Ivanka—Silence is Betrayal…and Judaism is More than Keeping Kosher

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Far too much has been said about Ivanka Trump’s conversion to modern Orthodox Judaism.  The heiress has been lauded for following the ‘letter’ of Orthodox Judaism, particularly regarding her strict observance of the Jewish dietary laws for a kosher household and keeping the Sabbath or Shabbos holy.  Now as we begin the High Holy Days of Awe; Jews worldwide are tasked with examining their conscience regarding actions on both earthly and spiritual levels.

Ivanka, you are a proud and politically convenient convert to Judaism; unfortunately your reverence to the daily rituals of our religion does not translate into the spirit of the faith. When you are able to remain silent during your father’s bigoted tantrums—you are NOT observant in the spiritual sense. In fact, your silence on your father’s questionable allies (such as various racist and neo Nazi groups); only grants questionable legitimacy to his many observed bigotries. You are not merely a silent partner in your father’s racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, homophobia etc.; you are a well-read enabler.

When we examine ‘the Donald’s incitement to riot against the alien ‘other’—namely any group or person demanding equivalent civil rights; we find a gruesome litany of hatred, bigotry and irrational fears spewing from his mouth, filling the event venue with followers consuming this hatred much like a rabid dog attacks anything moving. During your father’s rants, we see you enabling him with the calm reserved for a naughty toddler. Unfortunately Donald Trump is far more hateful and dangerous than anyone ever realized.

Your father seems to lack empathy for those he deems ‘evil or unacceptable’. His many intolerant tantrums include mocking a New York Times reporter, Serge Kovaleski, who has Arthrogryposis which can cause joints to stiffen and freeze in one position. In response to an uncomfortable challenge of his veracity your father displayed the cruelty and questionable maturity of a bratty 13 year old.

Your father boldly and falsely claimed that ‘thousands’ of Muslims in New Jersey were dancing in the streets, celebrating the 9/11 attacks. To quote; …”Hey I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.”

He based this claim on an article Kovaleski wrote some 15 years ago for the Washington Post. Kovaleski corrected Trump, explaining that he wrote reports observing… “a number of people…allegedly’ celebrating in New Jersey, but that he never actually saw these revelers and that he has no idea where Trump got his figure from.”

In a show of what can only be called ‘revenge mocking’; your father performed a sick impression of Kovaleski, flailing his arms while using an odd affected voice during a campaign stop in Myrtle Beach.

On another instance, your father attacked Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the grieving parents of now deceased, US Army Captain, Humayun Khan.

During the most poignant speech of the Democratic National Convention, Khizr Khan stood on the podium with his wife Ghazala, as they honored their late son, Humayun who had given his life in Iraq, while denouncing Trump. Khan simply and eloquently said, “you have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

Ivanka, your father’s response bordered on psychotic; …”I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices…I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success.”
So did the pharaohs in Egypt, as they enslaved the people you now claim to have joined spiritually.

Ivanka, your father has many white supremacist fans, which include (but not limited to), the Daily Stormer—an avowed neo-Nazi ‘news’ site. In fact, The Daily Stormer endorsed your father on June 28, stating that;

“Trump is willing to say what most Americans think: it’s time to deport these people.” The publication then urged white men to …”vote for the first time in our lives for the one man who actually represents our interests.”

The Daily Stormer is an ‘alt-right’ publication which advocates genocide against non-Whites. Its editor, Andrew Anglin was quoted explaining that their…”goal is to ethnically cleanse White nations of non-Whites and establish an authoritarian government. Many people also believe that the Jews should be exterminated.” (Source : Hankes, Keegan (August 25,2016). “Whose Alt-Right Is It Anyways?” Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved October 1,2016.)

Anglin has included very ‘colorful’ headlines including: “Adolf Hitler: The Most Lied About Man of All Time.” (Source : Beirich, Heidi (March 11,2015). “Blog Wars: The Daily Stormer and its Racist Frenemies” Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved October 1,2016))
Somehow I don’t think these people will welcome your new found religion or your Jewish children. Perhaps you should check your ‘billionaire privilege’ at the door.
In an age of ‘dog-whistle politics’, your father has not only normalized the post-modern lynch mob; he has elevated it to pseudo-justifiable irrational rage.

