Aussie Jewish lawmakers take oath on Tanach

Two Jewish lawmakers took the oath of office on a Tanach when they were sworn in as members of Australia’s parliament.

Michael Danby, who has been a member of parliament since 1998, and his new Labor colleague, Mark Dreyfus, both wore yarmulkes while they were sworn in on Tuesday in Canberra.

According to the Australian Jewish News, Danby, in his first speech this week, taught the House of Representatives a new Yiddish word when he recommended a colleague to the post of deputy speaker of the house, saying, “I would like to introduce another word to this parliament: ‘Nachas,’ which means the derived pleasure one gets in seeing one’s friends and people who deserve to do well.”

The new Labor government’s first act in parliament on Wednesday was a historic apology by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for the “profound grief, suffering and loss” that Aborigines suffered between 1910 and 1970 when the government forcibly removed tens of thousands of children from their parents in what has become known as the “Stolen Generations.”

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