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Dec 27, 2016

Picture of the Day

from Ivanka's Facebook page

and happy Chanukah to you, Jared, Ivanka and family!

this isn't PotD just because of it being a Jewish family lighting menorahs with some nice holiday wishes.. it is because of all the criticism I saw of it online...
I saw people upset about:
1. the cheap menorahs being used, when they can clearly afford better
2. Jared looks like he isn't wearing a kipa.
3. Ivanka's mode of dress for a public picture
4. inconsistency of the number of candles in each menorah
5. pirsumei nisa. they aren't lighting in a window or doorway.
and there might have been others, but that is what I saw online

I reject them all as as being distasteful and incorrect. It is distasteful to evaluate individuals on such a personal level. People live their lives as they see fit and as long as they aren't hurting anyone, just because they do things differently than you does not give you the right or ability to judge them. That being said, we all do just that too often, in some way or another, so i will lay out why I think the criticisms are wrong.

1. they are on vacation in Hawaii (as they publicized). Are they really meant to shlep their nice silver (assuming they have a silver menorah, as the criticism included they should have) thousands of miles across the country? I know  wouldn't.
2. you definitely cannot tell from this angle. All we see is the front portion of his hair - not the top or back of his head. He definitely is not wearing a Buchari style kipa, but beyond  that just because you don't see it does not mean it isn't there.
3. I try not to comment on women's clothes, but people wear what they want and like. They are Modern Orthodox, and not Haredi. And Modern Orthodox also has a wide range of styles. It isn't what I would expect my family members to wear, but frum women have worn such styles, especially on vacations - like it or not.
4. feh. When lighting cheap menorahs candles sometimes fall over. With kids lighting sometimes the candle gets burned down quickly or put out before put in the menorah.
5. perhaps pirsumei nissa needs to be revisited in today's day and age. Their Facebook post of this picture had over 140,000 likes. and probably more people even saw it without "liking" it. That is far more than the number who saw my menorah in my window and my neighbor's menorah outside by the door. Perhaps this is greater pirsumei nissa? Also, the Rama says clearly nowadays the pirsumei nissa is internal rather than external and we light indoors. As well, many chassidim light indoors not near a window but by the bedroom or elsewhere indoors. As well, we have no idea if this table is near a window or not - the picture offers a very limited scope of the room.

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  1. None of the comments mentioned the most significant aspect of the photo - the beautiful smile on the face of the girl standing next to her mother.

    May Mitzot and the connection to her people continue to bring a smile to her face, especially over the coming years where every single action, including something as simple as lighting Chanukah candles will receive criticism from thousands of strangers from all over the world.

    And one more point - they may not have shlepped a silver menorah from new York to Hawaii, but they did bring the hand made menorah that their child made in Gan; that shows that they have the right priorities.

  2. As far as the pirsumei nissa aspect, I believe most chassidim also light on the table, not necessarily near a window.


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