At his final Chanukah party in the White House yesterday, President Obama said yesterday that the tradition he started of not one but two parties gives him a lot of “nachas,” which he pronounced as “nakkes.” And “if I managed to pronounce it correctly it is a modern day Chanukah miracle,” he joked, Kol Haolma reports.
The parties came ten days before Chanukah, allowing Obama to joke that he gets to be the first to wish everyone a happy Chanukah.
The president was joined by relatives of Elie Wiesel, the poet and Holocaust survivor who passed away in June, as well as relatives of Shimon Peres, the former Israeli president who passed away in September. The menorah used for candle lighting was one which survived the Holocaust. Obama praised Israel and the Jewish people, who he said have “punched far above their weight” in the world and history. There were more than 1,000 guests at both receptions, for which Rabbi Levi Shemtov, the Chabad shaliach to Washington, kashered the White House kitchen the day before.