The biblical story of Esther is an imperfect allegory for the Trump family, but as for Ivanka, the comparison isn’t half bad.* Esther is a Jewish woman who conceals her identity when she becomes the bride of a powerful king. It is only when she reveals who she is that she can save the Jewish people from an evil adviser plotting their destruction.
Like Esther, Ivanka might appear to be nothing more than a pretty face until she shows that she’s the savviest person in the room. Like Esther, Ivanka has a familial, almost accidental position of influence with a powerful gentile political figure. And like Esther, Ivanka’s Jewishness is veiled: Something she describes as an important part of her identity and family life—she’s an Orthodox convert, but she rarely agrees to talk about her faith—is essentially invisible to those who don’t know it’s there.
Now, as Ivanka steps more into her public role as the daughter of a potential U.S. president, she faces the same dilemma as Esther: figuring out whether and what obligation she has to be a champion of her people—especially when it’s not clear what her people might want from her.
Unlike a neat tale of biblical-style good and evil, the roles in the Trump campaign are scrambled. Far from being a unified bloc, American Jews might have conflicting opinions about the greatest threat to their country in 2016, whether they’re more concerned about terrorism and the future of Israel or the intolerance for minority groups that has come out on the campaign trail.