Trump: Baal Shem Ra


I heartily applaud and echo the Feb. 17 Your Say letters of Buddy Sapolsky (“Respect for Others”) and Howard Kahn (“Surviving Trump”). Both, however, lacked any conspicuous Jewish — let alone Judaic — optic to their criticism of America’s Tweeter-in-Chief, a glaring omission in a Jewish communal publication. I am delighted to remedy that lacuna.

According to Baba Metziah 58b (and its amplification in Maimonides, Laws of Repentance 3:14), any individual who engages in one of the following three behaviors abides in Gehenna (hell) forever: one who commits adultery with a married woman; one who pins a derogatory (nick)name upon another; and one who publicly shames another. Donald J. Trump has engaged — multiple times — in all three. Call it the Trump trifecta of Torah transgression.

Character counts.

Putting aside Trump’s support for torture, religious discrimination and abusive sexual behavior, let alone his disparagement of the disabled and his campaign’s embrace of frog avatar white supremacists, as the master of the personal insult and defamation of character, The Donald, in his contempt for any semblance of tzeniyus (modesty) and egregious lack of midos (qualities of character), automatically forfeits the support of any authentic and knowledgeable, let alone observant, Jew. In spectacular contrast to the founder of Chasidism, Trump is the Baal Shem Ra.

One more thing. Regarding his (six) business bankruptcies: Halachah does not recognize bankruptcy and thus considers it to be theft.
Sapolsky and Kahn are very much on target: As a role model for what it means to be a good American, from a rabbinic perspective, one is forced to conclude, bigly, about the 45th president: “Very Dishonest, Sad” (source: @realDonald J. Trump).

—Issachar Friedmann, Baltimore

Never miss a story.
Sign up for our newsletter.
Email Address


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here