Today marks the start of Chanukah – the Jewish festival of light.
Over the next eight days, people around the world will be celebrating by exchanging gifts, sharing food and playing traditional games. And in doing so, you will commemorate an ancient story of resilience, recovery, and light in the darkness. For all of us, these themes perhaps have additional poignancy this year.
Throughout the pandemic, I know that Scotland’s Jewish communities, like other faith communities, have faced particular challenges. And I am so hugely grateful for the sacrifices you have made. Your efforts have been vital, in helping us reach a point of much greater normality where our recovery can begin. And while of course there are still restrictions we need to follow, it does seem that, after a period of darkness, we’re now moving further into the light.
So I want to thank Scotland’s Jewish communities for everything you’ve done to help our country through the pandemic.
And as you mark this holy festival, I want to wish all of you a very happy, and a very peaceful Chanukah.