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Washington, DC - White House Christmas Tree Hauled In For Hanukkah Reception?

Published on: November 26, 2008 09:02 AM
By: NY Post
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White House 2008 Hanukkah CardWhite House 2008 Hanukkah Card

Washington, DC - The president and the first lady invited leaders of America’s Jewish community for a Hanukkah reception at the White House next month - but raised more than a few eyebrows by putting a picture of a Christmas tree on the invitation.

The message reads that the couple “requests the pleasure of your company at a Hanukkah reception,” written beneath an image of a Clydesdale horse hauling a Christmas fir along the snow-dappled drive to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

And, no, it is not a Hanukkah bush. A close look at the wagon reveals the message “White House Christmas Tree 2008.”

In the background, the White House windows are festooned with Christmas wreaths.

The incongruity of the message did not go unnoticed.
“It’s absolutely bizarre to receive an invite to the White House for Hanukkah in a Christmas format,” said one person who was invited.
“The should have consulted with their chief of protocol before sending this out. This belongs right in the ‘Weird But True’ column.”

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When reached for comment, Laura Bush’s spokeswoman, Sally McDonough, said the White House usually prints separate cards, but in the waning days of the presidency, there had been an oversight.
“Mrs. Bush is apologetic,” she said. “It is something that just slipped through the cracks.”

inside the card inviting for a Hanukkah eventinside the card inviting for a Hanukkah event


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Read Comments (42)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 26, 2008 at 09:04 AM Isaac Abraham Says:

Its obvious what's going on here: the Christmas tree is being taken out of the White House and the Menorah is being brought in the back.

2

 Nov 26, 2008 at 09:14 AM Anonymous Says:

shoin shoin nu nu,

Nisht geferlach,,,, surely it was a mistake.

He was a good president in general for the jews. This won;t change it.

And trust me he (G.W. Bush) did personaly take care of the printing.

3

 Nov 26, 2008 at 09:23 AM anon Says:

if this were clinton or obama white house you allwould be sxcreaming carelessness, they dont care, they dont like jews ,etc etc. this type of carless incompetence is so very typical the characteristics of bush himself and al;l the cronies he has had working for him (or not working for him rather) all these last 8 years.
so much for being the "jews best friend" they cant even pretend correctly aymore. BH they are done!

4

 Nov 26, 2008 at 09:21 AM Anonymous Says:

why the kvetching? you were invited to the Whitehouse if you dont feel that as a privilege then dont go its not a mitzvah to whine all the time.

5

 Nov 26, 2008 at 09:23 AM Yid Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

shoin shoin nu nu,

Nisht geferlach,,,, surely it was a mistake.

He was a good president in general for the jews. This won;t change it.

And trust me he (G.W. Bush) did personaly take care of the printing.

would you be so generous if it was obama? clinton? kennedy?

I challenge you to hold onto to this reaction for when a similar error occurs in president obama's white house!

6

 Nov 26, 2008 at 09:23 AM AuthenticSatmar Says:

Now we have solid proof that the Bush administration intelligence dept is asleep. Was the fake evidence of Iraqi nuclear facilities also a oversight?
Yeah he is a good person, but he's a lousy president.

7

 Nov 26, 2008 at 09:33 AM joe Says:

whoever did the card probably thought it was perfectly fine. they are not fine tuned to these kinds of things like us sensitive Yidden.

8

 Nov 26, 2008 at 09:40 AM Anonymous Says:

Haven't you ever heard of a Chanukah Bush?

9

 Nov 26, 2008 at 09:45 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Yid Says:

would you be so generous if it was obama? clinton? kennedy?

I challenge you to hold onto to this reaction for when a similar error occurs in president obama's white house!

Difference being that Bush has proven his friendship, Obama has not.

10

 Nov 26, 2008 at 09:47 AM Daniel in the Forest Says:

A regreatble but understandable mistake in that for many, many Goy the xmas tree has no religeous signifigance whatsoever. It does however have great material siginifigance to the Jewish businesses that cash in on the goy holiday with no misgivings and in some cases decorate their stores for the season.
I have no particular use for Mr Bush but in his White House in the past the Menorah has always come in the Front Door!

