HISTORIC: Hagaon HaRav Shmuel Kaminetzky Endorses President Trump; “It’s Worrisome” If Trump Loses

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In a rare and historic statement regarding politics, HaGoan HaRav Shmuel Kaminetzky, the Rosh Yeshiva of Philadelphia and member of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of Agudas Yisroel of America, gave an endorsement to President Trump for the upcoming elections during an interview with Yisroel Besser of Mishpacha magazine.

The Gadol said, “You see the matzav, the anarchy… it’s frightening. G-d has become a dirty word in much of America, religion and religious institutions are their enemy – we need Rachamei Shamayim. If Trump doesn’t win in November, it’s worrisome.”

After being asked on his possible endorsement of the president, Rav Shmuel reiterated that “Yes, I think people should vote for him. He’s done a good job. It’s hakaras hatov.”

Besser then asked the Rosh Yeshiva: “But what about the fact that the current president is sometimes less than a positive role model?”

“That has nothing to do with politics….That’s because he’s a gvir, a wealthy man. Ashir ya’aneh azus — wealthy, powerful people have a way of speaking and acting that is not refined. That’s not a reason not to vote for him.”

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68 COMMENTS

  1. Trump 2020. what do the middos have to do with anything? dumb question actually, the main thing that trump is good for is that he delivers what he says and has good common sense.

  2. With all respect, to argue that the “ends justify the means” and that its to be expected that a wealthy individual will engage in vulgar, demeaning, and bullying behavior is not what some of us expect from our rabbonim and askanim. There are many wealthy individuals, many with considerably more wealth than the Trumpkpf who act with midos and respect for others. Wealth and midos are NOT mutually exclusive.

  3. I’m glad he asked that question, because many people think they can only vote for refined politicians (is that an oxymoron or what?). So now they hear Daas Torah.

  4. @hu bacha
    The question was just the way to get R Shmuel Kamentnsky’s ‘psak’ on how to view the bad of the pres while at the same time voting for him

  5. Just a note from reality : virtually none of the very important politicians have good middos (even in public). Just many of them are more polished about it as opposed to trump who is brash (which largely comes from being lawyers vs. being a celebrity businessman)

  6. בנפש-חפיצה it shall be my pleasure in 97 days time to comply with this דעת-תורה directive, and Shame on anyone who dares not comply השם-ירחם

  7. seriously who cares how he talks or tweets
    The Fact is ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THEN WORDS
    Trump has done more for the USA & the world in his 3 years in office then his opponent Biden has done in the last 40+ years

  8. Let this be a call for all Yidden even in NY, NJ, CA etc. This election is totally different, so let’s not think that there’s no point voting in a liberal state like NY – ואכמ”ל

  9. To all those who think trump has bad middos. Do you think Biden has better middos?? If you think yes I have 2 bridges to sell you. These are 2 goyim. Both don’t have any middos. The point is that we’re not electing a rosh yeshiva. We’re electing the president. He doesn’t need to have good middos. I agree with number 1. Stupid question actually. But needs to be asked because some people think it matters b

  10. Trump’s personal vulgarity is unrelated to his wealth. There are plenty of wealthy people who are respectable, and plenty of non-wealthy people are as vulgar as Trump. Where in Torah does it say that wealth begets vulgarity?

  11. Do you think Biden has bad midos. I make a decision based on what I see. All the assumptions made about Biden, are just that assumptions. Yaakov hid Dinah from Esav, based on an assumption. Then what happened.
    Trump has not delivered on anything other than polarizing the country, and emboldening on white americans to tell everyone to go home. Trump is an opportunist and an antisemite. He is also a narcissistic psychopath that is not my opinion but the opinion of professionals that have trained in the field.

    Historic it is not, Rabbi kamenetzky endorsed in 2016. I believe the reason then was Hillary is a liar.
    May Hashem protect klal yisroel and America. I accepted Hashem wanted Trump to be President, but when Biden wins I hope all the Trump supporters will accept that is what Hashem wanted as well.

