Maran Hagon Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita is quoted as having said [on Wednesday] – following the election of Senator Barack Obama as America’s next president, that this is not the first time that a black person was elected to a leadership post, ‘News1’ reports.
Yiddishkeit believes a person with black skin is a descendant of Cham, the son of Noach, upon who it is written “he will serve his brother”. Rav Kanievsky stated in regard to the president-elect that he will be a “servant who rules”, adding there is a historical precedent with King Herod (Hurdus), who was also black. “Herod made Tzaros for Am Yisrael, but he also built the Beis HaMikdosh” stated the Rav.
There is a measure of ambivalence regarding Herod, who came from a family of converts. He began ruling over Malchus Yehuda in the year 37 BCE after conquering Yerushalayim from the last Chasmonaim king, Matisyahu Antignus. He was supported by the Roman Senate.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)