(JTA) — Boris Johnson wasn’t trying to be funny when he broke the menorah he had received mere seconds before, but it certainly gave Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid a laugh.
At an event in London Monday, Johnson sent pieces of a menorah he received as a gift flying in all directions after he hoisted it up in the air like a trophy.
Johnson and Lapid had been called up to the stage at the luncheon hosted by the Conservative Friends for Israel and presented with menorahs as gifts. As Johnson lifted his menorah into the air, the pieces of the menorah that hold the candles were scattered across the floor. In a video published by the Jewish News of London, Johnson looked sheepish as the pieces were reassembled, while Lapid got a good laugh.
This was not Johnson’s first struggle with a Jewish religious object.
At a synagogue groundbreaking ceremony in 2011, Johnson, then the mayor of London, attempted to blow a shofar with little success as Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, then the chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, stood beside him and chuckled.
A video of the moment shows Johnson’s repeated attempts to blow the shofar and bewilderment when an onlooker tells him to try “on the side,” presumably referring to the side of his mouth but confusing Johnson as he looked in vain for another hole to blow into on he side of the shofar.
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