VP Harris’ husband botches Hanukkah story on social media during celebration of major Jewish holiday

Douglas Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, got his Hanukkah story wrong in a Monday social media post and was scolded for the confusion before he deleted it. 

In a post on X, formally known as Twitter, Emhoff posted an image of himself and Harris lighting a menorah. The post was accompanied by his version of the origins of the eight-day Jewish holiday.

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


Douglas Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, was criticized online for his take on the story of Hanukkah.  (Doug Emhoff / X)

“During those eight days in hiding, they recited their prayers and continued their traditions,” Emhoff, who is Jewish and is working with the White House on combating antisemitism, continued in the now deleted post. “That’s why Hanukkah 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.”

He added that he thinks of the story during “dark times.”

VP Harris husband tweet

Tweet by VP Harris’ husband, in which he renders the Hanukkah story incorrectly. The tweet was eventually deleted.

However, the Hanukkah story isn’t about Jews hiding with only a little bit of oil. The holiday celebrates the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the second century and celebrates the Jewish Maccabee’s victory over their Greek-Syrian oppressors.

When the Jews sought to re-dedicate the temple, they found only a one-day supply of sacred oil that miraculously lasted for eight days. 


Several social media users criticized Emhoff’s post, with many saying his version didn’t happen. 

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

“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 for the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy.

Hanukkah began on Dec. 7 and runs through Friday. 


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