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 Home > News & Policies > December 2002

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 4, 2002

President Participates in Menorah Lighting
East Wing

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     Fact sheet Menorah Lighting 2002

5:20 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Welcome. This is the sixth night of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. This holiday marks the victory of Jewish patriots over oppression more than two millennia ago. The menorah represents an ancient miracle, in which a lamp with only enough oil for one day burned eight.

President George W. Bush watches as Daniella Wald, 12, lights one of the candles on the Menorah Wednesday, Dec 4 in the White House. President Bush presented one of the lighted candles to Daniella Wald, who lit the first three candles, and she presented the lighter candle to her sister, Alexandra Wald, 15, who lit the other three. Both of the girls are from Manhattan, and their father, Victor Wald, was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.  White House photo by Paul Morse Each year, Hanukkah brings a message of hope -- that light will overcome darkness, that goodness will overcome evil, and that faith can accomplish miracles.

Today, the spirit of those early patriots lives in the lives of the state of Israel and throughout the Jewish community, and among all brave people who fight violence and terror. We pray that this season of light will also be a season of peace for the Jewish people.

We are joined this evening by the members of the Ramaz Chamber Choir. Ramaz is a modern orthodox Jewish day school in Manhattan, and we're grateful to the students for making the trip to join us today.

I also want to thank Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia for the use of this beautiful menorah. Founded in 1795, Rodeph Shalom was the first Ashkenazic congregation established in the Western Hemisphere.

Lighting the menorah will be Daniella and Alexandra Wald from New York City. We welcome the girls here, and the honor is yours.

END 5:25 P.M. EST