JTA — Doug Mastriano is not Jewish. But that didn’t stop him from announcing his candidacy for Pennsylvania governor at an event where a man donned a tallit, or a Jewish prayer shawl, and blew a shofar.
In December 2020, he attended a series of “Jericho Marches” in Washington, DC, where Trump’s supporters prayed for him to remain president. Jack Jenkins, a reporter for Religion News Service, told the New Yorker that the event was intended to mimic the biblical story in which the walls of Jericho fell. “They blew on shofars believing they could literally overturn the election results,” Jenkins said.
And Mastriano was in Washington on January 6, 2021, when Trump’s supporters rallied and later stormed the Capitol, with some of them sounding shofars.
According to the New Yorker, Mastriano used campaign funds to charter buses to bring Trump supporters to the January 6, 2021 rally. Although Mastriano said he left the Capitol after it was clearly “no longer a peaceful protest,” some of his Democratic colleagues in the state senate have called for him to be expelled or court-martialed.
Mastriano has made “establishment Republicans” his enemy and was condemned by some of them on social media. “I know, it’s a free country, so I guess Mr. Mastriano is free to appropriate two of the most meaningful elements of Jewish worship, the prayer shawl worn on Shabbat and the shofar sounded on Rosh Hashanah, for his political event. And I’m free to say it’s beneath contempt,” Bill Kristol, the former editor of the Weekly Standard, said in a tweet.
Michael Flynn, who served as Trump’s first national security adviser for just a few weeks before resigning in disgrace, and Jenna Ellis, an attorney who worked to overturn the 2020 election results for Trump, appeared alongside Mastriano at the event, according to the York Daily Record.