Rav Avigdor Miller on Praying for the President

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Q:
What do you think about the election of Carter to be our next President?

 
A:
I haven’t the slightest knowledge about Carter. But I hope that Hakodosh Boruch Hu will give Him His blessings and give him success. Now that he’s been elected, it’s a mitzvah to daven for Carter.

It’s a mitzvah. You have to be mispallel b’shlom malchus; every Jew has to pray for the benefit of the government. Now that he’s been elected, we daven he should be well; he shouldn’t catch a cold. He shouldn’t be bothered by the liberals. He shouldn’t have any wars in his time. And בימיו תושע יהודה וישראל ישכון לבטח (Yirmiyahu 23:6), in his time the Jewish people should be happy and prosperous and Moshiach should come. That’s the best I can tell you.

And that’s our duty, to pray for Carter. Every Jew has to pray for Carter. And you have to still pray for Ford by the way, because he’s still President until January. So for the duration of his term you have to pray for him.

A Jew must pray for his government. It’s very important. It’s a mishna in Mesichta Avos (3:2); plain and simple we must pray for the government. And even if you haven’t done it till now, it’s a good time to begin. From now on think about it sometimes, and say it. Even when you’re on the street walking, say a little prayer for the President and for the Vice-president, and don’t be ashamed. Don’t worry that you might be ridiculed by somebody – let nobody know about it. But you should know that you’re doing the duty of an Orthodox Jew.

You must pray for the government! Not because you want to show the government that you pray for them. The fakers come together and wave flags, and they make an official prayer – that doesn’t mean a thing. They’re not praying for the government, they’re just showing off. Pray for the government quietly between yourself and Hashem. And you should really mean it. Have in mind that Carter should be well and that he shouldn’t have troubles. He shouldn’t fight with his wife. He should have peace at home and peace in the government. Congress should cooperate with him. There’s no question that if there will be a tranquil government, then Carter will try to make a good name for himself. No question about it. Any President would like to make a regime that will go down in history as a successful regime.

And so, our best wishes are given to the incumbent, President-elect Carter, and Hakodosh Boruch Hu should help him –  and us.

TAPE # 144 (November 1976)