Settlers gather for prayer in Ramat Gilad_300.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
Loyalty to the government was always central to Jewish ethics. It was also a course of prudence: even in a hostile land Jews preferred a degree of stability to expulsion and homelessness. Yet Jews' prayers for the government were at times tongue-in-cheek. In "Fiddler on the Roof," when the rabbi says “God bless and keep the Czar — far away from us”, many Jews say "Amen." And in Soviet Russia and elsewhere, not all synagogues were serious when they placed a prayer for the government on the wall near the Ark.