Making History, Trump Visits the Western Wall With His Family


Donald Trump prayed at the Western Wall, the holiest site for Jews, together with his wife Melania, his Jewish daughter Ivanka, and his son-in-law Jared.

After his speech before leaders of Muslim-majority nations in Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump made a stop in Israel, where he prayed at the Western Wall together with his wife Melania, and daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner – both Orthodox Jews. Honoring the customs at the Wall, the men and women prayed separately in spaces allotted for their genders, because men and women are not allowed to pray together in Jewish custom. Trump even inserted a prayer note into a crevice in the Wall, as is the tradition.

Making History, Trump Visits the Western Wall With His Family[/tweetthis]

Having completed a visit to the church of the Holy Sepulchre, and donning a yarmulke, the Jewish skull-cap, the president spent a long time touching the stones of the wall. He was accompanied by the custodian of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, and was guided by the director-general of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Mordechai Eliav. He would have been accompanied by Israel’s Prime Minister as well, but the White House turned down his request to join Trump. The president said it was a “great honor” for him to visit the sacred place.

Melania Trump did not seem to have been concerned about the rules for approaching the Wall, having visited the spot without covering her head. Ivanka, however, wore a small hat, having converted to Orthodox Judaism just before she married Orthodox Jew Jared Kushner. Ivanka Trump was clearly moved by her closeness to the holy site, and spent a long time in deep prayer, touching the walls. She was also seen to have shed a few tears.

There is a lot of controversy over the rules separating women and men worshippers at the Wall. Israel has been seeing a lot of protests by groups such as ‘Women of the Wall’ and other non-Orthodox Jews that want equal treatment for both worshippers at the Wall. Worshippers are banned from bringing their own prayer scrolls to the Wall. However, while the Wall authorities have made prayer scrolls available in the men section, no prayer scrolls are available for women.

The president will be visiting the Vatican tomorrow, where a private audience with the pope is scheduled. He will then go on to Sicily for the NATO meeting, which is the core focus of his trip.


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