11

 Nov 26, 2008 at 10:10 AM ya Says:

Reply to #10  
Daniel in the Forest Says:

A regreatble but understandable mistake in that for many, many Goy the xmas tree has no religeous signifigance whatsoever. It does however have great material siginifigance to the Jewish businesses that cash in on the goy holiday with no misgivings and in some cases decorate their stores for the season.
I have no particular use for Mr Bush but in his White House in the past the Menorah has always come in the Front Door!

and bill clinton had hanukah parties in the white house all the time.

it was only after Bush who was the first president ever to (ironically) celebrate Ramadan in 2001 (and every year since) with an Iftar feast, that they decided they now had to also go one step futher for hanukah and light a menorah i nthe residence since they went all out for the muslim holiday too.

12

 Nov 26, 2008 at 10:10 AM Anonymous Says:

I'm no fan of President Bush, but I am not the least bit offended by this. It was gracious to host a Chanukah event and we can't expect the 98% to know and cater to all of the sensitivities of the 2%. Further, a tree really is not a religious symbol anymore, but is only a symbol of the season. Indeed, Jewish groups arguing in court to demanding to have menorahs placed with holiday trees on government property argued, successfully, that both are sufficiently secular to not create a problem of state endorsement of religion when placed on government property. We can't have it both ways.

13

 Nov 26, 2008 at 10:06 AM oh please Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

Difference being that Bush has proven his friendship, Obama has not.

1. Obama isnt president yet.
2. how has he not shown his friendship? what about his record indicates otherwise?

3. What exactly did bush prove???

14

 Nov 26, 2008 at 10:02 AM Shloimy Says:

I don't get too upset about mistakes on an invitation.

What I don't like is that so many yidden have felt "left out" over the goyishe holiday season and needed to "upgrade" Chanukah into the highest form of Yom Tovk in order to "compete". To me, Channukah is a beautiful time of year celebrating our tenacious dedication to Torah and mitzvos in the face of pressure to conform by outsiders. Wonderful! At the same, time, it is not a full-fledged Chag d'oraysa like Succos and Pesach, etc. But because of our insecurity living in an andera medina, we now have everyone wishing us a "Happy Hannuka" to go with their own "seasons greetings" and the like.

Yes, it is nice the Pres. Bush makes a Channuka party. He has been a good friend to Israel and yidden, and I am not criticizing him at all for that. But I would rather more Jews recognize other yomim tovim that go ignored outside of frum circles like Sukkos and Shavuous and not need to worry about whether Chanukka is getting "equal time" with the chuggah.

15

 Nov 26, 2008 at 10:00 AM Anonymous Says:

This has nothing to do with politics, whether you like Bush or not.
Yes, it was a really tacky mistake. But clearly a mistake.

16

 Nov 26, 2008 at 09:52 AM robroy560 Says:

Who cares... It's a Christian nation (for now) and Yashkur's birthday is one of their holiest days.

While many of us may not agree with R' Meir Kahane's A"H view's, I believe he wanted to ban Chanukah. His logic? Too many Jews identify.celebrate Chanukah more than the true chagim. Chanukah has a huge significance to us because of its great battle for perserving our religion. Yet most Jews only know the Menorah part and they celebrate it so much because of its proximity to Christmas.

This may be extreme, but he was right. I had to explain to my Jewish coworkers what Sukkot is and what Shavuot is. Pesach they knew because they had a seder (basically a meal with no Hagadah), and it was close to Easter. Sukkot? Unless they lived in Brooklyn or some onher area that was densely populate with frum Jews, they had no clue. But none of them knew about Z'man Matan Torateinu. But they made sure they bought 8 presents for each of their kids.

I am just thankful we live in a country where the goverment invites us in to celebrate our religion. So they goofed on the card - big deal.

17

 Nov 26, 2008 at 10:20 AM Anonymous Says:

Here we go again, we need special treatment. Los up. This is a goyishe world. You were invited for a Hanaka party who cares what picture is on the front. He honors the Yom Tov Hanaka every year and the Lubavitcher Sholiach in DC goes every year to light the menora. It is a great honor.

18

 Nov 26, 2008 at 10:19 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

why the kvetching? you were invited to the Whitehouse if you dont feel that as a privilege then dont go its not a mitzvah to whine all the time.

Reminds me of Achashverous inviting Yidden to his banquet!

19

 Nov 26, 2008 at 10:16 AM Anonymous Says:

Anyway the "Hanukah reception" isnt on Chanukah!
Its a whole week before!

20

 Nov 26, 2008 at 10:26 AM The Truth Says:

What it shows is that even the President needed some budget cutting and printed only 1 card design for Chanuka & Xmas!

