A decades-old memo released by the U.S. National Archives Tuesday shows that Tony Blinken, U.S. President Joe Biden’s candidate for secretary of state, knows when Hanukkah’s humor is good, and when it is as uncooked as a raw latke.
The Archive posts documents related to the Hanukkah celebrations every day of the holiday this year. Tuesday’s election included excerpts from a 1998 memo from Jacob Maor, an adviser to the then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (in his first term), to Blinken, who was then a White House adviser to the president of the SA Bill Clinton.
The memo is full of Hanukkah’s humor, praised by Mayor Clinton saying in a public speech he planned to make when he visited Israel during the holidays. Clinton’s relationship with Netanyahu was tense about Israeli leader settlement policy and Netanyahu’s courtship about Clinton’s strongest U.S. political enemies. The joke would repeat how Clinton’s farewell proposal in 1995 for the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin would do, Maor said. Clinton was said in Hebrew, “Shalom, haver,” or “Farewell, friend.”
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Maor also noted that Hanukkah’s traditional reception is “Hag Urim Same’ah,” or “Happy Festival of Lights.”
“I suggest you end the president’s speech with those words.” It may have an effect as you did with the words ‘Shalom Haver.’ Big impact, ”he wrote.
According to the affirmative memo, which begins with “according to your request,” Blinken, who is Jewish, sought the advice.
But the Warden’s jokes involve either a flat fall or a defiant challenge.
One joke goes, “I know of a restaurant in America where they had a bigger miracle than your Hanukah miracle. Depending on the color of the oil in their frying pan (skillet?), I know their oil is good for 8 weeks, not just 8 days. ”
Maor advises parents, “Good fun for dinner. If you say it for a falcon stand, it will be even better. ”
Maor seemed to be hoping Clinton was bringing presents with him. “If the president wants to name ‘gifts’ for Israel, he would prefer to use the term ‘Hanukah gelt’ or ‘Hanukah money.’ These terms are used for traditional gifts in Hanukah, such as the your tradition of Christmas presents. ”
He continued: “He’d better say like: ‘Uncle Sam came to visit you in Hanukah, and he’s giving you some Hanukah money.’
A Mayor advised Clinton to pound the peace talks launched at the Wye River plantation in Maryland by referring to the Torah’s weekly reading, or parsha, that coincided with Clinton’s visit.
“Rabbis usually gets real fulfillment to everything in the Torah or the Bible today,” Clinton suggested. “We’ll get a notice or a glimpse even of your ordinary Parsha that you read. in Torah. The name is WYE-eshev. So interesting. “
Maor said: “Jewish people value this humor very much.”
Maor’s joke never saw the light of day, and the record doesn’t show if they ever got past Blinken’s desk. Clinton Hanukkah celebrated that year at the official home of Israeli Vice President Ezer Weizman by lighting a menorah. The event was humorous, but of the calm, generous kind, for which Clinton was famous, at least in public life. A children’s choir played, and one of the children helped light the menorah.
“I congratulate this young man for holding the candle all that time and not burning it himself,” Clinton said.
A National Archives employee who wrote the post says the document is “interesting” and said Hanukkah Clinton’s 1998 reception was made “in contrast to the tone of those suggestions.”
“This festival of light is a reminder to us all of the many blessings that illuminate our lives: the love of God, the gift of freedom, the strength of family and community, and the hope of lasting peace,” Clinton said afterwards.
In addition to a Mayor-Blinken memo, the Archive has also released a 1956 patent application for a menorah containing “cowboys, horses, tassels, and the contents of a mistletoe.”
Also included is a reference to Hanukkah in the testimony of the grand jury which led to the riot, trial and execution of the traitors Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and an account of Hanukkah in 1918 held by Jewish soldiers there in the midst of the pandemic of that year, and in the last days of the Great War.