Q: First of all, is Ha-Rav happy that the Americans chose Trump to be the President of the United States? On one hand, he seems to be more Pro-Israel than Hillary Clinton, but, on the other hand, he is unknown, and we say in Halachah: When there is a known and an unknown, the known is preferable.
A: There are two answers:
1. This question recalls that when Golda Meir became Prime Minister, a student asked Ha-Rav Joseph Soloveitchik: Is it permissible to appoint a woman to such a position? After all, the Rambam (Hilchot Melachim 1:5) brings the Halachah of the Sifri, that we learn from the verse (Devarim 17:15) "You shall surely set a king over you" – a king and not a queen. Ha-Rav Soloveitchik immediately answered: And appointing Ben Gurion was not a question? Although he was not a woman, he was not religious, and it was forbidden to appoint him as well (see Shut Igrot Moshe Yoreh Deah 2:45). The answer is that they did not ask us, and the responsibility of these appointments is therefore not incumbent upon us (Nefesh Ha-Rav, pp. 90-91).
The Americans did not ask me who was best for them.
2. We don't know. Politics is a not math and it is difficult to predict the future. There are too many factors at play to know if President Trump will be good for us or not.
Q: Some say that Trump is the Mashiach since "Donald Trump" is the same numerlcal value in Hebrew letters (424) as "Mashiach ben David"?
A: Nonsense. Ha-Rav Shmuel Eliyahu, Rav of Tzefat, already pointed out that 424 is also the same Gematria as "Chatzi Mana Felafel" (a Half-Portion of Felafel)…
Q: It is known that Trump's daughter, Ivanka, converted to Judaism, and there was a storm over her conversion, which was performed by Ha-Rav Haskel Lookstein. Is she Jewish?
A: It is impossible to express an opinion regarding such a serious matter of whether or not one is Jewish, based on hearsay. Regarding the issue, we have not heard that there are questions about Rav Lookstein's conversions. The two Chief Rabbis, Ha-Rav David Lau and Ha-Rav Yitzchak Yosef already expressed their opinions that there is no issue with his conversions. Who then are we to ask questions?! Furthermore, we were told that a Beit Din of the RCA converted her, Rav Lookstein was the one who sponsored her. I have met with Rav Lookstein many times. He is an Orthodox Rabbi. He is modern and open, but he is Orthodox. He is also a man of integrity, with proper character traits and a heart of gold, who has done much good for the Jews of America. He is also humble, modest and flees from honor.
Q: Then she is Jewish?
A: Yes. I heard that she openly proclaims that she observes Shabbat and Kashrut. If only this was the state of all Jews in America.
Q: It doesn't seem like she covers her hair. Does she wear a wig?
A: I don't know. It is forbidden to stare at a woman.
Q: I heard that at Trump's Inauguration, a Rabbi permitted Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner to violate Shabbat by being driven by a non-Jew because of Pikuach Nefesh?
A: If it was based on a Rabbi's ruling, then it is violating Shabbat with permission. I am not an expert in the details but understand, however, that they consult with an Orthodox Rabbi, since they are indeed in a complex situation. After all, her husband is one of the senior advisors to the President. The Rabbi instructed them on what to do. In general, one should choose a Rabbi and ask him what to do in difficult situations. This is in fulfillment of the dictum: "Get yourself a Rav" (Pirkei Avot 1:6, 16). By the way, some people say that when Trump's son-in-law is observing Shabbat, the President loses control and begins Tweeting all sorts of things. This is how people are, if they observe Shabbat, people criticize them and if they violate Shabbat (with permission), people criticize them. People should stop sticking their noses in their business.
Q: But I also heard that they entered a Church during the Inauguration?
A: See above. This recalls the words of Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein: "The Rabbi from Minsk should not interfere in a question for the Rabbi from Pinsk". Reb Moshe did not interfere with matters relating to Eretz Yisrael, and a Rabbi in Israel should not interfere with questions in America (Meged Givot Olam Volume 1, p. 55. Volume 2, pp. 31-32). Similarly, when Ha-Rav Aharon Lichtenstein would be asked questions relating to America, he would say: Ask the Rabbis of America (We heard this in the eulogy of Ha-Rav Mordechai Willig, one of the Roshei Yeshiva of Yeshiva University, for Ha-Rav Lichtenstein).
Q: But it once happened that when Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef was serving as a Rav in Egypt, a non-Jewish diplomat died and he was brought into a Church for a service. He was asked to represent the community and enter on account of "Darkei Shalom - keeping the peace". But he refused (Shut Yabia Omer Volume 2 Yoreh Deah #11)?
A: One who questions them suspects the innocent (Choshed Ba-Kesherim) and disrespects the Rav whom they ask.
Q: Is Ivanka, as a convert, required to honor her biological father, President Trump, since a convert is like a new-born baby?
A: Yes, just as a non-Jew would honor his parents (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 241:9. See Shut Igrot Moshe Yoreh Deah 2:130 and Shut Yechaveh Da'at 6:60).
Q: Trump was therefore required to honor his father?
A: Correct. It is related in the Gemara Kiddushin (31a) that Dama ben Netina, who was a non-Jew, honored his father and did not wake him up even though he could have made a lot of money doing so. In merit, a Parah Adumah was born in his herd. The Sefardic Chief Rabbi, Ha-Rav Yitzchak Yosef, said: Just as Trump honored his father, he therefore merited what he merited… (In the Parashat Sheet 'Beit Maran' #103).
Q: In sum?
A: Trump has said that he wants to focus on America and what is good for the American People. We hope that he adopts the Monroe Doctrine of President James Monroe, i.e. America decides for America. They should decide what is best for them, and we hope that they leave us to choose what is best for us and not try to dictate what we should do.