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Doug Emhoff at the National Chanukkah Menorah lighting ceremony. Photo: video.

Doug Emhoff, husband to the Vice President, gets Chanukah story wrong

Douglas Emhoff, the Jewish husband of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris whom the Biden administration often tasks with representing it at Jewish events, is being mocked on social media for a post that confused the story of Chanukah.

“The story of Chanukah and the story of the Jewish people has always been one of hope and resilience. In the Chanukah story, the Jewish people were forced into hiding. No one thought they would survive or that the few drops of oil they had would last,” Emhoff claimed. “But they survived, and the oil kept burning.”

“During those eight days in hiding, they recited their prayers and continued their traditions,” Emhoff added. “That’s why Chanukah means dedication. It was during those dark nights that the Maccabees dedicated themselves to maintaining hope and faith in the oil, each other and their Judaism.”

READ: Hanukkah and Christmas connected?

“In these dark times, I think of that story,” Emhoff added.

The Chanukah story is not about Jews hiding for eight days with a little bit of oil. It is about the Jews, having won a military victory, rededicating the Temple and finding only a small amount of oil—enough for one day—which then miraculously lasted for eight.

Emhoff has since deleted the tweet.

“Um, this is definitely not the story of Chanukah,” wrote an attorney, who has a large following and uses the pseudonym A. G. Hamilton.

“How could this have happened?” wrote Noah Rothman, a National Review senior writer.

“I’m really hoping the second gentleman left this to some hapless and uneducated intern who couldn’t be bothered to even consult Wikipedia. Eight days of hiding? Yikes, man,” wrote Jason Bedrick, a research fellow in the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy.

“How to say ‘I don’t know anything about Judaism’ without saying ‘I don’t know anything about Judaism,’” wrote another user, Olia Klein. “This level of ignorance is embarrassing.”

Emhoff, for his part, received praise for condemning Hamas and the presidents of three universities who testified before Congress last week.


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