I did not give permission to break Shabbat, says Ivanka and Jared’s rabbi

Rabbi Haskel Lookstein described reports of him allowing the breach as ‘fake news’.


The rabbi who oversaw Ivanka Trump’s conversion denies he gave the first daughter and her husband permission to fly on Shabbat.

Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, a leading modern Orthodox rabbi, has stated that he did not give the prominent couple special dispensation to board Air Force One during the Sabbath.

The couple flew to Saudi Arabia on Friday and landed once Shabbat had come in. They were also seen being driven around on Saturday.

A White House official said the couple received a rabbinical dispensation to join the president aboard Air Force One on his first overseas trip on Friday, according to Politico.

The article named neither the official nor the rabbi, nor did it say who obtained the dispensation or when.

Rabbi Lookstein, who heads Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, described reports of him allowing the breach of Shabbat as “fake news” in a conversation with Isaac Herzog, leader of the opposition Zionist Union party. According to the report in Yediot Ahronot, he said he had not been in touch with the couple for weeks.

The president’s daughter converted prior to her marriage to Mr Kushner in 2009. They describe themselves as observant, but have previously broken Shabbat. They received a rabbinical pass to travel by car on President Donald Trump’s inauguration celebrations.

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