Trump campaign finds new Rabbi

Local Rabbi Ari Wolf to deliver prayer at Republican National Convention in Cleveland, replacing Rabbi Haskel Lookstein.

Shai Landesman ,

Donald Trump at Jewish Republican Coalition
Donald Trump at Jewish Republican Coalition
Reuters

The Donald Trump campaign has found a new Rabbi.

After Rabbi Haskel Lookstein - who's been the subject of much recent controversy in Israel over the Rabbinical Court's decision not to recognize his conversions - backed out of an engagement to deliver and "invocation", or prayer, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland tonight (Monday), the Trump campaign needed to find someone else to do it, and fast.

They have settled on Rabbi Ari Wolf, a graduate of the Telshe yeshiva in Cleveland who serves as chaplain in the Cleveland police department.

Rabbi Lookstein was originally chosen to speak at the convention. He is known to the family as he officiated the conversion of Trump's daughter, Ivanka. In a letter to representatives of the "Ramaz" high school - of which he is a former principal - the distinguished Orthodox Rabbi explained that he'd decided to cancel after it became clear to him that his appearance at the convention which is expected to nominate Donald Trump will be seen as a political statement, not a spiritual one. He said he realized this would happen upon seeing that his name appeared on the list of speakers for the convention without the added qualification that he was attending to deliver an invocation. Rabbi Lookstein thereby concluded that the whole matter had "turned from Rabbinic to political."

"I have never been involved in politics," Rabbi Lookstein continued, "politics divides people. My life has been devoted to uniting a community with love of the Jewish people and love of all humanity."




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