I would like to send you my warmest regards for Hanukkah and to wish you, your families and your friends in Germany, Israel and all over the world a warm and wonderful celebration.
When the candles are lit for Hanukkah in houses and streets in our country, this is miraculous in many ways. The lights remind us of the miracle that occurred in Jerusalem almost 2200 years ago. However, they also show that Jewish life is flourishing again in Germany today. After the Shoah, Germany’s betrayal of all civilised values, this, too, feels like a miracle and we can be profoundly grateful for it. I am delighted that we are celebrating the Jewish festival of lights together in many different places.
Jewish life, culture and history are part of Germany’s identity. The Federal Government is very keen to strengthen the Jewish community and to continue helping it to develop freely in Germany. However, the attack on the synagogue in Halle was a painful reminder to us that Jewish life needs vigilant and constant protection. We cannot allow scope for racism and antisemitism in Germany. It is our wish and duty to ensure that everyone in our country can live in safety.
With that in mind, I wish you and us all a bright and peaceful festival of lights. Hanukkah sameach!