What Orthodox Jews Don’t Do; Ivanka and Jared

It’s not being judgmental. Everyone of us knows that it’s wrong, inappropriate and sleazy. It’s like buying hashkacha. Like declaring something chametz is kasher l’Pesach. It’s not Orthodox Judaism.

Me? I’m a practicing Conservative Jew.  But I wish our movement could change its name. Conservative these days, largely thanks to Trump and Co, means so many beliefs and practices that are not in concert with Conservative Judaism. But, nothing to do about that.  Masorti is just not going to catch on in the US.

That being said, I don’t know of a single Conservative rabbi who would approve of Ivanka and Jared’s trip to Saudi Arabia on Shabbat. I didn’t know of any who would have said attending the inauguration dinner on Shabbat was, likewise, permissible. I know lots and lots of Conservative rabbis I’m proud to say, and I honestly can’t think of one who would say desecrating the Shabbat is ok if it means accompanying your father and father-in-law on a trip. It’s simply not ok. And I’m now prouder than ever to be a Conservative Jew.

So, it’s now twice that we know of that the Trump-Kushners have found an Orthodox rabbi to approve of their Shabbat travels. The guy remains nameless but surely God knows who he is. But why does he remain nameless anyway?  Do we think he might be ashamed?

If you’d like to know his name (for sure he’s not a her) please contact the OU and maybe they’ll tell you. But, then again, probably they won’t. They wouldn’t, couldn’t and shouldn’t be proud.

I’ve got lots of Orthodox Jews in my family. I hope that they share my disgust. It’s pretty sad when religion kowtows to politics and power.  It’s sort of the death knell to our Jewish values.  We tout them.  We shout them.  But then we ignore them?

Mostly all of the Orthodox Jews I know would not support meaningless travel on Shabbat. They have values and halacha to guide their paths.  I respect them greatly. Their lives are lived according to the dictates of our tradition.  But, then we have a so-called rabbi who says it’s ok to do what we all know is not ok.  We think it and we don’t say it because we don’t want accusations of being judgmental tossed our way.  Well, here’s a vote for being judgmental.  Jews who consider themselves religiously observant don’t travel on Shabbas. Period.

About the Author
Rosanne Skopp is a wife, mother of four, grandmother of fourteen, and great-grandmother of three. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and travels back and forth between homes in New Jersey and Israel. She is currently writing a family history.