I missed accounts of the White House parties and reception that were held in observance of Hanukkah last week. Eight Holocaust survivors from Brooklyn were in attendance at the first (afternoon) party. President Trump made three sets of formal remarks. Yeshiva World comprehensively documents the proceedings in “VIDEOS/PHOTOS: Trump Hosts Annual White House Chanukah Party; Joined By Holocaust Survivors & Parkland Shooting Victim’s Dad.”
The family of Parkland mass shooting victim Meadow Pollack was in attendance at the second (evening) party. Meadow’s father, Andrew, spoke and drew a line from Hanukkah to Trump.
At the afternoon party, Trump’s remarks included these comments on his record so far (my transcription):
My administration will always stand with our cherished friend and partner, the State of Israel. We have left the horrible Iran nuclear deal — it was a horrible, horrible deal, should never have been made — and imposed the toughest-ever sanctions. We sanctioned Iran like I guess few have ever been sanctioned before. We must never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon or bomb….
Exactly one year ago today, at my direction, the United States recognized the true capital of Israel and we quickly moved the American embassy to Jerusalem….
He added: “Civilization is indebted to the Jewish people for their incredible contributions….we reaffirm our unbreakable solidarity with the Jewish people.”
In his remarks at the evening party Trump quoted from George Washington’s great 1790 letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island.
The Yeshiva World story incorporates the tweet below.
"The Nazis took away my name and turned me into a number….and now I'm in the White House!" Most moving part of today's @WhiteHouse #Chanukah party was in back of room. Watched @BetsyDeVosED speak to each of the #Holocaust survivors, hold their hands, listen to their stories. pic.twitter.com/GLoGa7RMSV
— A. D. Motzen (@ADMotzen) December 7, 2018
All in all, pretty, pretty good for the new, well, you know what.
H/t: Teacher and friend Rabbi Joshua Borenstein.