I am thoroughly and totally disgusted by the blatant and vicious shaming of Yael (Ivanka) Trump, especially by ostensibly Orthodox people.
Facebook and Twitter are ablaze with snide, smarmy
comments that call into question the sincerity (and by extension, the
validity) of Yael Trump’s conversion to Judaism, because she attended
her father’s Inaugural Ball on Friday night and was driven home
afterwards, out of concern for her safety. Those behind these posted
comments are the same people who (correctly) protest when the Israeli
Chief Rabbinate questions the religious bonafides of converts. Their
hypocrisy screams to the heavens. Thirty Six times times the Torah
condemns hurting, or oppressing or discomfiting a convert (Baba Metzia
59b). The Torah makes absolutely no distinction between the daughters of
kings or the sons of day workers. People are entitled to oppose the
policies of President Donald Trump. However, they have absolutely no
right, none, to vilify his daughter, a woman who chose to join Klal
Yisrael and who is, by all accounts, a sincere Shabbat Observer.
Yes, they snidely object, but what of attending the Inaugural Ball on Friday Night?
a good question, and perhaps there was room to demur. However, there is
also halakhically unassailable precedent for Jared and Yael to attend
her father's inaugural ball, on Shabbat. Indeed, those who carp and
criticize are showing their abject ignorance of Halakhah, or they are
revealing that their political convictions take precedence over their
The Rabbis made allowances for those in public office, and the family
of the President definitely falls into this category (cf. Rambam, Hil.
AKuM 11, 1-3). The same holds true of being driven home on Friday night,
which was justified on the grounds of the couple’s personal safety (Piquah Nefesh).
Does anyone doubt, especially in the white hot atmosphere that obtains
in the US today, that someone might try to harm them? Furthermore, Jared
and Yael apparently did nothing that was forbidden on Shabbat.
of this leaves me thinking of the words of the second century BCE
Hasmonean king, Alexander Yannai to his wide, Shlomtzion Alexandra:
‘Fear not the Pharisees and the non-Pharisees, but [fear] the hypocrites
who ape the Pharisees; because their deeds are the deeds of Zimri but
they expect a reward like Phineas’ (Sotah 22b).