A group of leading Hasidic (‘ultra-Orthodox’) Jewish Rabbis have signed and released a letter effusively praising Donald Trump for his suppor for religious freedom, particularly in light of government shutdowns.

The Letter was published in The Mischpaca Magazine today, as the Jerusalem Post reports:

A letter of effusive praise for US President Donald Trump has been signed and published by some of the most senior ultra-Orthodox rabbis in the world just ten days before the presidential election….

The rabbis who signed the letter were the Grand Rabbi of Satmar in Kiryas Yoel, New York Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum; Grand Rabbi of Satmar in Williamsburg, New York, Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum; Grand Rabbi of Viznitz Rabbi Yisroel Hager; Grand Rabbi of Bobov Rabbi Benzion Halberstam; and Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, a senior member of the Agudath Yisrael of America’s Council of Torah Sages, as well as several other hassidic grand rabbis and senior ultra-Orthodox leaders.

Other hassidic grand rabbis signing the letter included the grand rabbis of the Pupa, Munkacs, New Square and Rachmistrivka.
In their letter of praise for Trump, the rabbis wrote that they wished “to express our deepest gratitude to you, Mr. President, especially in light of your recent declaration that houses of worship should be considered ‘essential.’” ….

“You have given a powerful voice to what all good people know beyond any doubt: that now, more than ever, we must turn to Almighty G-d, fortifying our faith and staying true to our values in the face of these current tribulations,” continued the rabbis.

“You understand, Mr. President, that it is our faith in G-d that will keep us strong and lift us out of this calamity,” wrote the rabbis.
“As you have strengthened America to proudly hold aloft the banner of G-d and religious belief, so too, may G-d Almighty bless you to proudly lead us to victory in our current war with COVID-19,” the letter continued, quoting from the book of Psalms to say “May you go ‘from strength to strength’ leading us forward towards ever greater good.”

The rabbis ended their missive with a special prayer for Trump, asking God to “bless and keep, preserve and rescue, exalt and magnify, and lift up higher and higher the President of these United States of America.”

The letter comes as NY Governor Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio have targeted the Hasidic Jewish community, shutting down events which — had they been Black Lives Matter protests — would have been permitted and praised:

“We’re an easy target. The last remaining group that it’s acceptable to target and vilify are Orthodox Jews,” said Barry Spitzer, who represents the Brooklyn neighborhood Borough Park and is the first Hasidic district manager in the state. “There is no group in the entire country that it’s acceptable to make fun of, belittle, malign, and smear as Orthodox Jewish people.”

There is strong political support for Trump among religious Jews, not just ultra-Orthodox, not that it will make an Electoral College difference because New York, where the Hasidim are concentrated, will go for Biden. But it could make a difference in Florida where there is a significant religious (not necessarily Hasidic) community, and where even a few thousand votes could make a difference.

 

 
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