Why Did Biden Kneel Down Before an Aide of the Israeli President?

Published July 8th, 2021 - 06:33 GMT
President Biden and Rivka Ravitz
Rivka Ravitz is Reuven Rivlin's chief of staff and is a mother of 12. (Twitter: @jacobkornbluh - Photo: Haim Zach/GPO)

During the formal visit paid by the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to the US, an incident caught by cameras has sparked online conversations, as the US President Joe Biden knelt down in respect for a female aid of his Israeli counterpart.

In the photo that was widely shared online, Joe Biden can be seen as he knelt down in front of the Israeli president and his 45-years old chief of staff, Rivka Ravitz, who is known for Haredi Jewish belief and is a mother of 12 children.

According to press reports, Biden's gesture was his response to knowing that Ravitz, a working mother, has 12 children. In Haredi traditions, families are encouraged to have as many children as possible. 2018 stats noted that Haredi families have an average of 7.9 kids.

Following the viral spread of the photo, internet users shared information about Rivka Ravitz, including the fact that she got married when she was 18 years old and that her youngest kid was born in 2019. Ravitz is also known to manage her own house by herself with no assistants, in addition to maintaining a strict Haredi lifestyle, including the fact that her household has no access to the internet, neither are newspapers allowed in the house.

Other users shared translations from Ravitz's comments following the incident, in which she explained: "He didn’t kneel because I’m Chief of Staff and he doesn’t know I’m finishing a doctorate. He wanted to pay tribute to the notion of family, home, and motherhood."


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