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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Jared and Ivanka are failing a basic moral test

Lev Golinkin
Originally published August 20, 2017

Here is an excerpt:

But the silence emanating from Jared and Ivanka was exponentially more powerful than any I'd heard before. To me, as a Jew, seeing nothing but two tweets from Ivanka brought the kind of pain I'm sure is echoed by African-Americans anytime Ben Carson defends the President, and Asian-Americans in the wake of Elaine Chao's and Nikki Haley's equivocations: condemning hate in general terms while carefully avoiding criticizing the very administration they're part of.

No press conference was forthcoming, no rejection of Donald Trump's words; there was no statement from Jared about the horror his grandparents had survived; nothing from Ivanka, who had spoken about standing up for mothers on the campaign trail, about defending today's Jewish children -- her children; indeed all children -- from intimidation and violence. There was nothing, but the sound of steady clicking on Ivanka's electronic device as she wrote two tweets.

It was like listening to the fabric of Judaism tear at itself.

Beneath Jewish rituals, customs and rules lies a simple and sacred idea: preserving the sanctity of life. It's why the ill are absolved from fasting on days of penance. It's why the no-electricity, no-work rules of Shabbat go out the window the moment a life-threatening emergency hits. In fact, it's considered a grave sin to put someone at risk by blindly keeping the Sabbath, for it places righteousness above humanity. This ethical focus on preserving life is the substrate of Judaism, first, last and always.

The opinion piece is here.