A noted kabbalist greeted the news of Donald Trump’s upset victory in the elections with an enthusiastic blessing, saying his own spiritual efforts, which included fasting and prayer, contributed to the election results.
Rabbi Dov Kook, a respected rabbi from Tiberias learned in Jewish mysticism, announced on Friday that he had fasted for three consecutive days and nights previous to the election while immersing himself in prayer for the success of Donald Trump, whom many in Israel believe will be a better friend than his predecessor, President Barack Obama.
The rabbi explained his reasons for involving himself in the elections of a foreign president – a secular event unrelated to the rabbi’s normal holy endeavors of study and prayer.
“[Trump’s] election represents a part of the process of redemption, similar to what happened after the Six-Day War,” the rabbi said in an interview with Kikar Shabbat, a Hebrew language Orthodox Jewish news service.
The Six-Day War in 1967 was a military victory of unprecedented proportions. Before the war, Israel was seriously threatened on three fronts, but within a week, Israel had defensible borders and the water routes that were necessary for the isolated country’s existence were open. More importantly, for the first time in 2,000 years, Jerusalem was unified under Jewish rule.
The rabbi emphasized his conviction that the election results were significant religiously by saying ‘shehechayanu’, the blessing said upon hearing joyous tidings. Jews generally refrain from reciting blessings that are not mandated or necessary according to strict Torah requirements, since it might be considered taking God’s name in vain, making Rabbi Kook’s blessing all the more significant.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הַעוֹלָם שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּוְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה
Baruch atah Adonai Elohenu melekh ha’olam shehecheyanu vekiymanu vehigi’anu lazman hazeh.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe,who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion.
For the rabbi to make such a blessing indicated that he considered the election results a true sign from God. He explained he was overjoyed that “the Jews have passed through the rule of Obama in relative safety.”
Rabbi Rafael Kook, his nephew and spokesman, noted that several months ago the rabbi had compared Trump to the Biblical King Cyrus, who was a friend to the Jews. “Trump is like Cyrus the Great, who granted the Jews the right to build the Temple,” said Rabbi Kook.
The rabbi noted that it was Trump’s connection to Israel and Jerusalem that helped bring about his victory.
This comparison has been appearing frequently since Trump’s election. Last week, the nascent Sanhedrin sent a letter to the president-elect comparing him to Biblical Cyrus and calling on Trump to make good on his promise to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The letter also called on Trump to join forces with Russian President Vladmir Putin in building the Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount.
Rabbi Kook added that Jews should pray for the current spiritual awakening to continue. The rabbi’s announcement comes after an election that drew an unprecedented level of interest from Jewish spiritual leaders and kabbalists, seeming to indicate that there is much at stake for the Jewish people.