  12. Trump does not CARE ABOUT YOU. He cares how he can make money that is why he wanted a billion dollars to go into covid relief to build a new FBI building near his hotel. He doesn’t want a competing hotel. despite the recommendation that the FBI building be built somewhere else.

    America is not successful we represent 20% of the world deaths from covid. the spread of covid is at his feet.
    He inherited a successful economy juice up the stock market, and imploded an economy. The next generation will have so many obstacles to overcome. if Trump gets another 4 years he will be unchecked and there will be no way to recover.
    I am tired of having Putin’s goon as my President.

  13. Where in Torah does it say that wealth begets vulgarity?

    He quoted the posuk. וְעָשִׁיר יַעֲנֶה עַזּוֹת

  14. “Gadolhadorah”:

    It’s not a matter of ends justifying the means. The question was if certain character traits would disqualify a candidate from Bnei Torah voting for that candidate.

    The answer he gave is that this particular trait is not a disqualification for a “gvir”, for the reason he gave.

    That doesn’t mean that it’s a great thing for a gvir to have this trait. It just means that a gvir having this character trait does not disqualify him from Bnei Torah voting for him.

  15. “These are 2 Goyim. Both don’t have any Middos”
    Really? A Goy can’t have good Middos?
    Keep living in a dream world. There are plenty of Goyim I would rather deal with than Yidden due to their good Middos and some Yiddens lack of Middos.

  16. To all you democrats (huju and gadolhadorah)

    You’re trying to argue with one of the Gedolei Yisrael

    Additionally even if you have a point he explicitly stated

    “The Gadol said, “You see the matzav, the anarchy… it’s frightening. G-d has become a dirty word in much of America, religion and religious institutions are their enemy – we need Rachamei Shamayim. If Trump doesn’t win in November, it’s worrisome.”

    After being asked on his possible endorsement of the president, Rav Shmuel reiterated that “Yes, I think people should vote for him. He’s done a good job. It’s hakaras hatov.”“

  17. I wouldn’t call President Trump vulgar , maybe brash but this used to be considered a typical New York trait. Brashness at least was associated with honesty, even if at times it was in-your-face-honesty , which Jews should prefer any day to polite behind-your -back stabbing and lying.

  18. PROVERBS 18:23
    תַּחֲנוּנִ֥ים יְדַבֶּר־רָ֑שׁ וְ֝עָשִׁ֗יר יַעֲנֶ֥ה עַזּֽוֹת׃

    The poor man speaks beseechingly; The rich man’s answer is harsh.

    That is where in the Torah it says about wealthy people’s manner of speaking.

  19. Gadolhdorah – you have the Chuzpah to give yourself this title while rebelling against the REAL Gadol Hador.
    You and your friend HUJU finally showing your true color.

  20. I’d rather deal with a vulgar person who says it as it is, than deal with polished crooked politically correct illogical and evil nutcases.

  21. If chas v’sholom the Democrats win, they will come after our Torah, our education system, our way of life and after Israel. With AOC and Amar they will try to slowly turn the US against the Frum Yidden who stick to the Torah and our Misorah. Would you like for all of us to have to leave the USA? Who will absorb all of us without our money and possessions?
    Do you want us to loose everything we built up in the US and start wandering again?
    We really need Moshiach NOW!!!

  22. When asked by a reporter if he ever asked God for forgiveness, Donald Trump said that he never felt the need to apologize to God.

  23. What is wrong with Trump being a non Jew? why is Chuck Schumer and Joy Behar and Seinfeld and every other famous Jew in Hollywood and in high profile positions not supporting trump, the most Pro Jewish and pro Israel president in America’s history? Please explain it to me.

  24. God chose Trump to be the president to clean up America, to crush the anti-God rot that has infected the nation for far too long. Why is CAIR allowed to operate inside America? It is a designated Islamic terrorist organization. Christians and Jews have to unite for we serve the same Almighty. America is under attack from a Satanic force that does not care what our skin colour is, what we love or what our politics are. Satan is using the lost and confused to attack everything that is Godly in America and around the world. Can I get an Amen from my Jewish brothers?

