Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Get Heter to Ride in Car on Inauguration Shabbos


Thea Glassman reports for THE FORWARD that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have been given a heter to travel by car following Donald Trump’s inauguration tomorrow.

In an interview with Kol Barama radio, Mark Zell, the chair of the Republican Party in Israel, said that the Kushners have been granted special heter by a rabbi to use a vehicle because of “safety” concerns.

The Forward report does not mention which rov or posek granted the heter.

Ivanka Trump described her family as “pretty observant” in a 2015 interview with Vogue Magazine, stating, “We observe the Sabbath. From Friday to Saturday we don’t do anything but hang out with one another…”



  1. There are people who grew up frum their entire lives and carry in Eruvin in BP Flatbush West Side Crown Heights , Washington Heights, LA and the list goes on. They rely on dubious heterim when the need suits them . But nary a word is said in the Jewish media . So why we are digging at someone who never professed to be a standard bearer for halacha?

    • Bais – “They rely on dubious heterim when the need suits them” And who exactly ordained you as a posek to say that Eruvin are “dubious heterim”, perhaps it’s the other way around, the ones that are against are looking for ‘chumras’ ?
      in any case, according to the poskim hamattirim it is a leKatchilah.

  2. Sounds reasonable to me. If a goy is going to operate the vehicle for them and help them get in and out then it seems reasonable in such a situation…

  3. Shabbos is more than just “hanging out with each other”. This might be where the problem lies. Is there anyone out there that can reach out to them and be mikarev them the proper way? Not for chaniffa alone.

  4. I knew a fellow that was in his 70’s with heart issues.
    He lived on the 16th floor of a hi-rise
    When asked is shul how he could use an elevator on Shabbos, he responded that he had asked Rabbi so-and-so (a famous Rov) and added “he is not good enough for you?”. The fellow responded “no – he surely is acceptable”. Then, as an after-thought he added “and what did he say?”.
    He said NO.
    a “heter”?????i
    I guess that’s what they mean by “open orthodoxy” Nebech

  5. I don’t know which Rabbi gave them the heter, and I’m not one myself. But I imagine that if someone else opens and closes the door and all they do is sit inside and not touch anything, then there’s really not such a huge problem.

  6. Mark Zell, the chair of the Republican Party in Israel

    There is no reliable source that this indeed true. There is no reliable source that they plan on riding on Shabbos.

  7. Remember. Just because they got a heter does not mean they’ll use it.
    They maybe will only use it if a real Halachik Tzorech (i.e. Danger etc) arises.

  8. Heterim for using non-Jews on shabbos are constantly used. How about those who make a bris on shabbos using a goy to bring the child to shul? Quite common and no one here is saying anything!
    Many among the chassiddic crowd use a goy for anything and everything. How many of you go to a hotel for shabbos and how much are goyim used in that hotel?
    Forgot to put on the air conditioner? Oh my! get a goy!
    etc. etc.

  9. Fact is its permitted to ride in a car driven by a non Jew on Shabbos. All patients going to hospitals from Monsey or areas where hospital are too far to walk,return with a non jewish car service. In this case where Trumps daughter returns from a Friday nite event under secret service security,it’s ok

  10. What’s the issur? Acording to one of our late poskim there is a very good chance, turning a light switch on or off on Shabbos would be allowed….let’s slow down and learn the sugya.

  11. There might be a heter to transgress a D’rabbonon to see a king the gemara says , so some say this inauguration might fit that heter, i heard this on a shiur yesterday , true story!

  12. I heard a shiur yesterday , that the gemara allows one to transgrss a issur M’Drabbonon to see a king , so some want to say that in s situation like this , the Kushners, might have a heter, ( although the heter might only be for a real king , and a jewish king)

  13. Some of the comments here are hilarious. It’s amazing to see what halachic pretzels people can make of themselves when it comes to Trump, the egel hazachav.

    And to threaldeal,… please explain how one can sit and ride in an automobile and just “sit inside and not touch anything”. Has someone invented a levitation device?

  14. What I am really upset with is that they are conflating their tzerochim with Hatzoloh. I am sure you know how pained Hatzaloh staff are to be Mchallel Shabbos – and I have seen it unfortunately many times – and on top of everything why does they have to tell the whole world ? Let them get in a cab from a private someplace and be back for the kugel at the Oneg. So it will be a little cold.

  15. What I am most upset with is that they are conflating the noble Hatzoloh with their needs. I am sure you know how pained they are – and I have seen it unfortunately many times – to be Mchallel Shabbos; and on top of everything why does they have to tell the whole world ? Let them get in a cab from a private someplace and be back for the kugel at the Oneg. So it will be a little cold.

