Last night at the Passover service I attended, there weren't the traditional Four Questions. It's not that they weren't asked -- they were, but rather that there was a fifth. The additional question was, "So, do you think Donald Trump will attend his son-in-law and daughter's Seder tonight?"
Actually, I thought that was a much easier one than the others, even taken into consideration that everyone at the table all had heard, "Why is this night different from all other nights?" annually for several decades since childhood and knew the correct response by rote. I answered the Fifth Question immediately. "No," I said. Really??, I was asked in return, You don't think so? (And for people keeping track of such things, no, that doesn't count as a Sixth Question.) "No way," replied.
And not shockingly, to me at least, the answer came in this morning's news. I particularly like the sub-headline –
The only difference between the empty seat left for Elijah and the one for Trump is that no one should have left the door open for Trump in case he might show up.
What would have been a shock is if it were otherwise. After all, this is a man (using the term loosely) who on Holocaust Remembrance Day, released a statement that didn't remember to mention the six million Jews who had been the far-largest victims killed in the Holocaust. And he's someone whose chief adviser ran a White Supremacist news site that's virulently anti-Semitic. And whose foundational support comes from racist groups. And who throughout the presidential campaign often re-tweeted postings from known White Supremacist accounts. And who is, it's my personal observation, among his many attributes, a racist anti-Semite. So, what would have been a shock is if he had attended a Seder, and dared offend his base...along with his own delicate sensibilities. Trusted son-in-law and daughter be damned.
The author of this news story here about Trump's non-attendance postulates that specifically because of the Holocaust Day omission it seemed likely that Trump would have attended a Seder, to smooth over bad public relations and bad relations period with Jews. But that strikes me as a foolish analysis. The omission wasn't a gaffe, but intentional.
Indeed, if Trump had attended a Seder, that would have been the answer to the First Question, and explained precisely why the night was, in fact, incredibly different from all other nights.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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