Last week, Obama administration officials were debating how to toughen their stance against any expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
The measures under discussion include stepping back from America’s near-uniform support for the Zionist state in the United Nations if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not agree to a settlement freeze, administration officials said.
Meanwhile, the Zionist settler community and their supporters in the U.S. have embarked on a campaign to vilify Obama. In Jerusalem last Wednesday, June 3, settlers demonstrated in front of the American consulate. In the U.S., the Modern Orthodox Zionist organization Orthodox Union published a statement attacking Obama’s call for a total freeze on settlement building.
In this climate, where we see the latest manifestation of the chutzpah that is a natural outgrowth of the Zionist ideology, Torah-true rabbis asked us to underscore the importance of an age-old prayer that Jews have always said for their leaders in all countries they have lived in throughout the exile. The basis of this prayer is the prophet Jeremiah’s command, “Seek the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you, and pray on its behalf to G-d, for with its peace will you have peace” (29:7). The Talmud rabbis also laid down this law: “Pray for the welfare of the government, for if not for the fear of it, one man would swallow his neighbor alive” (Avos 3:2).
This prayer is recited publicly at Jewish prayer services on Sabbath mornings, immediately after the Torah reading. We have prepared a text of this prayer including President Obama’s name, and you can access it by clicking here.