  25. @huju – ” . . . Where in Torah does it say that wealth begets vulgarity?”

    Possibly on the one blatt Gemorah Rav Shmuel learned that you didn’t get to yet.

  26. Joseph, 147, HBS and others.

    So impressed by your comments. Does this mean that you would gladly vote for Biden and curse those who don’t, of Rav Shmuel would have said to vote for Biden?

    Are you that committed to Daas Torah? Are you really mevatel daas? Is that where your fervor is coming from?

  27. @Gadolhadorah and @huju- the CHUTZPAH! How can you let your dislike/hatred of the president and anything non-Dem/liberal allow you to challenge Da’as Torah???????

  28. “To all those who think trump has bad middos. Do you think Biden has better middos??”

    Trump has cheated on all three wives, paying hush money to one mistress and suggesting to an earlier one that she get an abortion after she got pregnant.

    Trump has a decades long record of cheating in business, cheating in pretty much every way imaginable.

    Trump lies about, well, everything.

    Biden has none of these bad middos.

    “These are 2 goyim.”

    Yes. One is a religious Catholic, the other is anti-religious and has never belonged to any church as an adult, and rarely even sets foot in one.

    Fortunately most American Jews will ignore Rabbi Kaminetzky on this issue.

  29. “the Psak”
    i hear what you are saying but then you have people like “Gadolhadorah” that actually think its a problem if we have a tough president. he doesnt realize in the real world if you are not tough ppl will step all over you, which is what has happened until this president came and drained the swamp. why would any normal person vote for biden, because hes nicer than trump and has better middos. your middos have nothing to do with running a country( if hes doing the right things through common sense of course). whats needed to run a country is a GAVRA not a little pisher.

  30. While the perspective of the Rosh Hayeshiva, Shlit”a is extremely important, it is equally important to hear what the other Gedolei Yisroel say. Many feel that it is a massive Chillul Hashem for the Frum community to support Trump.

  31. We can be respectful of the Rav’s view but also disagree with his recommendation. I’m glad he has undertaken his diligence of the policy issues of concern to him and made a decision to hold his nose and vote for Trump. Some of us (albeit a minority of the posters here) have come to a different decision without in any way casting aspersion on the Rav. Whats really troubling is that there are truly fine young leaders in both parties who would have made much better candidates than those we have to chose from but our political system doesn’t seem to leave much room for moderate candidates these days.

  32. > Gadolhadorah

    Your remark has all the intelligence of asking the IDF to be kind to terrorists, because the IDF is just being too violent with them. Let’s talk reality – the people like those Democrat leaders (both “old” and “new”) are such “davar acher” that Trump is being much too kind to them. It is exactly because the Republicans (and others) have been too nice and submissive to them that they have brought the country to the situation that it is today. And as one (out of a plethora) of examples, the silk-glove treatment these so-called “protesters” (who are violent rioters nothing short of terrorists) receive is exactly why the latter are able to trash the lives of innocent people of all colours and backgrounds. And who are the enables of these violent rioters? Democrats, including that Nadler person who calls the violence a “myth”. And who enables the Democrats who in turn enable the violence? The Republicans whoa re just too nice and respectable and gentle with the Democrats.

  33. > charliehall

    Wow. So you ignore all those billions that flowed through all those un-qualified close relatives of Biden during the time Biden was in office? Here is the difference between Biden and Trump. If Trump cheated anyone then Trump could be sued in court and he has no advantage over his accuser in any political or legal way. Biden has the organs of government protecting him (as well as the so-called main stream media).

