Does Government Deserve Our Prayers?


The results are in! Do we pray for the success or downfall of our elected officials?

Professor Jonathan Sarna tells why and how, even if we didn’t vote for them.

Professor Sarna, noted historian, cites Rabbi Chanina, who lived during the harsh rulership of Rome, saying in Pirkei Avos, ” Pray for the ruling power even if they oppress us”; Ezra who lived under the Persians said “Pray for the life of the king and his sons”; and Jeremiah who lived in Bavel said ” Seek the peace of the city, for in its peace you shall have peace.”

The history of Judaism’s Prayer for the Government and the messages between the lines, sheds light on the fascinating and complex relationship we share with the people who rule us.