21

 Nov 26, 2008 at 10:46 AM Anonymous Says:

Give it a rest already. Xmas trees are part of the American landscape this time of year. Show some appreciation that our hosts make such an effort to make us orchim feel so 'at home'. In a sense, the USA has been the greatest machnis orchim in history. We should find more ways to show our gratitude to them and to G-d for placing us here and find less to complain about.

22

 Nov 26, 2008 at 11:12 AM frum Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

Here we go again, we need special treatment. Los up. This is a goyishe world. You were invited for a Hanaka party who cares what picture is on the front. He honors the Yom Tov Hanaka every year and the Lubavitcher Sholiach in DC goes every year to light the menora. It is a great honor.

its really quite stupid to invite jews to a hanukah party with christmas decor on it. thats just ineptitude, not "special treatment" he could just as easily sent the invitations on plain paper nice without any pictures

23

 Nov 26, 2008 at 11:11 AM oy Says:

Reply to #19  
Anonymous Says:

Anyway the "Hanukah reception" isnt on Chanukah!
Its a whole week before!

Sad. bush has ramadan on the right time, why must hanukah not be on hanukah?

24

 Nov 26, 2008 at 11:11 AM LOL Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Give it a rest already. Xmas trees are part of the American landscape this time of year. Show some appreciation that our hosts make such an effort to make us orchim feel so 'at home'. In a sense, the USA has been the greatest machnis orchim in history. We should find more ways to show our gratitude to them and to G-d for placing us here and find less to complain about.

As long as you are honest enough to say the same thing when a dem president makes the same mistake!

25

 Nov 26, 2008 at 11:13 AM DEMOCRAT Says:

Reply to #14  
Shloimy Says:

I don't get too upset about mistakes on an invitation.

What I don't like is that so many yidden have felt "left out" over the goyishe holiday season and needed to "upgrade" Chanukah into the highest form of Yom Tovk in order to "compete". To me, Channukah is a beautiful time of year celebrating our tenacious dedication to Torah and mitzvos in the face of pressure to conform by outsiders. Wonderful! At the same, time, it is not a full-fledged Chag d'oraysa like Succos and Pesach, etc. But because of our insecurity living in an andera medina, we now have everyone wishing us a "Happy Hannuka" to go with their own "seasons greetings" and the like.

Yes, it is nice the Pres. Bush makes a Channuka party. He has been a good friend to Israel and yidden, and I am not criticizing him at all for that. But I would rather more Jews recognize other yomim tovim that go ignored outside of frum circles like Sukkos and Shavuous and not need to worry about whether Chanukka is getting "equal time" with the chuggah.

I hope you all feel the same way if and when the obama admin makes a similar mistake

26

 Nov 26, 2008 at 11:42 AM FVNMS Says:

YOU PEOPLE ARE PATHETIC. Who the hell cares about whether or not there's a christmas tree on an invitation? Who cares if this was the mistake of Obama Bush Clinton Kennedy Stalin Shmerel... STOP IT ALREADY. Get lives!

27

 Nov 26, 2008 at 11:31 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #24  
LOL Says:

As long as you are honest enough to say the same thing when a dem president makes the same mistake!

I would not only have the same reaction if the president was a Democrat, I would say the same thing if the person who sent it wasn't the president of anything, so long as it was sent with good intentions.

Do you have any idea how many times I've been wished 'enjoy your holicday' before yom kippur?

(I'm probably the wrong person to toss this out to. I seem to be the only person I know who can be as happy or unhappy with a Democratic president as with a Republican president. Don't tell anyone but I have even voted for Democrats. Keep it to yourself though. My grandchildren will need shiduchim too.)

28

 Nov 26, 2008 at 12:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Actually Christmas trees aren't Christian, despite the name. They are pagan symbols that were integrated into Christmas to make Christianity more palatable to pagans, who celebrated the winter solstice around that time of year (December 22nd).

29

 Nov 26, 2008 at 01:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
anon Says:

if this were clinton or obama white house you allwould be sxcreaming carelessness, they dont care, they dont like jews ,etc etc. this type of carless incompetence is so very typical the characteristics of bush himself and al;l the cronies he has had working for him (or not working for him rather) all these last 8 years.
so much for being the "jews best friend" they cant even pretend correctly aymore. BH they are done!

Mrs bush said "its something that just fell through the cracks" - Too bad she didn't fall through the cracks instead. I guess Not moving the embassy to Jerusalem was something that just fell through the cracks, and Not getting to pardon Pollard....just fell through the cracks as well.

30

 Nov 26, 2008 at 01:16 PM tipshus Says:

Reply to #5  
Yid Says:

would you be so generous if it was obama? clinton? kennedy?

