President Biden on Thursday diverged off-topic during a call with Jewish leaders to complain about his daughter’s wedding to a Jewish doctor, while forgetting the names of two songs that are staples of Catholic and Jewish weddings.
The virtual call was to mark the start of the holiest time of the year for Jewish people. Rosh Hashanah, which marks the new year in the Jewish calendar, starts Monday and Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, will be celebrated this month.
But Mr. Biden switched topics and spent a good portion of his remarks venting about his daughter, Ashley, not playing his favorite Catholic hymn at her wedding.
“My daughter married a Jewish young man. The dream of every Catholic father that she married a Jewish doctor. But all kidding aside, he’s a great surgeon,” Mr. Biden recalled.
“Now some of you aren’t going to like this, but it was co-officiated by a Catholic priest as well as Jewish rabbi and I had only asked one thing. They asked …I arranged it … I asked for only one thing: There’s a hymn, my favorite hymn in the Catholic Church based on a psalm,” he said.
Mr. Biden then repeated the lyrics to the song titled, “On Eagle’s Wings.”
Instead “Hava Nagila,” a traditional Hebrew song, was played at the wedding, Mr. Biden recalled while struggling to remember its name.
“My mind is going blank now, what is the song that is played where everyone is on the chair? I can’t remember it, anyway. And that’s the song that was played. So I don’t know what the hell is going on here. I just had one little favor … but look I’m taking too much of your time here,” he continued.
Ashley Biden’s wedding wasn’t the only detour the president took during his remarks. He also reminisced about his meeting with 1970s Israel Prime Minister Golda Meir in Jerusalem.
Mr. Biden described the meeting as “sad,” because she explained to him that Israel had to fight wars because Jewish people had nowhere else to go.
Mr. Biden also condemned anti-semitic attacks, including the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018, calling such tragedies “a strike against the soul of our nation.”