Ivanka Trump, daughter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, visited the Ohel, the Brooklyn gravesite of the venerated Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson (whose name is often accompanied by the abbreviation “zt”l,” or zichrono tzadik livracha, Hebrew for “may the memory of the righteous be a blessing”).
Schneerson was the seventh and final rabbi in the Lubavitch line of Hasidic Jews, and achieved worldwide fame and respect that persists today, even as his Chabad religious movement continues to expand. His life and teachings are explored in the recent book, Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History, by Joseph Telushkin.
Ivanka and husband prayed at the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Ohel tonight. pic.twitter.com/VPFCH3Xl1b
— Danny (@Dannymkfsi) November 6, 2016
Video: Tonight after end of Sabbath, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump visited the Ohel of Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe in Queens pic.twitter.com/eaGNf7bNVL
— Jacob Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) November 6, 2016
— Jerry Rosen (@Shortrosen) November 6, 2016
Some fans of the Rebbe claimed that Ivanka and Jared’s prayers at the Ohel saved Trump from harm at a rally in Reno, where the Secret Service rushed the Republican nominee offstage after a scuffle in the audience involving a man whom audience members feared had a gun. Trump later returned to the stage.
Ivanka went to the Ohel tonight and the scholars on Facebook are already saying that the “assassination attempt” failed because of the Rebbe
— Wokie from Muskogee (@crookedroads770) November 6, 2016
BREAKING : Ivanka Prays – The Donald Saved! As Ivanka Was At Ohel Of Rebbe, Secret Service Rushed Him Off Stage https://t.co/60VqWaRfNL
— Naomi Litvin (@nlitvin) November 6, 2016
In his lifetime, candidates for the highest office used to visit the Rebbe’s office at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. President Ronald Reagan declared April 4, 1982, a “National Day of Reflection” in the Rebbe’s honor.
Many visit the Rebbe’s grave today — as the Rebbe visited his predecessor’s grave — to pray and ask God for blessings.
Last year, jockey Victor Espinoza, the jockey who rode American Pharoah to glory as the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, visited the Ohel prior to the all-important Belmont Stakes. As New York area CBS News affiliate WCBS 2 reported:
Espinoza opened a prayer book, recited psalms, wrote out his own message and added his to a mountain of prayers at the sacred site.
“It’s always ask for the most important, (which) is health,” Espinoza said. “Without health, we cannot do anything.”
Espinoza is not Jewish, but spiritual. He said after receiving a blessing from a rabbi at the Preakness last month, he scheduled the detour from his regular race prep for the Belmont.
“So much energy right here,” he said. “It would kind of build you up right here. It’s like good energy drinks.”
“The resting place of a righteous person is considered a sacred place,” said Rabbi Motti Seligson of Chabad.org.
American Pharoah, whose owner is an observant Jew, went on to win the Belmont.
Chabad is known worldwide for its outreach to fellow Jews and its positive outlook. In his lifetime, the Rebbe encouraged non-Jews to observe the Seven Noahide Laws as universal moral principles (via Chabad.org):
THE 7 LAWS
Acknowledge that there is only one G‑d who is Infinite and Supreme above all things. Do not replace that Supreme Being with finite idols, be it yourself, or other beings. This command includes such acts as prayer, study and meditation.
Respect the Creator. As frustrated and angry as you may be, do not vent it by cursing your Maker.
Respect human life. Every human being is an entire world. To save a life is to save that entire world. To destroy a life is to destroy an entire world. To help others live is a corollary of this principle.
Respect the institution of marriage. Marriage is a most Divine act. The marriage of a man and a woman is a reflection of the oneness of G‑d and His creation. Disloyalty in marriage is an assault on that oneness.
Respect the rights and property of others. Be honest in all your business dealings. By relying on G‑d rather than on our own conniving, we express our trust in Him as the Provider of Life.
Respect G‑d’s creatures. At first, Man was forbidden to consume meat. After the Great Flood, he was permitted – but with a warning: Do not cause unnecessary suffering to any creature.
Maintain justice. Justice is G‑d’s business, but we are given the charge to lay down necessary laws and enforce them whenever we can. When we right the wrongs of society, we are acting as partners in the act of sustaining the creation.
Ivanka Trump converted to Orthodox Judaism prior to marrying Kushner.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.