I challenge you to hold onto to this reaction for when a similar error occurs in president obama's white house!

I had the same reaction AND I THOUGHT THAT IT WAS OBAMA AND HIF WIFE THAT IT WAS COMING FROM
HOW IRONIC")

31

 Nov 26, 2008 at 01:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Yid Says:

would you be so generous if it was obama? clinton? kennedy?

I challenge you to hold onto to this reaction for when a similar error occurs in president obama's white house!

Well it depends what their record is or will be for 8 years then we can see if it's a pattern or a mistake. Bush has been very warm all these years to Jews in general and Orthdox Jews in perticular. I will let this pass.

32

 Nov 26, 2008 at 01:49 PM Anonymous Says:

it may be called "the residence," but it isnt exactly in the living room, it's more like a large hallway with some paintings on the walls, a room that seemed more like a pass through from the working white house to the residence.

33

 Nov 26, 2008 at 01:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Anonymous Says:

Anyway the "Hanukah reception" isnt on Chanukah!
Its a whole week before!

YEAH! That's EXACTLY what I'd like to know. What's the PSHAT of having a "Chanuka" reception on the 18th of Kislev (actually the 19th). They might as well have the Chanuka party in October! Do you think they would make the iftar piftar Ramadan thing on the wrong date?

34

 Nov 26, 2008 at 01:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #29  
Anonymous Says:

Mrs bush said "its something that just fell through the cracks" - Too bad she didn't fall through the cracks instead. I guess Not moving the embassy to Jerusalem was something that just fell through the cracks, and Not getting to pardon Pollard....just fell through the cracks as well.

CHAS VESHALOM! G-D FORBID! HOW CAN YOU SPEAK THAT WAY ABOUT THE FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES?

YOUR COMMENTS ARE 100% DISGUSTING!

35

 Nov 26, 2008 at 02:26 PM anony Says:

Reply to #34  
Anonymous Says:

CHAS VESHALOM! G-D FORBID! HOW CAN YOU SPEAK THAT WAY ABOUT THE FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES?

YOUR COMMENTS ARE 100% DISGUSTING!

this guy's comments are disgusting. but on the issue of the embassy this is something that many bush lovers back in the 2000 campaign season said proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was somehow the best for israel (as opposed to the stellar superb records of gore and liberman) and of course we now see it was a false empty promise by the miserable failure bush. to think he would have been better for israel than joe leiberman as many including the republican jewish coalition said is downright ludicrous.

36

 Nov 26, 2008 at 02:55 PM lavdafka Says:

The Lubavitcher Rebbe O.B.M. was very big into this .. I believe his motive was to enhance and rejuvenate Jewish pride and identity (by people seeing this and getting a warm feeling of Jewish pride.) …. Same reason for the Lag b’omer parade (this is not an halachic issue per say).

Reply »

37

 Nov 26, 2008 at 02:51 PM Shloimy Says:

Reply to #25  
DEMOCRAT Says:

I hope you all feel the same way if and when the obama admin makes a similar mistake

As to the response of 'Democrat' to my post, I can only speak for myself, but I have nothing against Obama (although I did vote for his opponent). I hope he does a great job, and I will be open minded about his presidency.

I'll even add, that while I do feel that Pres. Bush was great for Israel, I feel the opposite about his father, who unfairly pressured Israel through his hatchet man Baker.

38

 Nov 26, 2008 at 05:38 PM Anonymous Says:

actually it was a chanuka BUSH to commemorate PREZ BUSH leaving white house on chanuka

39

 Nov 26, 2008 at 07:25 PM Anonymous Says:

What a bunch of kvetchers, first be happy you were invited to a party at the White House with the President, second their inadvertent mistake just handed you a real rare collectors item

40

 Nov 26, 2008 at 06:42 PM murray Says:

Reply to #23  
oy Says:

Sad. bush has ramadan on the right time, why must hanukah not be on hanukah?

the goyim have learned this from Reform Jews who "move" Jewish Holidays to more "convenient" days.

41

 Nov 27, 2008 at 06:19 AM Anonymous Says:

DO u think they serve Latkes? how about Sufguniot? Some ice coffee to go please!

42

 Nov 27, 2008 at 12:53 PM murray Says:

Reply to #39  
Anonymous Says:

What a bunch of kvetchers, first be happy you were invited to a party at the White House with the President, second their inadvertent mistake just handed you a real rare collectors item

You are correct about the collectors item. I just saw some on ebay.

43

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