Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement commemorating the first night of Hanukkah, which begins today and ends Dec. 5:
"Hanukkah is a joyous holiday that brings friends and family together in celebration.
"The perseverance and resilience of the Jewish people, combined with everything that Hanukkah represents, serve as an inspiration for people of all faiths across Illinois.
"I wish all who are celebrating in Illinois a happy Hanukkah and a wonderful holiday season."
Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, as well as the triumph of light and purity. When the Jews tried to purify the Temple upon reclaiming it, there was only enough oil to light the menorah for one day instead of the necessary eight. Miraculously, this small amount of oil lasted all eight days, which is why this holiday is also known as the Festival of Lights.
Earlier today state officials were joined by Rabbi Avraham Kagan and Rabbi Daniel Moscowitz of Chabad Illinois and other leaders of the Jewish community for the state of Illinois' annual Hanukkah celebration. The group lit a menorah to commemorate the first night of this special holiday.