,” Herzog said.

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