The husband of Vice President Kamala Harris made a major gaffe on social media this week when he posted about the start of the Hanukkah Jewish holiday.
On Monday, First Gentleman Douglas Emhoff posted a photo on the social media platform X of him and his wife lighting a menorah. He accompanied that photo with his version of the story behind the Jewish holiday, which lasts eight days.
Emhoff posts that Hanukkah is all about Jews hiding for eight days with only a little bit of oil to help give them light.
“That’s why Hanukkah means dedication,” he wrote in the post, which he has since deleted. “It was during those dark nights that the Maccabees dedicated themselves to maintaining hope and faith in the oil, each other, and their Judaism.”
Unfortunately for Emhoff, he got that part of the story wrong.
Douglas Emhoff, husband of VP Kamala Harris, deleted a social media post about Hanukkah after getting the story wrong. Users criticized his version of the holiday's origins. More at https://t.co/7JzamI9YUm
— Israel Headline News (@IsraelHeadline) December 12, 2023
The story of Hanukkah goes that when the Maccabees went to re-dedicate their temple, they only found enough sacred oil to last one day. Yet, somehow, that oil lasted for a full eight days, which is where the eight days of Hanukkah originated.
It’s a pretty significant mistake that Emhoff made — one that really shouldn’t happen.
Many people took to social media to call out Emhoff for his mistake.
“I’m really hoping the Second Gentleman left this to some hapless and uneducated intern who couldn’t be bothered to even consult Wikipedia,” tweeted Jason Bedrick, who works for the Center for Education Policy at the Heritage Foundation. “Eight days of hiding? Yikes, man!”
It wouldn’t be unfathomable — or even out of the question — for Emhoff to not control his own social media accounts. However, it’s odd, if not irresponsible, for him to review the post before it goes live.
As the first Jewish spouse of a U.S. president or vice president, one would think he would know the basic origins of his faith’s major holidays.