Several hours after Chanukah began in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 7 at night, U.S. President Joe Biden wished a “Chanukah sameach, a happy Chanukah” from him and first lady Jill Biden. “The story of Chanukah teaches us that even a little bit of light, wherever it is found, can dispel the darkness and illuminate a path forward,” he wrote on social media.
Nearly 24 hours after the holiday began, however, the president has not issued a statement on the holiday, as he did in 2021. Last year, the president did appear to issue a statement, per a search of the White House website, although the White House posted a transcript of his remarks that year, as it had done in 2021.
Biden has also posted about Chanukah in the past on social media. “The story of Chanukah is one of miracles. It’s a story of a small band of warriors fighting for their values to defeat one of history’s most powerful empires,” Biden wrote on Dec. 20, 2022. “It’s the story of a small jar of oil burning brightly for eight days when it should’ve lasted one.”
An hour later, he posted: “This year’s Chanukah arrives in the midst of rising and emboldened antisemitism, at home and around the world. I recognize your fear, your hurt. And as your president, I want to make this clear. I will not be silent. America will not be silent.”
“Tonight, the fourth night of Chanukah, we honor the timeless miracle of a small band of warriors fighting for their values against a much larger foe,” he posted the following day, on Dec. 21, 2022. “That story of resilience reminds me of Ukraine. Even in the darkest days of the year—light will always prevail.”
Two days later, he added, “this Chanukah, let us celebrate and re-dedicate ourselves to the spirit of resilience, unity and permanence.”
“At its core, Chanukah recounts a story at the heart of the human spirit—one that is inherently Jewish and undeniably American,” Biden posted on Nov. 28, 2021. “From my family to yours, we wish you and your loved ones a Chanukah sameach, a happy Chanukah.”
In his 2021 statement, Biden said that Chanukah’s story is “inherently Jewish and undeniably American. Much like Thanksgiving, Chanukah is a holiday dedicated to the expression of gratitude for the blessings and miracles in our lives—big and small, seen and unseen, from ancient times until the present day.”