(JTA) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner received rabbinic approval to fly with him on Shabbat to the Middle East and Europe, Politico reported.
A White House official said that Kushner and his wife, who are both Orthodox Jews, have received a rabbinical dispensation to join the president aboard Air Force One as he sets off on his first overseas Friday, according to the report. Orthodox Jews generally observe a Sabbath prohibition on work, motorized travel and the switching on or off of any appliance that uses heat, electricity or fire.
As a matter of consensus, this prohibition does not apply to life-or-death situations or when violating the Shabbat has the potential of saving human lives (and according to some rulers, the lives of certain animals under specific circumstances).
A White House official confirmed to Politico that the couple had received special permission from a rabbi. The article named neither the official nor the rabbi. It did not say who obtained the dispensation or when.
Trump has tasked Kushner with brokering a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
The New York Times reported Thursday that as part of his effort to secure an arms deal worth about $110 billion with Saudi Arabia, Kushner called the CEO of defence contractor Lockheed Martin directly and asked her to reduce the cost of a missile defence system so that Saudi Arabia could buy it.
On the presidential visit, Trump and his delegation are scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy and Belgium. Trump will land in Israel on Monday.