Ivanka Trump experienced a rare social media gaffe when fans realized that an inspirational quote she had posted to her Instagram account on Friday was not by actress Emma Watson, as the post claimed, but an ancient Jewish sage known as Hillel the Elder, JTA reported.
“If not me, who? If not now, when?” asked the post, attributing the quote to Emma Watson. Ivanka, who is the daughter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, tagged Watson’s Instagram handle in her caption as well.
Watson, best known for her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter movie series, did use the quote in a 2014 speech at the United Nations, but she is not the originator of the famous Jewish proverb, which appears in the Ethics of the Fathers (1:4) and is attributed to the first century BCE Jewish sage Hillel the Elder.
“If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?” reads Hillel’s ancient saying. “But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?”
Rabbi Hillel, who lived in Jerusalem during the time of King Herod, is one of the most famous and renowned scholars in Jewish history. His deep understanding of the Torah and love of mankind made him one of the most respected sages in his own time. According to tradition, after settling a religious question which proved his superior Torah scholarship, the heads of the Sanhedrin voluntarily stepped down to give Rabbi Hillel the position.
His religious rulings shaped the development of Judaism’s Oral Law (Talmud) and his impact on current Jewish law is immeasurable.
The sage was so influential that several of his sayings became well-known outside of the Jewish world. His famous question, quoted by Watson and Trump, is one of his best-known maxims.
He is also credited with authoring the Golden Rule, teaching that the essence of the Bible is the principle of reciprocity: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.”
Ivanka Trump, despite being Jewish, having undergone an Orthodox conversion in 2009, was apparently not familiar with Rabbi Hillel’s axiom.
Social media users quickly responded to Ivanka’s mistake. JTA compiled several tweets aimed at the fashion mogul’s lack of Jewish knowledge.
This is what happens when you let Melania’s speechwriter run your Instagram account https://t.co/Z9qwHxmyEs
— (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) September 9, 2016
One user referenced the Passover dish known as the Hillel sandwich, comprising unleaved bread (matzah), bitter herbs, and the sacrificial dish.
And every passover, we eat the Emma Watson sandwich https://t.co/pENUzrZv7F
— Kiera Feldman (@kierafeldman) September 9, 2016
Another drew a similar parallel between a second Harry Potter actor and a different Jewish sage.
I heard Ivanka Trump confused Emma Watson with Rabbi Hillel. I do that! But for me it’s Rupert Grint and The Baal Shem Tov.
— Hearty White (@HeartyWhite) September 10, 2016
Source: Israel in the News