Respect for our President

Don’t worry, this is not another political article.  It is a long-overdue observation about respect for the office of the American Presidency—from a Jewish perspective.

 

Controversy rages five months into Donald Trump’s term as our President.  Critics find fault with everything he does, from real policy decisions to where he drives his golf cart.  And President Trump does not shy away from responding to his detractors.

 

This constant conflict constitutes an internal war.  And it is bad for our country at a time when world events happen in nanoseconds.  As Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War, one of the timeless classics of military literature, “There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.”

 

No matter who you voted for in November, Mr. Trump is the 45th President of the United States. He won the election and deserves the respect due this important office.

 

Judaism is replete with blessings.  We have blessings for each kind of food group.  We have a blessing for learning Torah.  We have a blessing for hearing thunder, and another one for seeing lightning.

 

We have a blessing for seeing in person and/or meeting face-to-face the head of a country:  Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, who has given of His glory to flesh and blood.  The Torah tell us that “Joseph brought his father Jacob and stood him before Pharaoh and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.” (Genesis 47:7)

How cool is it that this blessing exists?  Our Sages, in their infinite wisdom, anticipated the prospect that, just as our forefather Jacob met Pharaoh, that we might also meet a Head of State.  Clearly, the glory of G-d is to be accessed and appreciated in this physical world.

 

Respecting parents – Well, that’s one of the Ten Commandments.  Teaching this to our children is fundamental because respecting authority is a basis of an established society.  The reverberating benefits are untold.

 

Whether or not we agree or disagree with the opinions and actions of the President, we must respect the office and therefore, the person who holds it.  By showing respect and getting beyond internal conflict and criticism, we can help to return this country to stability and position in the world.