in Menorah Lighting
The White House
December 4, 2002
5:20 P.M. EST
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.
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.