By COLlive reporter
On Sunday, bankruptcy attorney David Friedman was seen driving through the quiet streets of the Cambria Heights neighborhood in southeast Queens, NY.
His destination was the Ohel gravesite of the Rebbe at the Old Montefiore Cemetery.
His mission: To pray and ask for blessings and guidance ahead of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to become the U.S. ambassador to Israel.
Joining him for this private trip was his learning partner, Rabbi Zalman Wolowik, Director of Chabad of the Five Towns in Long Island. The two have been close even before Friedman was nominated by his new boss, now-president Donald Trump.
Friedman can certainly use all the prayers he can get for his debut in Washington, DC.
On Thursday, Friedman faced a stern group of senators who grilled him on his past statements that he made against leftist Jewish groups who have been fighting the Israeli government and its policies.
“Apology is the first step to atonement,” Friedman said, expressing regret for the inflammatory language, and promised to be “respectful and measured” should he be confirmed.
The son of an Orthodox rabbi, Friedman has been a fervent supporter of Israeli settlements, an opponent of Palestinian statehood and staunch defender of Israel’s government, AP reported.
The hearing played out along familiar party lines. Republicans largely sought to play to the Trump nominee’s strengths, while Democrats aimed for weak spots, AP reported.
If that wasn’t enough, Friedman faced repeated heckling by protesters sitting in the crowd, who took turns interrupting the nominated ambassador’s opening statements about his family and values.
Two men, minutes apart, stood and shouted pro-Palestinian slogans, AP repored. They each held up Palestinian flags before being removed by the Capitol police. Other protesters sang before being ushered out. One blasted a “shofar.”
Friedman’s family members, Rabbi Wolowik, and other members of the Five Towns Jewish community were in the crowd, offering him support before and after the hearing.