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December 9, 2012 2:18 pm

President Obama Sends Chanukah Greetings to Jewish Community Around the World

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The menorah is lit at the White House. Photo: Whitehouse.gov.

President Obama issued a statement Friday wishing “warmest wishes to all those celebrating Hanukkah.”

Commenting on the historic narrative behind the celebration the President said:

“This Hanukkah season we remember the powerful story of the Maccabees who rose up to liberate their people from oppression. Upon discovering the desecration of their Temple, the believers found only enough oil to light the lamp for one night. And yet it lasted for eight.

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Hanukkah is a time to celebrate the faith and customs of the Jewish people, but it is also an opportunity for people of all faiths to recognize the common aspirations we share. This holiday season, let us give thanks for the blessings we enjoy, and remain mindful of those who are suffering. And let us reaffirm our commitment to building a better, more complete world for all.”

The JTA reports that “The national menorah will be lit on the Ellipse near the White House on Sunday evening,” and “The White House will host its annual Chanukah party for Jewish community and political leaders later this week.”

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  • 250 “progressive, left-wing” rabbis have signed a letter in support of the President’s proposal to allow tax cuts to expire at the end of the year for those making above $250,000 annually. The letter was written by Bend the Arc Jewish Action, which bills itself as the largest Jewish social justice organization devoted to domestic policy issues.

    Making $250,000 OR$ 300,OOO in the New York-New Jersey tri-state area does not make one wealthy.

    I notice this was signed by Reform and Conservative rabbis. How many of them live in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut? How many of them pay exorbitant tuitions to day schools and yeshivas beginning at age four for their children?

    Most people do not spend this type of money until college. In many cases, college is cheaper. I hope none of these rabbis will tell me that sending my children and grandchildren to day schools or yeshivas is a luxury of choice.

    As an observant Jew, I have no choice nor do the majority of young observant-Jewish families who, even though they may make a combined salary of $250,000, are struggling. Try buying kosher food for the same price as non-kosher food. The choice to live in a religious community is based upon the need to educate our families in the ways of Torah observance. It is a sacrifice we all make.

    Who are these rabbis to tell us that we have so much money that we can afford the luxury of higher taxes? Is this supposed to be a channukah present?

    Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

    Edison, NJ

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