Biden kneels before Orthodox Mother of 12

Biden kneels before Orthodox Mother of 12

JTA — US President Joe Biden has had four children of his own, but he is clearly impressed by mothers who raise more.
In a meeting with Israel’s outgoing president Reuven Rivlin at the White House on Monday, Biden knelt before Rivlin’s chief of staff, an Orthodox woman named Rivka Ravitz, in deference to the fact that she has 12 children.
The moment was reported by several media outlets, alongside a photo taken of the moment by a member of Israel’s
Government Press Office accompanying the Israeli presidential delegation.
Rivlin had mentioned to Biden that Ravitz, 45, a key adviser for years, runs a household of 13 in addition to her
demanding job, when the president knelt before her to express his admiration.
Rivlin clasped his hands in apparent surprise as he and Ravitz looked down at Biden, who lowered one knee to the
floor and bowed his head.
The Israeli president clasped his hands in surprise at the gesture by the American leader as the two met in the White House.
Rivlin will be replaced as president next week by Isaac Herzog, who headed the Jewish Agency. The visit to the United
States was Rivlin’s last overseas trip as president.
Ravitz’s father was born in the United States. She studied to be a teacher in Jerusalem and became a parliamentary
aide to the late Avraham Ravitz, a Haredi communal leader and former lawmaker in the Knesset. He was her father-in-law. She began working for Rivlin in 1999, when he was a lawmaker.


  1. I’m sorry, but for some reason (not too clear even to myself) I find Biden’s attitude creepy. I am a mother of eight and have a career, I do find family values important – yet if anyone knelt for me I would find it extremely embarassing. I respect and value other lifestyles, I strongly believe women should chose what’s best for them, and not try to live up to some fantastic ideal made up by men. I think it’s just another form of objectifying women…

    • I’m glad you wrote this, Dvorah. I, too, used the word ‘creepy’ to explain how I felt when I saw this.

  2. I also felt a bit uncomfortable with this. Didn’t find it “creepy” but actually a nice gesture but what was made of it in some frum posts I found hard to deal with. I don’t think the number of children you have makes you the best mother. The things that make the best mothers can’t be quantified like that. And if someone has a difficult career as well as a large family they will need a lot of help and support. Which is fine. But it gives the wrong impression that it’s something everyone should be doing and able to do. Motherhood is about quality, not quantity of children and other high-flying pursuits on the side only.

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