President Bush on Monday honored the celebration of Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday that commemorates religious freedom and the successful fight against oppression.

In the East Wing of the White House, Bush presided over the lighting of a menorah on the fourth night of the holiday. He and first lady Laura Bush listened to traditional Hanukkah prayers and songs before the president issued a message of hope.

"The word Hanukkah means dedication, and the message of Hanukkah calls on us to dedicate ourselves to recognizing the miracles in our daily lives," Bush said to a few dozen gathered guests. "This dedication has the power to lift our souls and to make us better people, and to make the world a better place."

Bush also met earlier in the day in the White House with Jewish leaders.

"Laura and I are honored to have this Hanukkah menorah here at the White House," Bush said. "It's a symbol that the White House is the people's house, and it belongs to Americans of all faith."