On Thanksgiving, we remember the hardships endured by those brave Pilgrims who broke from the Church of England and came to America for the simple goal of religious freedom.It is also the first night of Hanukkah, the celebration of the Festival of Lights, commemorating the miracle of the oil, the Maccabean victory over the Hellenic invasion and Jewish religious freedom.
It is therefore appropriate that this Thanksgiving coincides with the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah for a very special “Thanksgivukkah” which won’t occur for another 79,000 years or so. How fitting we should come together on this special day honoring the Judeo-Christian faith heritage of America, and our inextricable bond to the State of Israel.America and Israel both face seemingly insurmountable challenges at this time. However, as we gather in thankfulness with our families, let us honor the perseverance of the early settlers and the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean revolt of the 2nd century BC.
Let us recall the challenges these groups faced and let it inspire us to secure the promise of freedom and liberty for our next generation. We should take comfort in knowing that both America and Israel represent a sense of exceptionalism that has thrived against recurring threats and odds. And each year, we find ourselves celebrating Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.
It seems somewhat a miracle that not even a week ago, a deal was struck with our common enemy, Iran. This is an enemy sworn to the destruction and elimination of our ally Israel, as well as the subjugation of our Constitutional Republic to their tyranny and totalitarianism.So here we are on this day, together giving thanks with our families. Here we are saying to those who would break our bond that their efforts will fail and they shall be cast upon the ash heap of history — and years from now our future generations will remember the early Pilgrims, the Maccabees, and those of us today who pledge to keep Thanksgiving and Hanukkah always and forever.