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Will Michael Cohen Wear The Kabbalah-Inspired Red Thread Tomorrow In House Testimony?

Last week, while testifying before the House Oversight Committee about his work for Donald Trump, Michael Cohen was photographed sporting a red thread bracelet on his left hand.

The thin thread has deep roots in Jewish mysticism — it is supposed to be a talisman that wards off evil. European rabbis once considered the red thread a sign of piety.

But, as with other aspects of Jewish mysticism, also called Kabbalah, the red thread has become increasingly popular as an wristwear accessory among celebrities who may dabble in Jewish ritual. Madonna and Angelina Jolie have both worn the thread.

As has Ivanka Trump.

Ivanka was seen wearing the thread in the summer of 2017, after her spring visit to Israel on Donald Trump’s first presidential trip abroad. The red thread has become a fixture of the wares hawked at tourists in the Old City of Jerusalem, alongside special candles, books and things carved out of olive wood. One can also forego the costly flight to Israel and purchase a red string from the Kabbalah Center for a mere $26.

Will Cohen wear the red thread when he returns to the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday, for a closed-door debriefing with the House Intelligence Committee? Who knows, but he certainly needs all the signs of piety he can get these days.

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @aefeldman

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