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advice on the U.S. Presidential election


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Nisan 30, 5776
Which candidate will make the best president of the U.S.A?
Although your question is on politics and not halacha, the living Torah believes that the Torah, as our guide for living, does direct us to a certain extent on such issues as well, at least in general terms of priorities. The ultimate issue and main concern on such questions is: which candidate is best for the Jewish Nation? On the one hand Hillary Clinton and her advisors (like her former partner Obama!), have been caught (often off-the-record) making very negative statements regarding Israel and our elected officials, and her husband as well tried pressing Israel into dangerous compromises. On the other hand, Donald Trump speaks very pro-Israel, and at least, as far as I know, has not had any such anti-Israel slips or pro-Arab indications, but his money and personality make him less susceptible to Jewish lobbying and pressure when it may be necessary. We also must remember that world leaders have limited free-will, “the heart of the king is in the hand of God, any way He wishes, He will manipulate it” (Mishlei 21, 1), especially when it comes to running Jewish history, God’s main arena. The unconventional way this presidential election is playing out may be a classic example of how “He appoints kings but the kingdom is His” (High Holiday siddur)! Nevertheless, we are not fatalistic, and believe that we must attempt (!) to figure out, with our free-will, that which seems to be the best for “our nation and Godly cities (the Land of Israel)”, and only afterwards it says “God will do that which He sees as fit” (Shmuel II, 10, 12).
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