Jared Kushner & Precious Ivanka got a ‘rabbinical pass’ to fly on the Sabbath

President Bigly is off for his first overseas trip and to every country he’s visiting: I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. As an American, I cannot even describe the embarrassment I feel that this orange buffoon is somehow representative of America. If you want to throw things at him when he’s in your country, I will totally understand. You can read about the bigly plans for this foreign trip here. It doesn’t seem like Trump is all that enthused about it, but I think he just hates to travel in general. Apparently, Melania Trump is joining her husband for the entire trip, which should be… interesting. But the real story is that of course Precious Ivanka and Jared Kushner are also joining Bigly on this trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Brussels, Rome and Sicily. Jared and Precious had to get a rabbinical “pass.”

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will be flying aboard Air Force One to Saudi Arabia with President Donald Trump on Friday, after receiving a rabbinical dispensation to travel on the Jewish Sabbath, according to a White House official. As practicing Orthodox Jews, Trump’s daughter and son-in-law typically observe the weekly Shabbat holiday, unplugging from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. But they have made exceptions, on a few occasions, for their jobs.

On Inauguration Day, they received the same kind of rabbinical pass to travel by car, an activity that is typically prohibited for observant Jews on the Sabbath. The rules can be broken in life-threatening situations, or if there is a safety concern, according to Jewish law. It was not clear on what grounds the exception was made to accompany the president on his first international trip.

During the 2016 campaign, Kushner also broke Shabbat during the worst crisis to engulf Trump. He huddled with his father-in-law in Trump Tower after the release of the damaging “Access Hollywood” tape in October of 2016 that showed Trump bragging about kissing and groping women without their consent.

[From Politico]

The fact that Jared and Precious are orthodox Jews isn’t news, although it does surprise me that they still seek rabbinical passes to work on the Sabbath. I honestly thought that most rabbis – orthodox or otherwise – believed in a more “do what you gotta do” stance when it comes to traveling and working on the Sabbath, especially for those people working important jobs involving life-and-death (doctors, advisors to the president).

As for Precious Jared and whether he’s still the emperor’s favorite… there are some lingering questions. NY Magazine did a great piece called “Is Jared Kushner in Too Deep?” which basically questions if Jared is already in his own ass-covering mode, because he’s up to his neck in the Mike Flynn investigation too.

Photos courtesy of Getty.

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55 Responses to “Jared Kushner & Precious Ivanka got a ‘rabbinical pass’ to fly on the Sabbath”

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  1. Clare says:

    I don’t think it is within my gossipy remit to comment on/question someones faith – but I will say – if you consistently need to apply for ‘passes’ and/or ‘favors’ from your rabbi, you may want to rethink your lifestyle. If your lifestyle conflicts with your faith fairly often…something doesn’t add up.

    • jwoolman says:

      There are circumstances today that never existed back when the rules were established. Judaism is a religion that isn’t stagnant but continues to evolve. Rabbinical input is part of that process, since rabbis have extensively studied and discussed the relevant traditions. It’s never as clear-cut as you indicate in other religions either. Besides, the travel constraints are not absolutely essential to the faith but rather are strong traditions for Orthodox Jews in particular.

      Obviously the traditions are important to Jared because he goes out of his way to observe them in most circumstances. Not unexpected that he would consult with his rabbi to make sure he wasn’t straying too far from the traditions he cares about and that his reasons were acceptable. It also is a signal to others that he isn’t just arbitrarily picking and choosing when to deviate from tradition.

      • Kyra says:

        Jarred & Ivanka asked for and got a pass to attend a ball at the White House, so they do seem perfectly happy picking and choosing when to deviate from tradition.

      • Clare says:

        @jwoolman thanks for your insight on this. I guess we disagree in that I do think he picks and chooses the traditions he observes – some supercede his megalomania, some don’t. But that’s all I’m going to say about it.His religion isn’t something I want to comment on, because I haven’t anything nice to say about him.

      • HappyMom says:

        @Kyra-Shabbat runs from sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday night. They had a pass for the Inauguration. Other events they attended were on Saturday nights-which are perfectly fine to attend. I’ll slam them for many things-but not for how they practice their religion.

  2. Shelley says:

    Why is this news????

    Power Trump’s everything with these two. No surprise

  3. Incredulous says:

    As high-profile orthodox Jews, they probably have to get the pass due to all the hassle they’d get from the public if they don’t.

    As opposed to all the other hassle they get, but, y’know…

  4. TheOtherOne says:

    Good luck. Mossad is on record saying Americans (specifically your father-in-law) should be punished for The Donald’s intel leak. Donald is 70, overweight and out of shape. Now would be a good time to fake illness and cancel the trip.

