Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will be flying aboard Air Force One to Saudi Arabia with President Donald Trump on Friday, after receiving a rabbinical dispensation to travel on the Jewish Sabbath, according to a White House official.
The two practicing Orthodox Jews typically observe the weekly Shabbat holiday, unplugging from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. But they have made exceptions, on a few occasions, for their jobs.
On Inauguration Day, they received the same kind of rabbinical pass to travel by car, an activity that is typically prohibited for observant Jews on the Sabbath. The rules can be broken in life-threatening situations, or if there is a safety concern, according to Jewish law. It was not clear on what grounds the exception was made for Trump’s first foreign trip.
During the 2016 campaign, Kushner also broke Shabbat during the worst crisis to engulf Trump. He huddled with his father-in-law in Trump Tower after the release of the damaging “Access Hollywood” tape in October of 2016 that showed Trump bragging about kissing and groping women without their consent.
Trump’s first stop on his nine-day, five-country tour will be Saudi Arabia, a leg of the trip that Kushner has been deeply involved in organizing.
In her new book, “Women Who Work,” Ivanka Trump writes about how her family celebrates the weekly Jewish holiday. “From sundown Friday to Saturday night, my family and I observe the Shabbat,” she wrote. “During this time, we disconnect completely — no emails, no TV, no phone calls, no Internet. We enjoy uninterrupted time together and it’s wonderful. She added: “It’s enormously important to unplug and devote that time to each other. We enjoy long meals together, we read, we take walks in the city, we nap, and just hang out.”