Hanukkah Miracle: Doug Jones's Victory Over Roy Moore Celebrated on First Night of Holiday

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Democratic Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones acknowledges supporters at the election night party in Birmingham, Alabama, December 12. The election coincided with the first night of Hanukkah and several observers hailed Jones's victory as a holiday miracle. Marvin Gentry/Reuters

The special election in Alabama on Tuesday coincided with the first night of Hanukkah, and some onlookers are hailing Doug Jones's triumph over Roy Moore as this year's Hanukkah miracle.

The Jewish holiday is a joyous festival that celebrates the miraculous victory of an underdog resistance movement led by the Jewish priest Mattathias and his son Judah Maccabee more than 2,000 years ago against the armies of the king Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

In Alabama, the Senate race upset saw the Democratic candidate prevail over his Republican opponent, who has been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks over allegations of sexual misconduct (specifically that he engaged in inappropriate relationships and molested underaged girls when he was a district attorney in his 30s).

Before and after the results came in, observers took to social media to draw a connection between the election and the Jewish holiday, riffing on the themes of an unexpected triumph of good over evil, of the underdog who saved a community and of the holiday miracle.

And the tweets spanned the spectrum, from Hollywood to academia.

The actress Debra Messing tweeted:

A Hanukkah Miracle!!! God bless Alabama & God Bless America. Tonight decency won. Humanity won.… https://t.co/mvSGcdznPl

— Debra Messing✍🏻 (@DebraMessing) December 13, 2017

Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, also weighed in:

Remember, the true miracle of Hanukkah this year is that a Democrat is in a competitive race in Alabama.

— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) December 13, 2017

The musician and frontman for the Airborne Toxic Event Mikel Jollett shared a photo of a menorah:

This one's for Doug Jones! pic.twitter.com/FCbmUWCupW

— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) December 13, 2017

Josh Gondelman, a writer for Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, amended a classic holiday tune:

All I Want For Christmas* Is You**
*Hanukkah
**You...Not To Vote For Roy Moore If You Live In Alabama

— Josh Gondelman (@joshgondelman) December 12, 2017

Amanda Litman, co-founder of Run for Something and a former email marketing director for Hillary Clinton's campaign, referenced a statement made by Moore's wife:

Yesterday the wife of the guy everyone thought would be senator from Alabama said they couldn't be anti-semitic because her lawyer was Jewish.

Today, the Senator-elect from Alabama wished us a Happy Hanukkah.

— Amanda Litman (@amandalitman) December 13, 2017

Philip Gourevitch, a staff writer at The New Yorker, shared a transliterated Hebrew phrase meaning "a great miracle happened there" minutes after news outlets projected Jones's victory:

nes gadol haya sham

— Philip Gourevitch (@PGourevitch) December 13, 2017

The expression is closely associated with Hanukkah; the Hebrew letters on the four sides of the dreidel, or a spinning top used for holiday games, are Nun, Gimel, Hei and Shin, meant to spell out "nes gadol haya sham." (In Israel, the last letter is Pei instead, to reflect that the miracle happened poh, or "here," not "there.")

Gourevitch wasn't the only one to invoke the phrase:

“A great miracle happened there”

The story of #Hanukkah is over and officially changed to the Alabama election results.

That is all.

— Josh Bensink (@JoshBigj1) December 13, 2017

Of course, it wasn't just well-known Twitter figures drawing Hanukkah comparisons. Other users got in on the action, too:

Alabama election results are the Hanukkah miracle we’ve all been waiting for! So uplifted! #AlabamaSenateRace #DougJones #democratsarebetterthanchildmolestrrs #MakeGoodChoices #ProudAmerican

— Sandrine (@yangsandrine) December 13, 2017

Doug Jones winning in Alabama is going to be a hard 1st night of Hanukkah present to beat. Happy Hanukkah by the way.

— Turn-Based Carl (@carlfreemerman) December 13, 2017

On behalf of all the Jews who aren't that one Roy Moore lawyer, shoutout to the good people of Alabama for a pretty stellar first night of Hanukkah.

— Maxie Dara (@MaxieDara) December 13, 2017

It’s a #Hanukkah miracle. #Alabama elected the kosher option. chag kasher v'same'ach my loves

— Mike Interiano (@mikeinteriano) December 13, 2017

Chag Sameach back at you!!! We can all relish the Hanukkah miracle in Alabama! Small and mighty fighting for justice have overcome🔔

— miriamski (@carolstampfer) December 13, 2017

One person got really creative, writing a haiku for the occasion:

though darkness may come
open hearts will light the night
shine on, dear friends, shine
~j

this evening, a #haiku for you 😌🙏🏻📿

happy 1st night of #Hanukkah 😌🙏🏻🕎

& thank you #Alabama voters 😌🙏🏻👍🏻#TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #LoveWins #shine #light #Enso #JMWart pic.twitter.com/5AgZbPj7jS

— Jaysen Waller (@JaysenWaller) December 13, 2017

Someone else found a different kind of inspiration—to watch 300 as a way of celebrating the election and the spirit of Hanukkah:

Totally watching 300 as an expression of my love of what just went down in Alabama and an ironic celebration of the spirit of Hanukkah

— Chloé S. Valdary 📚 (@cvaldary) December 13, 2017

And some of the missives made gave a nod to Hanukkah via a parody of "The Twelve Days of Christmas":

On the first night of Hanukkah, Alabama voters gave to ussssss, aaaa Roooy Mooooooreeeee losssssssss!!! #AlabamaSenateElection #RoyMooreChildMolestor #blackvotesmatter

— Kindred (@KindredRayne) December 13, 2017

🎵On the first night of Hanukkah my true love gave to me a very scary super close Alabama victoryyy🎵 #HappyHanukkah Phew, that was close 👀 pic.twitter.com/QHiJ5x1lNl

— loopy (@Pa1Lauren) December 13, 2017

🎶 On the first night of Hanukkah Alabama gave to we, NOT a senator whose wife tried to prove they aren't bigots by saying, We have a Jewish attorney! See!? #AlabamaSenateElection

— A. Raddatz (@daydreamechievr) December 13, 2017

Remember folks, pace yourselves: We have seven more days of Hanukkah to go.