Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Why Is A Nazi-Adjacent Former Trump Official Deciding Who Is And Is Not A Rabbi?

sebastian gorka nazis twitter

Sebastian Gorka Image by Getty

Sebastian Gorka is deciding who is and is not a rabbi on Twitter now. So make of that what you will.

The former White House official with extensive ties to one-time allies of the Nazis maintains a prolific Twitter presence, using his digital megaphone to support Donald Trump and belittle anyone who stands against any of Trump’s goals. In 2017, a Forward investigation revealed that Gorka’s ties to Nazi allies stretched back decades, and that he was a member of a Hungarian far right militant group which had allied with the Nazis during World War II. In recent years, Gorka has modeled himself as pro-Israel, meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair earlier this year.

Gorka has a knack for getting into losing Twitter battles. The latest hill Gorka has found to die on is questioning a rabbi’s rabbinic credentials after the rabbi tweeted a pro-choice message about abortion.

“This man calls himself a rabbi,” Gorka responded.

gorka rabbi tweet

Image by Twitter

It’s not totally clear what Gorka meant, but our best guess is that he was insinuating that real rabbis think that life begins at conception, and do not think women should be able to decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term. Of course, even Orthodox rabbis have a much more nuanced opinion of abortion than Gorka appears to realize.

The rabbi Gorka targeted is Jonah Pesner, a Reform rabbi and the director of the Reform movement’s advocacy organization.

When Rabbi Jill Jacobs, head of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, defended Pesner, Gorka called her a “non-rabbi.”

gorka rabbi tweet

Image by Twitter

Gorka then followed that tweet up with a question in response to one Twitter user’s comment: “Do ‘rabbis’ who hate the modern state of Israel even care about sin?”

With his apparent rabbinic-credentialing-omniscience, we would expect Gorka to be able to answer that question — whatever it means — himself.

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

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.