  5. Marion says:

    NPR did a report on this trip and, intentionally or not, it made it sound like both his team and the various countries see him as a recalcitrant child. The report noted they essentially have to dumb down meetings with other leaders, towards the latter part of the trip they worry about what he will do as they anticipate he will become a tired, tantrum throwing toddler, and even the G-8 decided to make the agenda significantly shorter than usual because they know Trump has the attention span of a gnat and lacks the fundamental knowledge to bring anything of value to the discussion.

  6. jwoolman says:

    My adviser in grad school did the same when traveling overseas to a conference. It’s pretty standard practice to check in with your rabbi for a judgment on such things. As my adviser said, he wasn’t going to try to be more Orthodox than the rabbi…. It’s a second opinion about whether it’s valid to do something you ordinarily avoid. If you’re very involved with the congregation and know the rabbi well, it’s also a reasonable courtesy.

  7. Sixer says:

    Poor Kaiser. I feel like this whenever our current Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, goes anywhere. I get this horrible feeling in my stomach because people from other countries will associate him with me.

  8. Bess says:

    I want to punch that smirk right off Kushner’s face.

    Faith should be a private thing. Why these two corrupt people need to share their rabbi’s opinion on anything?

    I don’t care if they worship a tree in Central Park. I am just sick of their public piety when we all know that that they both just as corrupt, greedy and unqualified as Donald Trump.

    • jwoolman says:

      They are very well known as Orthodox Jews and their observance of the Sabbath travel restrictions has already been frequently publicized. It is quite reasonable for them to mention that they cleared the deviation from standard practice with their rabbi first, to avoid confusing people who know zilch about Jewish practices. It’s a way of emphasizing that the practice is important enough to them to consult with an expert (the rabbi) when they feel they have to deviate from it.

      They could have tried to travel separately from Trump to avoid Sabbath travel, but he never does too well while they’re off for the Sabbath in the first place and he’s in a particularly precarious state right now. International travel has some complications that weren’t predicted in earlier times as well…. It’s common for observant Orthodox Jews to make such exceptions. Not all do, but my adviser did for international conferences (after consultation with his rabbi) and he was quite serious about his faith and the Sabbath traditions in particular. At a more local conference, he stayed with someone within walking distance and did not carry money for the Saturday sessions.

      • BearcatLawyer says:

        I would believe they actually cared about the tenets of their faith more if they were not constantly lying, exploiting, and grifting. It seems to me they have some very odd ideas about what Jewish laws and traditions actually require.

      • jwoolman says:

        Bearcatlawyer – People often separate the inconvenient tenets of their faith from their everyday operations. They may faithfully attend Catholic Mass or Protestant services or Jewish services etc. and follow other traditional practices but don’t let what they hear at their places of worship affect their everyday operations. They simply compartmentalize their lives. They still strongly identify with their religion even though they miss the point pretty broadly, since they still feel culturally connected.

        People also rationalize what they do as just business or whatever, thinking that’s how they have to operate in the real world, and are not bothered when it directly contradicts their nominal religious framework.

        I’ve heard Christians in particular argue that what Jesus said was an ideal but they don’t live in an ideal world so what he preached is just not practical. Hence all the Christians dropping bombs on people or approving such bomb dropping despite Jesus saying they should pray for their enemies rather than kill them…. They use the same thinking to justify cheating and lying and stealing etc. They have a religious framework giving different guidelines, but they just ignore it when it’s inconvenient. This cuts across all religious and cultural lines, so it’s not just people here in the US.

      • BearcatLawyer says:

        @jwoolman – Quite true. It just seems rather ludicrous to me that they publicize getting rabbinical passes to fly on planes or attend events on the Sabbath so their actions are permissible but conveniently ignore all the Jewish laws they break every other day of the week. At this point I think not keeping the Sabbath holy should be the least of their religious worries. I feel they ought to be a tad more concerned about how their actions will be judged by their God and how they give many people justifications for their prejudices against Jews and Orthodox Jews in particular.

      • JustBitchy says:

        Jwooman, you appear to be a paid hack for the Kushners. Time to retire.

      • Jane's Wasted Talent says:


        No! Jwoolman is a wonderful longtime poster, with many insightful criticisms of Trump, and the GOP in general- I think she is just trying extra hard to be fair in this instance, which is really only about a specific religious law or tradition and not overall morality. If you have time to kill, go back to old articles and read her comments, and I think you will soon see why she is one of my (probably dozen or so) favorite posters.

  9. tw says:

    There’s a different set of rules for these people and that obviously extends across faith, business, law and common decency.

  10. Rapunzel says:

    I’m dreading the cringe inducing behavior we will see on this tour.

  11. Jeo says:

    This would have been planned months in advance so why are we hearing about it now? Doesn’t brat Trump have other dumb staff members that are more qualified than these grifters?? Forgot this isn’t a normal government so I can’t expect anything less. This conniving twerp and his stupid wife are using these trips for their own financial personal gain, the whole lot of them are horrid.