His complicity with white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups is a slap in the face to any American with empathy and a conscience. His endorsement from neo Nazi group Daily Stormer represents the most egregious example of your father’s comfort with known hate groups. As a fellow Jew, I am appalled by your silence on this subject.

Frankly Ivanka, your rabbi seemed to skip over the larger life lessons in order to prepare you for the daily minutia. You have been trained to keep a kosher or clean kitchen, while you ignore your father’s ugly bigoted followers. Perhaps you need a refresher course in Jewish ethics.

I’ll start with one of the most famous sages of Judaism, namely Rabbi Hillel. He encapsulated the fundamental lesson all Jews are expected to learn, and to live by.
“What is hateful to thee, do not unto thy fellow man: this is the whole Law; the rest is mere commentary.”  (Source : Shab. 31a ) This golden rule is the fundamental principle of Jewish moral law, speaking to the Biblical precept of brotherly love. (Lev. Xix. 18)()

Throughout the ages there has been a schism between the literal letter of Jewish law and the spirit as applied to contemporary issues. Rabbi Hillel’s commentary quote speaks to this schism. The idea of being a slave to the literal command of every minute tradition while conveniently ignoring greater evils before your eyes—is evil.

This applies to any injustice including racism. Another famous Jew, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel knew and responded to the call of a greater humanity. Rabbi Heschel was blessed to have had a meaningful friendship and fellowship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This friendship inspired Rabbi Heschel to speak strongly against the evil that is racism.

“Few of us seem to realize how insidious, how radical, how universal an evil racism is. Few of us realize that racism is man’s gravest threat to man, the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason, the maximum of cruelty for a minimum of thinking.”

Rabbi Heschel admonished racists in our own Jewish community and compared Dr. King to the ancient Jewish prophets. “Where in America today do we hear a voice like the voice of the prophets of Israel? Martin Luther King is a sign that God has not forsaken the United States of America.”

Ivanka your father is not running for president of a democracy—he’s running for dictator. His director of African-American outreach, Omarosa Manigault explained it most succinctly;
“Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump. It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, whoever disagreed, whoever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.”

The fact that you are enabling his hatred and contempt for democracy speaks volumes about your alleged faith. In Judaism, no one is above the law—not even a king.

Furthermore, idolizing anything or anyone amounts to apostasy. Your father and his hateful minions espouse bigotries which undermine both the law of man, and the law of Torah. There is nothing Jewish or Christian about your father’s campaign or his goals. When you remain silent in the face of such bigotry, hatred and calls for genocide—you become a willing accomplice. Dr. King said it best; …”In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

As a newly converted Jew, you are aware that silence in Europe and the USA assisted in the successful genocide of 6 million fellow Jews. Your husband’s grandparents survived the Holocaust. How can you, in good faith remain silent when your father keeps the company of neo-Nazis?

Whether its Auschwitz, Selma, Orlando or Ferguson; the foul stench of racism links closely to Nazism. The two evils cannot be artificially separated.

Of what value is a clean or ‘kosher’ kitchen to those whose souls are filthy with the stench of racism, hatred and other bigotries?

Ivanka, during this serious time of moral contemplation and soul searching; you need to ‘check your wealth privilege’ and your conscience regarding your role in your father’s evil political aims. Think about Rabbi Heschel marching in Selma, arm in arm with Dr. King as they stared down the evils of racism, militarism and obscene materialism, all of which reduce humanity to pestilent beasts.

Consider Rabbi Heschel’s humble words on his return from the civil rights march on Selma; “I felt my legs were praying.”

Ivanka—your legs need to be praying.

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Jeanine Molloff
Jeanine Molloff is a veteran urban educator specializing in communications disorders. She moonlights as a political commentator on various issues including civil liberties in an age of ‘terrorism’, ecological justice, collateral damage in war zones, economic equity and education. Jeanine has published with Huffington Post, OpEdNews, FireDogLake, Counterpunch and Huffington Post Union of Bloggers. In an era of state and corporate sanctioned censorship; she believes that journalism which demands answers to the tough questions is the last remaining bulwark of democracy. Now more than ever we need the likes of I.F. Stone over the insipid voices of celebrity infotainment. Jeanine works and lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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