  16. איך האב גלייך פארשטאנען וואס וועט דא גיין פאר.
    אי איי איי איי איי.
    מען וועט נאך ליידען פון זיי
    איי איי איי איי איי
    ס’ניט דא א גרעסערע חילול השם
    איי איי איי איי איי!

  17. Security in Washington DC to walk home sounds like Pekuach nefesh to most. There are hertarim to get home from hospitals on SHABBS etc, so just chill & enjoy your Shabbos

  18. Patients returning from hospitals that are a distance will take a car service driven by a non Jew. In fact some hospitals dealing with frum yidden have a service called a Shabbat car service. The drivers are non Jews who know to open the door for entry so that no light gets opened up when a frum yid opens the door. Also they will come upstairs to the persons apartment to retrieve the money from the wallet hanging from a persons pants in the closet. LIU hospital offers this service to shomer Shabbos people. I can see why trumps daughter would need to leave the events in a car driven by non jewish secret service agents as it can be dangerous with hundreds of thousands of anti Trump protesters. It’s pekuach nefesh. I have witnessed even in israel yidden from meah shearim protesting on Shabbos being dragged away into police cars after being arrested in protests on Shabbos. The protesters know they will be dragged away into police cars and vans,but they know that it’s not a real issue. Riding in a car is not an issue. You liberal am haratzim don’t know Halacha. Trumps daughter is no different than the ultra frum meah shearim people. They know what’s kosher. If she got a heater it’s probably similar to Monsey and lakewood Jews returning from a hospital emergency.

  19. As far as I heard by order of the secret service the first family can’t walk the streets. In that case it’s a real safety concern so I can’t get delirious over the psak. Where they’re being driven by a goy. Would I do it? No. I would drive home right before shkia. But it’s not too far a stretch

  20. And to the people claiming חילול השם you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s not a חילול השם when it’s in accordance with halacha. קידוש השם or חילול השם is not about what looks or feels good to you. It’s about keeping the Torah or violating the Torah in public. So if it’s אויסגעהאלטען להלכה it’s probably more of a קידוש השם



    Dozens of comments and nobody has yet given a valid halachic argument as to why it is assur or why it is muttar.

    The closest we’ve gotten is somebody comparing it to returning from a hospital. And the receive the profound response of “What shaychu?”.

    But nobody has brought to light any source in halacha to prove one way or the other.

  22. Keep in mind that in this week’s parsha Moshe Rabeinu said “Achain Noda Hadavar”. According to many he was referring to the fact that Lashon Haraah was the reason Klal Yisrael was enslaved. We should definitely be careful what we say about other Yidden, so why this??.
    That said, it really isn’t pashut that there is a clear issur here. There is also a clear s’vara of shalom malchus… there are many legitimate times in halacha where we find leniency for creating goodwill with the malchus. For example one can interupt Krias Shema to say shalom to a king. Although I am not an authority and would have thought one should not put themselves in such a situation L’chatchila, it is possible that b’davad there is a real heter for this.
    Either way, they asked a Rabbi, which is likely more than can be said about many commentators here.

  23. One can obtain a heter for almost anything at any time. It’s as simple as that. You or I may not use such a heter but they’re out there.

  24. When Henry Kissinger was sworn in as Secretary of State on a Shabbos, his parent stayed at a hotel close by so they could walk to the swearing in ceremony. If the Kushner’s were that committed Jews, thae would have made some provisions to avoid any questionable acts on Shabbos.

  25. While I would never agree with this psak. I will say that whoever was Matir it mustve looked at the fact that the Trumps are a huge target right now. They cannot just walk thru the streets. With all the racist propaganda the left claims the right has towards minorities. The white; conservatives are still more accepting and tolerant. Please look at what everyone swallowed for the last 8 yrs. The left and the BLM movement and the panthers; they are a dangerous species.

  26. A guy in our shul trying to keep shabbos asked me, why should I try so hard if Ivanka Trump doesn’t have to?

    I dont think they asked a real rov but if they did, he doesn’t fulfill chocham Roeh es hanolad

  27. All we know is that someone in Eretz Yisroel siad that they were given a heter. No one in the USA, the Trump family or White House spokesmen have confirmed this.

  28. It is disgusting how Matzav refers to public chilul shabbos as a heter. Just because Matzav look away from all of Trump’s nevalah does not give Matzav a right to make a mockery of halacha. There is no pikuach nefesh need to go to a party. Shame!


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