Why Was Donald Trump Wearing A Jewish Prayer Shawl At Detroit Church?

As pointed out by the Haaretz Daily Newspaper, the strange spectacle of Donald Trumpp speaking at a predominantly black nondenominational church in Detroit yesterday was made even more surrealistic when Trump donned a Jewish prayer shawl. This shawl was a presentation from the pastor of the church, and it was as incongruous and out of place on Trump is a tuxedo on a camel.

While it may have come as a surprise to Trump, many churches in the United States – whether predominantly black or white – have a close affinity with the Jewish nation of Israel. For this reason, some of them make use of Jewish sayings, beliefs, and paraphernalia. This affinity seems to relate to the intense and eager desire many of these churchgoers have for the coming apocalypse — and all the fun it entails — but it’s hard to be sure.

But back to the Jewish prayer shawl and its presentation. Poor Donald Trump looked more than a bit befuddled as they draped the shawl across his sloping shoulders, as though he was slightly concerned that he might have inadvertently walked on stage during a community production of Fiddler on the Roof. Would he be expected to sing? Fortunately, Trump – and everyone else – was spared that.

Religious leaders and others hold a rally to protest Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump’s visit to Great Faith International Ministries Church. [Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]
Trump’s rationale for going to this Detroit church was — on the one hand — quite obvious. Trump wanted to somehow magically convince black Americans that it would be perfectly okay to vote for him. On the other hand, his decision to actually go forward with the visit is a bit more questionable, since the expression “snowball’s chance in hell” doesn’t begin to describe the odds against Trump succeeding in his efforts to win over minority voters.

Despite Trump’s “message of unity” — as it was described by CNN — this is the same Donald Trump who in the early 70s had to be sued by the federal government before he would allow black people to move into his apartment buildings. This is the same Donald Trump who only a few years ago suggested that black people had all the advantages in life. This is the same Donald Trump who early in the campaign refused to denounce a leading member of the KKK.

Perhaps Trump chose to take his own advice to black voters about “not having anything to lose.” And at this juncture, that certainly might be true for Trump. No candidate in history has ever been this far down in the polls at this point in the campaign and managed to come back and win. And it seems unlikely that Trump will break the mold.

Given all of the above, it’s definitely safe to assume there might be some slight resistance on the part of black voters to the idea of a Trump presidency. But regardless of the reasoning behind Trump’s decision to visit this church and its parishioners, the vision of Donald Trump awkwardly swaying his meticulously tailored girth to traditional black spirituals was an undeniable treat for the viewing public.

Perhaps Trump and his newly minted campaign minions will seize this imagery of Donald Trump in a predominantly black church and wearing a Jewish prayer shawl as a kind of political twofer. In fact, if Trump had also spoken in Spanish while drinking an Irish whiskey, he would have covered all his bases. It still wouldn’t have done him any good, but he would have been covered.

So it seems likely that this little foray by Donald Trump into the overlapping religious traditions — and garments — of Detroit won’t really work to his advantage this election cycle. In fact, Trump’s trip to Detroit and his acceptance of a Jewish prayer shawl is perhaps symbolic of his likely fate in the upcoming election. Because — despite the shawl —Trump almost certainly doesn’t have a prayer of making it to the White House.

[Photo by AP Photo/Evan Vucci]

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