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Leading ‘ultra-Orthodox’ Jewish Rabbis Issue Letter Effusively Praising Trump

Leading ‘ultra-Orthodox’ Jewish Rabbis Issue Letter Effusively Praising Trump

It’s not a political ‘endorsement’ but it’s pretty close: “express our deepest gratitude to you, Mr. President, especially in light of your recent declaration that houses of worship should be considered ‘essential.’”

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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“It’s not a political ‘endorsement’ but it’s pretty close”

Well, that’s close enough for me!

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | October 25, 2020 at 12:25 pm

Even the Russians in WWII re-opened the Houses of Worship.

We’re an easy target. The last remaining group that it’s acceptable to target and vilify are Orthodox Jews

Ummmm, “white people”? “Men”? When was the last time you saw a TV ad campaign centered around how dumb and just plain out-of-it Orthodox Jews are? Do mobs really demand that Orthodox Jews “check their privilege”? Do roving hooligans knock down historic statues of Orthodox Jews?

Sure, if you want to talk about being targeted and vilified, great; I have no doubt that OJs are indeed subjected to this, and it’s a disgrace. But take a number and wait over there with the others.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to tom_swift. | October 25, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    Lots of Jewish people are White people…just saying….

    ahad haamoratsim in reply to tom_swift. | October 25, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    There are no statutes of “ultra orthodox (a disgusting term” plan” Jews. For the past several years hoodlums in Brooklyn and elsewhere have contented themselves with knocking down actual “ultra Orthodox “ Jews.

    Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | October 25, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    If there _were_ statues of Orthodox Jews _we’d_ be calling for their removal, because we don’t approve of 3d representations of humans. (The consensus of Jewish legal authorities is that 2d representations are OK, so we have photos, paintings, film,etc. As far as I know nobody has yet ruled on holograms.)

The Friendly Grizzly | October 25, 2020 at 12:40 pm

“If you’re for Trump yah ain’t Jewish!”

    So say America’s — might I, a relatively ethical, generally accepted history-influenced Jew, presume to call them — JINOs, a wholly governed and policed — okay, better: corralled and led — subsidiary of the Dem-“Liberal”-Lefty political party and its affiliated, J Street*-liaisoning, key clients.
    * J Street, as an American lobby organization aimed at Washington leaders and policymakers, derived its name from the alphabetically named street plan of Washington, D.C.: J Street is missing from the grid (the street naming jumps from I Street to K Street since I and J were not yet considered to be distinct letters at the time the Washington street plan was created).
    Also, by association, the letter J is a reference to “Jewish”. Further, K Street is a street in downtown Washington on which many influential lobbying firms are located, and that become synonymous for Washington’s formidable lobbying establishment. Consequently, the choice of the name reflects the desire of J Street’s founders and donors to bring a message to Washington that, metaphorically like the missing “J Street” of the D.C. grid, has thus far been absent.

After Cuomo’s deadly nursing homes debacle it takes a special kind of chutzpah to treat Jews the way he does.

Ongoing BLM and antifa protests and a Women’s March … all orders of magnitude larger than gatherings of religious Jews.

But which group is targeted for Cuomo’s and de Blasio’s scorn?

The one they don’t have to worry will loot and rampage when they demagogue it.

What a freaking disgrace. Cuomo and de Blasio seem incapable of feeling any shame whatsoever. Not a good characteristic for a politician with power.

ahad haamoratsim | October 25, 2020 at 2:42 pm

Thank you for putting “ultraorthodox” in quotation marks. Most of Orthodox Jews that I know finds the term offensive. Actual “ultra orthodox” Jews call themselves either charged I (the generic term), chasidish, or, if they are not chasidish, either Litvish or yeshivish.

Many Orthodox Jews who are not charedi find the term “ultra orthodox” offensive because it implies that charedim are “more orthodox” than they, or that non-charedi forms of being Orthodox are somehow inauthentic.

Yeshar koach

Prof J, thanks for the scare quotes around “ultra orthodox”. It’s an inaccurate term and sounds awful, but English doesn’t offer a lot of good alternatives. “Seriously Orthodox” might be better except that it insults the Modern Orthodox by implying that they’re not serious. Same problem with “Strictly Orthodox”. The only alternatives are either the Hebrew term “Haredi” which is unfamiliar to most Englush-speakers (as well as having its own problems) or the purely descriptive “black hats” (which someone here recently complained about).

Speaking as a fringe Haredi who doesn’t wear hats of any color, just a black velvet yarmulke.

It’s an interesting set of signatories, and carefully worded to stop short of an endorsement. (Though one of the signatories, Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetski, has publicly endorsed Trump.) There’s already been a backlash of sorts, in the form of an unsigned statement purportedly issued by the Central Rabbinical Congress (of which about half of these signatories are members), warning against taking sides in a gentile political dipute and thus alienating the other side.

Also, 4 of the 13 signatories are not Hasidic.