Rav Kook: No Brachah of “Shenosan” On Obama

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Rav Bentzion Kook, rosh Bais Horaah Haklali in Yerushalayim, recently flew to the United States to participate in the wedding of a talmid, as previously reported by Matzav.com.

While in America, Rav Kook visited and gave shiurim at shuls and botei medrash in many different cities.

At Bais Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, Rav Kook delivered a shiur in honor of the yahrzeit of his rebbi, Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l.

The shiur to yungeleit learning hilchos Shabbos took place in the chaburah rooms of the Bais Aron building of the yeshiva.

At the end of the shiur, he was asked by one of the yungeleit if one is to make the brachah of “Shenosan michvodo lebosor vodom” on President Obama. Rav Kook answered in the name of Rav Elyashiv that Obama lacks the shiur of a melech, since as president of America he is not permitted to kill someone.

Rav Kook said that perhaps there is an inyan to see the president even though does not recite the brachah.

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{Gavriel Sitrit-Matzav.com}


  1. br more vigilant.
    this latest headline can easily be misconstrued as disrespect to the President of the United States, when in fact no disrespect was intended, mentioned, or implied.
    Rav Kook did NOT say no Bracha of ‘shenasan’ specifically on President Obama. He clearly said that this would apply to ANY President of the US. A person just perusing the headlines could come to a disturbing, inaccurate conclusion.

  2. “No Brachah of ‘Shenosan’ On Obama” would more accurately be titled “No Brachah of ‘Shenosan’ On U.S. President”.

    (Of course less inflammatory headlines draw fewer clicks, though.)

  3. “Obama lacks the shiur of a melech, since as president of America he is not permitted to kill someone.”

    Bemichalas kevodo, the President has the power to authorize lethal force against the enemies of the US. None of the ISIL, al Qaida or other terrorists could have been killed by US Forces without implicit (and sometimes explicit) presidential authorization.

    As a minimum, one should make the beracha b’li Shem uMalchus.

    (This is not an endorsement of the current President’s policies.)

  4. I always thought one didn’t make this beracha on a democratically elected leader, because they don’t have any coercive power or authority.


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