AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Governor Greg Abbott met with members of the Jewish community in Austin today to celebrate Hanukkah.

At the State Capitol Menorah Lighting Ceremony, Abbott delivered a statement reflecting on the holiday’s significance for the Jewish community and lit the shamash candle (the ninth candle, or “helper,” used to light the other eight).

READ MORE: Fort Worth ISD 'Thinks Outside Box', Recruiting Teachers From Mexico

Gov. Greg Abbott lights the shamash (leader) candle in Austin. (Credit: Office Of The Governor)

“Hanukkah teaches us the power of hope, faith, and perseverance and serves as a testament to the strength and resilience of the Jewish people,” said Governor Abbott. “As we celebrate the festival of lights, may we all continue to let our own light shine even during the darkest of times. Cecilia and I wish the Jewish community in Texas and around the world a wonderful Hanukkah.”

READ MORE: Parker County Sheriff's Search For Thieves Who Rigged Pumps, Stole Thousands Of Gallons Of Gas

Gov. Greg Abbott delivers a statement in Austin on Hanukkah. (Credit: Office Of The Governor)

Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish holiday that is celebrated across the world over the course of eight nights.

Judaism follows a lunar calendar, so the first night of the holiday varies year by year. Starting in November, as it did this year, is unusual but not unheard of.

MORE NEWS: Unseasonably Warm Before DFW Temperatures Drop Below Freezing, Bring Chance For Wintry Mix

Gov. Greg Abbott speaks to a child during Hanukkah in Austin. (Credit: Office Of The Governor) Staff