Photo Credit: Ivanka Trump's Twitter account
Ivanka Trump at the head of the presidential table, with the president.

Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner have been given rabbinical permission to fly on Shabbat with President Donald Trump, Politico reported Thursday night, failing to disclose the identity of the rabbi behind the “heter.”

The Pikuach Nefesh-life saving emergency permission for a Jew to desecrate the Shabbat is defended by the Talmud as follows: “Desecrate one Shabbat for his sake, so that he would keep many Shabbat days.” (Shabbat 151:2). But Jewish law has long since evolved to the point where even the chance of saving an endangered life is enough to justify desecrating Shabbat, as in the case of a Hatzolah volunteer who is allowed to answer a call on Shabbat even if it might turn out to be a false alarm.


But more than one Orthodox Jew raised a critical eyebrow back in January, when, on Inauguration Day, Jared and Ivanka received a pikuach nefesh permission to ride in a car on Shabbat to attend the inauguration balls around town. Although one could probably come up with a Talmudic pilpul suggesting that since the position of Ivanka and Jared as a counterbalance to, say, White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon, was vital for the well-being of the presidency, and, by extension, the free world – they shouldn’t have been absent from the greatest day in Dad’s life.

Politico noted that “it was not clear on what grounds the exception was made to accompany the president on his first international trip.” But we’re sure the same critical Orthodox Jews who once chided Ivanka and Jared for their inauguration ball heter would be unanimous in their plea that, yes, please, fly on Shabbat, do whatever you have to do to make sure the world is still in one piece come havdalah time…

And please keep those launch codes under the Chalah cover…