Ivanka Trump’s inauguration day preparations involved getting rabbinic permission to travel by car, following Donald Trump’s ceremony, as Orthodox Jews are not allowed to use a car on Friday evenings and Saturdays. With the inauguration of her father, Donald Trump, expected to carry on well into Friday evening with a parade and inaugural balls, Ivanka would need to travel home after Sabbath has already begun.
The Independent reports that Mark Zell, an Israeli-American lawyer and chairman of the Republicans Overseas Israel, is the one who reported Ivanka Trump’s rabbinical pass, during a radio interview. According to Zell, an ongoing supporter of Donald Trump, Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, were granted the special pass in order to protect their safety.
Ivanka Trump’s inauguration day activities would most likely continue well into Friday evening, and she would then need to get back home safely. Normally, Orthodox Jews are not allowed to use vehicles or any other electric devices during the Sabbath. But according to Orthodox Jewish laws, the preservation of human life (“Pikuach Nefesh” in Hebrew) overrides other religious considerations, including the keeping of Sabbath.
Similarly, soldiers, doctors, and other emergency workers whose job it is to save lives, also get a pass on Saturdays, allowing them to carry on with their work in order to save lives. Assuming Ivanka Trump had no other safe way to get home after the ceremonies without endangering her life, her Rabbi had to give her special permission to travel by car despite the Sabbath.
Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s husband, comes from an Orthodox Jewish family. Ivanka was raised Presbyterian, but before her wedding, on July, 2009, she converted to Judaism and the two were married in a Jewish ceremony. As part of her conversion, Ivanka took the Hebrew name “Yael.”
Ivanka Trump’s inauguration day complications are not the first time her keeping of the Sabbath came into the public eye. In an interview with Vouge back in 2015, Ivanka spoke of how this has been a “great life decision” for her.
“Yeah, we observe the Sabbath. From Friday to Saturday we don’t do anything but hang out with one another. We don’t make phone calls.
And for Arabella (Ivanka’s daughetr) to know that she has me, undivided, one day a week? We don’t do anything except play with each other, hang out with one another, go on walks together. Pure family.”
During Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Ivanka also had to observe the Jewish Holidays, some of which are like Sabbath in that you cannot use a car or answer phone calls. According to Jewish newspaper The Algemeiner, Donald was very supportive of Ivanka’s observation of the Holidays, and even asked her to pray for him.
“In the midst of, let’s just say an important time in my life and my family’s life, My father didn’t even give me a hard time about it once.
You know what he would say right before Yom Tov (“Good Day” – meaning a Jewish Holiday) – he would call and say, ‘You better pray hard for me.’ I’d say, ‘Yes dad, we will pray hard.'”
Back in 2015, during a public gala dinner, Donald Trump publicly addressed his daughter’s Judaism.
“I have a Jewish daughter!” he said, “This wasn’t in the plan, but I’m very glad it happened.”
With Ivanka Trump’s inauguration day travel plans settled, everything is ready for Donald Trump’s big day. Ivanka herself arrived in Washington DC with her family the day before the inauguration, wearing a very prominent green dress.
If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of Ivanka Trump on inauguration day, the events will be streamed live across many news sites, with the following schedule:
9:30 a.m. – The inauguration ceremony begins with musical performances.
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. – The Swearing-in Ceremony. Religious leaders offer prayers, followed by Mike Pence taking the oath as vice president, and then Donald Trump will be sworn in.
3 p.m. to 5 p.m. – The Inaugural Parade on Pennsylvania Avenue.
7 p.m. – The Inaugural Balls – Trump, Pence, and their families will attend three formal balls.
Ivanka Trump and her family are expected to be seen at these events, before driving back to observe the Sabbath.
[Featured Image by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images]