Don’t we have a responsibility to daven for resha’im that they should do teshuva? So why do we say “V’lamalshinim” three times a day, and pray for the demise of the wicked?
Listen. Here is a Jewish apikoris running after you with a club. He wants to hit you with a club. So you’re asking me if you should daven to Hashem that he should do teshuva?! Maybe. You have no time however. In the meantime he should drop dead. That’s what you want.
That’s why we say m’heirah three times in the bracha of “V’lamalshinim” – m’heirah, m’heirah, miheirah! In no tefillah do we find that it says mi’heirah as much as in that brachah. Because the apikorsim are a danger. They are a threat to us. So although we want them to do teshuva, they’d better do teshuva fast. Otherwise they should get killed before they do anything bad to us. And the effect they have on our minds is very bad. מכל משמר נצור לבך – “More than anything you guard, you should guard your mind” (Mishlei 4:23). The apikorsim are wreaking havoc on our minds so they’d better do teshuva fast.
I passed a missionary on Kings Highway – a Jewish missionary sitting on Kings Highway giving out his literature. So I passed by him and I said, “Ribono Shel Olam, he should do teshuva. Let him drop dead in the meantime.”
TAPE E-258 (February 2000)