Reince Priebus, Chair of the RNC and Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff, has referred to Donald’s son-in-law in Jared Kushner as Jared Kirschner. It’s an understandable error. Kirschner and it’s truncated version Kirsch is a common Jewish name and one that I informally named a rule after in Congregation B’nai Israel when I was a teen. Mr. Kirschner was a scholar and gentleman who cautioned that when there was a large minyan (considerably greater than the minimum quorum of 10 men) for morning prayers, the following morning there would be a shortage. Whenever I was in synagogue with a big crowd on a Sunday morning, I’d give my father a wink and say: “Beware of Kirschner’s Rule”.
Observance of more formal rules and laws play a key role in Orthodox Judaism, one of the most significant defining the essence of who is a Jew. Rules delineate the process of conversion, which Ivanka Trump undertook before marrying Jared Kushner under the auspices of Rabbi Haskel Lookstein. Being in the public eye naturally brings such matters under more intense scrutiny from many angles, yet another reason to keep as low a profile as possible.
It is understandable why Mr. Kushner eschews the spotlight, as one’s religious observances can be shallow water to swim in when sharks dominate the whirlpool. As an Orthodox Jewish outsider serving as a key adviser inside the White House, his role will be a real life re-enactment of a character in Herman Wouk’s brilliant 1985 novel. If Jared hasn’t read Wouk’s masterpiece yet, I suspect someone will put it high on his reading list.
Ivanka and Jared were a match made in business heaven and now apparently the President-Elect and his son-in-law have become a match made in political heaven. One of the political lessons unfolding in front of our eyes is that family and loyalty trump all else. It is a creed that runs deep among most power brokers, and Chris Christie got his public “come -uppins” with his demotion on the Trump Transition Team. It was as if Jared let the Governor rise just high enough on the pedestal to enjoy pulling the rug out from under him and watching the precipitous free-fall. Seemingly this was payback for CC’s role in prosecuting Jared’s father for campaign finance improprieties. Of course Christie had been useful in running interference for Trump’s pursuit of the Republican nomination, eviscerating Marco Rubio – a lead that the President-Elect would follow after CC dropped out of the race.
As Jared Kushner continues to work in the shadows, his situation conjures up images of a 21st century Boss Tweed, who allegedly said: “Stop them damn pictures. I don’t care what the papers write about me. My constituents can’t read. But damn it, they can see the pictures.”