‘I Was shocked’: Biden kneels before Israeli mother of 12 at presidential meeting

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Rivka Ravitz, chief of staff for outgoing Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, said that she was shocked when U.S. President Joe Biden knelt and bowed before her during a meeting at the White House on June 28.“I was pretty shocked,” Ravitz said Sunday morning on Talkline with Zev Brenner.

Ravitz said that she was fortunate to have a photographer with her in the Oval Office that day. “If not that, no one would have believed me,” she said.

She described the meeting in detail, beginning with Biden greeting Rivlin very warmly with a hug.

The two leaders were having a “nice small chat” when Rivlin pointed towards Ravitz and said, “This is my chief of staff. She is very Orthodox, and you won’t believe how many children she has.”

Biden asked how many, and Rivlin answered, “12 children.”

“And he [Biden] was like going, ‘Wow, I can’t believe it. That can’t be. Are you sure, 12? Is that true?’” Ravitz said.

Ravitz said that she answered, “Yes, that’s true. There are 12, and there are even some grandchildren already.”

Biden then told her that he was from a Christian family, she said, and he began to talk about his mother.

Then he said, “You know what? I have to go down on my knees for honoring you for having 12 children,” before lowering himself to the floor on one knee and bowing his head.

Ravitz said that Biden also attempted to shake her hand, but Rivlin quickly explained that she is very religious and doesn’t shake hands with men.

“Well, you have to see my mother,” Biden told her, and they walked across the room together to see a photograph of the president’s mother on a small table.

Ravitz told Talkline that she had been thinking a lot about the experience since last week.

“The president of the United States, the most strong state in the world, to whom did he bow to? A mother of 12 children for her being a mother,” she said.

Ravitz said that Biden also attempted to shake her hand, but Rivlin quickly explained that she is very religious and doesn’t shake hands with men.

“Well, you have to see my mother,” Biden told her, and they walked across the room together to see a photograph of the president’s mother on a small table.

Ravitz told Talkline that she had been thinking a lot about the experience since last week.

“The president of the United States, the most strong state in the world, to whom did he bow to? A mother of 12 children for her being a mother,” she said.

Ravitz wasn’t the only Israeli woman that Biden was happy to see during the meeting.

In his official remarks to the press, Biden said, “Well, I’m really happy to have President Rivlin here. And I don’t want to — it’s not technically appropriate, but I — I’m so delighted his daughter is here.”

“She’s in the back right there. And I got to — I got to meet her and talk about our kids and grandkids and all the like,” he said.