Harris’ Husband’s Hanukkah Mishap
Douglas Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, found himself in hot water on Monday after posting a Hanukkah message on social media that got the holiday story wrong. The post, which has since been deleted, caused an uproar among Twitter users who were quick to point out Emhoff’s mistake.
In his now-deleted post, Emhoff shared a photo of himself and Harris lighting a menorah alongside a version of the origins of Hanukkah. However, the story he told was not historically accurate, leading to widespread criticism and backlash.
According to Emhoff, the Hanukkah story is one of hope and resilience, where the Jewish people were forced into hiding and only had a few drops of oil that miraculously lasted for eight days. He further added that it was during this time in hiding that they recited their prayers and continued their traditions.
However, this version of the Hanukkah story is not entirely true. The holiday celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the second century after the Jewish Maccabees successfully fought against their Greek-Syrian oppressors. When the Jews sought to rededicate the temple, they found only one day’s worth of oil, which miraculously lasted for eight days, hence the reason why Hanukkah is an eight-day holiday.
— Chaya Raichik (@ChayaRaichik10) December 12, 2023
Emhoff’s post was met with widespread criticism, with many social media users pointing out his mistake and questioning how he could get it so wrong. Some even speculated that he may have left it to a hapless intern who did not do their research adequately.
One Twitter user, Noah Rothman, a senior writer for the National Review, expressed his disbelief at Emhoff’s post, questioning how such an error could have happened in the first place.
“I’m really hoping the Second Gentleman left this to some hapless and uneducated intern who couldn’t be bothered to even consult Wikipedia,” wrote Jason Bedrick, a research fellow for the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy. “Eight days of hiding? Yikes, man!”
In the midst of the backlash, Emhoff deleted the post and attempted to rectify his mistake by sharing a more accurate version of the Hanukkah story. He also apologized for his error, writing, “I have taken down my earlier tweet about the story of Hanukkah. I was trying to share a message of hope during a dark time in our history, but I got the details wrong. I am still learning and committed to getting it right.”
Hanukkah began on December 7th and runs through Friday, but the controversy surrounding Emhoff’s post has left a sour taste for many who feel that such an error should not have been made, especially by someone who is working with the White House on combating antisemitism.
As the holiday continues and Jews around the world celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, Emhoff’s mistake serves as a reminder of the importance of accuracy and understanding when it comes to sharing stories and traditions of different cultures and religions.