Praying for the government

Jews have uttered prayers in support of kings, queens and presidents throughout history.

June 4, 2012 13:46
Settlers gather for prayer in Ramat Gilad

Settlers gather for prayer in Ramat Gilad_300. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)


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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. 


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