Texas Gov’s Most Memorable Moment: Dancing with the Rabbis

Texas Gov’s Most Memorable Moment: Dancing with the Rabbis

Singing a Chanukah melody with Governor Rick Perry in 2010. (Photos: Office of the Governor)

by Staff Writer - Austin, TX

December 16, 2014

“It’s been fun,” Governor Rick Perry told reporters of his life as Governor. “Some of you got to watch [my son] Griffin walk in the chamber when he was two-years-old. And now he is thirty-one and got his own babies.”

When asked by a reporter last Thursday what the most memorable moment he had in the thirty years in office, he said it would have to be lighting the menorah and dancing with Chabad in his office.

In 2010 Perry received a group of Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis in the governor's public reception room, where he lit the shamash, used to light the other candles. Rabbi Yossi Lazaroff, the Chabad representative to Texas A&M University, said the blessings and lit the menorah. The governor looked on as the rabbis then began to sing a traditional Chanukah song.

As the song moved to its fast phase, the governor began clapping with the rabbis, and the crowd spontaneously danced around the governor’s desk. The then 60-year-old governor joined in the dancing. “This is real dancing,” he said,

That video of the governor dancing has become iconic and was played on national television during his presidential bid in the Republican primaries.

When a reporter for the American Statesman jokingly asked him if he was planning on banning dancing at this years Chanukah menorah lighting set to take place on Tuesday, December 16th, outside the Texas State Capitol building. “No, no, no, man. You gotta do the dancing,” the governor said.


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