Rav Avigdor Miller: Pray for the President


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

Rav Avigdor Miller zt”l (in 1976):

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)

Courtesy of Toras Avigdor/TorasAvigdor.org/SimchasHachaim.com


  1. Carter, Clinton, Bush and Obama didn’t deserve to be in our prayers for even 1/4 of a second during their Presidency. And we didn’t. For what? That Hashem should help them destroy America even more?
    On the other hand, President Trump, the first Real Leader of the US deserves the prayers of Klal Yisrael. We definitely say Tehillim for him daily; for his success, siyatta Dishmaya and that Hashem should protect him and his family.

    • Clearly this comment (annon @11:32) did not read the article. As Rav Miller ZT”L said, we have to pray for ALL presidents. It was Hashems will to have Carter, Clinton, Bush and Obama elected and we had an obligation to pray for them regardless of what our silly trivial opinions are. G-D knows everything.

  2. The government of the USA has three parts – executive, legislative, and judiciary.

    To define/view the government as just the President/executive branch is deficient.

  3. The Rav invoking this is based upon historical context. If you pray your desire to be rid of one evil ruler you may get your wish. Your wish may result in an even More evil ruler.

  4. #2 do you think Yidden should have prayed for Hitler YMS? Sometimes a leader is so evil we need to pray that he should fail and that applies to Obama YMS

  5. Rabbi Miller also responded to a question about how Jews should respond to President Nixon during the so-called Watergate scandal. He stated that the scandal was used by the Democratic party and their ilk to destroy his presidency, and he advised the Jews at that time to continue to support him and pray for his success.

  6. Wow. To bring this up now. Talk about fake news. All the shiurim where Rav Miller zt”l decimated the democrat party as being anti G-d anti Torah anti morality, for whatever reason isn’t brought up. All the shiurim where he was pro republican (going as far as calling them the party of Hashem [obviously in relation to the dems]). That he said that HE himself donated to the nixon defense fund for whatever reason isn’t mentioned.
    Unless the point of the article is that Rav Miller held one should daven for the potus even if the he was a shoteh, rasha, gass ruach, and out and out m’turaf! So kal v’chomer a president who’s pro G-d pro morality pro AMerica and pro Jews! And is not scared to fight with the lunatic liberals and media

  7. Rabbi Miller was the most outspoken Rabbi against our enemies. He spoke against the liberals,gays,atheists,abortionists and yes the PLO like no other Rav.
    When he said to daven for a president,he meant to daven that G-d should direct them to do the right thing and be a help for Am Yisroel. Rabbi Miller was the king of Hashkofa. I first met him in 1981 and he changed my life. If Rabbi Miller was alive today there is no question that he would support Trump over Hillarey. No question. He would support Trump Just on the issue of appointing conservative Supreme Court judges. We are so lucky to have Trump as our president that we should thank H in every Shmonei esray. There is so much he has done and try’s to do for Orthodox Jews that no president in history ever did. Trump 2020. Register every family member to vote.

  8. This is obviously from when Carter was President-elect, before he took office.

    He was portrayed then as a conservative Southern Democrat, not a liberal. The extreme positions he took later were not known.

    Lemayseh, under his watch the Camp David accords were signed.

  9. The inyan is that we are supposed to seek the peace of and support the places where we live and have refuge, as it says in Tanach.

    And part of that is praying for the government, as it says in Pirkei Avos, that without שלומה של מלכות, איש את רעהו חיים בלעו, ר”ל.

    Rav Miller was not saying to pray for the Democrat party. He was not part of YCT/OO. He was saying to pray for the government.

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