President Barack Obama says Hanukkah's lessons should inspire everyone to be thankful for what they have.
The eight-day celebration, beginning at sunset Friday, commemorates the rededication of the temple by Jewish rebels known as the Maccabees after their victory over the Syrians. The holiday is marked by the kindling of the lights of a menorah.
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.