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Hanukkah Begins

People across the country are celebrating the beginning of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah.

The eight day festival of lights officially began at sundown on Friday.

In Washington and Philadelphia, services featured the lighting of the first candle on the menorah as well as celebrations featuring traditional foods.

In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg helped a local rabbi light what's called the world's largest menorah.

President Barack Obama says Hanukkah's lessons should inspire everyone to be thankful for what they have.

The eight-day celebration commemorates the rededication of the temple by Jewish rebels known as the Maccabees after their victory over the Syrians.

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama extended warm wishes Friday to Jews around the world who are observing Hanukkah.

Obama said the story of the Maccabees and the miracles they witnessed is a reminder that faith and perseverance are powerful forces that can sustain people through difficult times and help them overcome great odds.


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