Trump is doing quite a few things that we haven’t seen in a long time. And his inauguration is no exception. This not only is a great sign of solidarity for the Jewish community, but it’s also a slight middle finger to the UN. We love it.
Here’s another thing that’s not getting much airplay. Trump’s inauguration is shaping up to be one of the most faith-based in a very long time, with six religious figures speaking, including Franklin Graham, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, pastor Paula White and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
But it’s his inclusion of Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, which really sets his inauguration apart. It’s been 30 years since a Jewish rabbi has been invited to pray during a presidential inauguration. The last one was Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk, head of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, during Ronald Reagan’s 1985 ceremony.
JTA.org says Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, will offer a prayer at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Hier reportedly will offer readings, recite an original prayer and give Trump and incoming Vice President Mike Pence each a benediction at the Jan. 20 ceremony.
“Since the first inaugural ceremony, our leaders have paid tribute to the blessings of liberty that have been bestowed upon our country and its people,” Tom Barrack, the chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, said in a statement issued Wednesday announcing the six faith leaders who will participate in the inauguration. “I am pleased to announce that a diverse set of faith leaders will offer readings and prayers at the swearing-in of President-elect Trump and honor the vital role religious faith plays in our multicultural, vibrant nation.”
Hier and his Wiesenthal Center earlier this week called the U.S. abstention on a United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning Israel for settlement building the top anti-Semitic incident of 2016.