  12. Shannon says:

    I dated a Jewish man for a while, and he was an attorney. He worked whenever he needed to, but I think just like Christianity, there are different … denominations? I don’t hold anyone’s faith against them and good for them for trying to stick with their faith. Bad for them for trying to support and help this idiot who’s trying to destroy our country.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Reformed, conservative, orthodox have different rules with Orthodox being the strictest as far as observing the Sabbath and dietary rules. Within those groupings, there are additional sects. Some Orthodox women will not go out in public with their heads uncovered.

      • Imqrious2 says:

        Within Orthodoxy, there’s Modern Orthodox, Orthodox, and Hasidic (which is the most observant to the literal letter). Modern Orthodox follows the tenants, yet allows for modern dress (to an extent-no boobage, etc). Orthodox and Hassic follow the literal interpretations of the Torah; most of the women in those traditions don’t walk out of their homes without their heads covered in scarves/hats/wigs (as only husbands/family are allowed to see their hair) and hey wear modest clothing that covers arms and legs, too.

      • Lightpurple says:

        @Imquirious2 Exactly. One of my coworkers (reformed) has wondered if Ivanka gets approval from the rabbi for her frequent display of boobs.

      • Cannibell says:

        @Lightpurple – never mind the cleavage. Orthodox women generally keep their arms and legs covered and don’t wear pants. There has been a lot of talk about this among my liberal Jewish community, and I pretty much come down on the side of @Bearcat Lawyer (above).

        The whole administration makes me just want to crawl under a bed and hide or climb to the top of a roof with a big vat of garbage and start tossing it ala the Crazy Cat Lady on the Simpsons.

      • Original T.C. says:

        Why is it the only unique parts of orthodox is superficial things like clothing and taking a break from life on Saturday. Nothing about ethics or morality? I too dated a regular Jewish guy in past. He wasn’t super religious but he practiced the ethics and morals set out in the Old Testament.

        Ivanka and Jared are falling into the same hypocrisy of the religious Right who proclaim to the world who much better they are than everyone else yet break the moral and ethical basis of their religion all the time. IF you have to wear your reglion on your chest, chances aren’t you are just selling an image for good PR.

      • JustBitchy says:

        I am a happy reform Jew. In Israel we don’t exist, but in Boston area we are strong. Although I am very well versed in halaka

  13. Ann says:

    Religion is silly, oh so silly.

  14. Who ARE These People? says:

    If my father in law’s pussy-grabbing tape came out, I wouldn’t break Shabbat to “huddle” with him, I would make Shabbat every day of the week!

    What did the Kushner’s rabbi make of THAT one, hmm?

    • jwoolman says:

      That probably qualified as a family health emergency…. maybe more for the people around Tweeter than for Tweeter himself. I would guess Donald was having a meltdown in private! Once he realized he couldn’t control the story, multiple rages most likely ensued. Ivanka probably does have a calming effect on him, or at least she used to.

      My theory is that Jared and Ivanka and her adult brothers need to at least appear to be concerned about dear old dad in order to keep in the will, assuming there is anything left by the time he kicks off. Now that he’s Prez, they’re hoping he can hang on until he gets them nice juicy tax cuts and eliminates the estate tax (assuming he has any estate left). But he can turn on them any time, so it’s a gamble.

      All the adult progeny except Tiffany are scurrying around trying to keep the Trump properties profitable as well as using the Presidency to benefit their projects. The value of the Trump name started to nosedive early in the campaign because of the way Trump was talking. It must be worse now. I don’t think either generation is particularly clever about business, though.

    • Magnoliarose says:

      It does make you wonder. But they are on their way to Israel so they want to make sure their Judaic street cred is in order. My brother is so annoyed Trump is coming to Israel. He’s there right now and Orangina isn’t so popular among the citizens. Security will be a nightmare so he and his family and friends are hoping he doesn’t get a bigly idea and invade Tel Aviv.

      Jared’s hair always looks like he just whipped his yarmulke off for a photo op.

  15. KiddVicious says:

    I don’t remember who said he has female hips awhile back, but now when I see a full body shot of him my first thought is “those are birthing hips”. LOL

  16. Achoo! says:

    “The rules can be broken in life-threatening situations, or if there is a safety concern”

    Leave Trump alone for 3 seconds and all of the above, if they don’t go and keep him half way calm Lord knows what he is likely to do. It’s our life and saftey that are the concern.

  17. satinshoe says:

    As a Jew, you do or you don’t travel on Shabbat, that is up to you alone, you do not need any Rabbinical consent to do so.

  18. Raina says:

    Orange is the new Trump, Wait until his prison attire matches his skin tone.