  34. to “AO”
    you are on the wrong website, please go join obamas webpage based somewhere in iran. you obviously are a liberal. obama didnt give trump a good economy, he bought it down to an all time low, once he left and a good sensed business man took over the white house, trump picked it up very high. example : china had a major power and influence in the economy of the world, the shirt you are wearing is probably made in china, almost everything is made in china, and there are american companies that manufacture in china because of the cheap labor and sell in the US, so trump told them to come back here to manufacture in order to create more jobs and money in the economy in america, he forced them to come back by taxing them in a way that it wouldnt be worth it to be out of the US. that called brilliance, he was able to fight a trade war with china and because of this he picked up the economy. maybe you should stop reading Fake News and start opening your eyes and use the space in your hear called your brain

  35. To Charliehall
    Kennedy, Clinton and I’m sure many others also cheated. A Politician would never win an election if they were totally honest. In virtually every election one politician tries to find dirt on their opponent. They also promise the world usually knowing they won’t be able to carry through. You may not like Trump’s style, but Biden already lied by saying “Trump is the first racist president” and other silly things. Even if everything you said about Trump is true the Democrats have shamelessly sided with our enemies, anti-Semites, anarchists and rabble rousers. I assume you also believe Nadler’s comment that the violence in Portland is a myth. Right now the choice is conservative values, and Law and order as advocated by Trump or continued anarchy, lawlessness, and catering to every new social misfit supported by the leftist liberal democrats.

  36. “and made a decision to hold his nose and vote for Trump.“

    Nowhere does R Shmuel even hint that he’s holding his nose

    “Yes, I think people should vote for him. He’s done a good job. It’s hakaras hatov.”

    He said people should not just him personally

    I love it when people think the Gedolim are just a מאן דאמר

  37. Gadolhadorah, there *is* no respect when it comes to you. There is no dignity, tastefulness, classiness, or compassion ever coming from you. That day will never come until you learn that Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump are not the same.

  38. Jerusalem teacher- Yes, thats what following daas torah is all about. Not what you personally believe is correct, rather what daas torah says is correct. I plan on voting for trump, but if daas torah would say i should vote for biden, i would-gladly- do so.
    This is not irresponsible by the way. The daas torah of yidden are tzaddikim and have a much truer understanding of reality then we do (even if we may find that hard to admit).
    It was mentioned that there are other (daas torah opinions?) that say that to vote for trump is a chillul Hashem. Please provide evidence to that. Otherwise, not much credence can be given.
    Zei gezunt un shtark to all

  39. that is not my opinion but the opinion of professionals that have trained in the field.

    What “professionals”? Bandy X Lee?! That crazy person is by you a “professional”? You want to know who is a narcissistic psychopath? Anyone who accuses Trump of antisemitism, that’s who. It is blindingly obvious that he is not, and only a complete disregard for reality and being completely filled with insane hatred can lead someone to make such a crazy accusation.

  40. Biden is a religious Catholic?! Since when? He does not believe in G-d, and he spits on every principle of the Roman Church. He has explicitly threatened that if elected he will resume the persecution of the Little Sisters. I don’t know whether he takes communion, but he certainly has no right to.

  41. As an add on, while it is common decency to be respectful of Rav shmuels opinion, thats not what this is about. Its about Daas Torah. In that vein you certainly CAN disagree with him as you have bechira. You CAN also commit sins. You CAN do things that are dangerous. But as far as the torah is concerned its quite ridiculous to follow anything other than daas torah.
    There may be a voice of dissent that will say – so should i call my daas torah to ask how to fix my door? for a plumbing issue?!
    True Daas Torah are extremely careful and responsible people. while the torah can eventually guide a yid twords the inner understanding of the world and existence, not many attain this level (even by Daas Torah, there are levels) But when a Daas Torah DOES say something (especially publicly) you can be sure that it is truer that what you “know” to be true. to paraphrase “even if they tell you your right hand is your left and vice versa)
    zg (zei gezunt)

  42. If you think Trump is a liar, he pales into nothingness compared to Biden. Biden has lied so many times, on so many things.

    Start with the DISGUSTING SLANDER he has made repeatedly against the truck driver into whom his first wife crashed. He shamelessly exploited her death to promote his career, while accusing the innocent truck driver of being drunk. Millions of people have heard that and believed it, because surely he wouldn’t lie. But he did. The truck driver was completely innocent, and was traumatized for the rest of his life by the accident that Mrs Biden caused, and the slander that her husband spread about him.

    Then go to his false claims of having been in the top half of his class at law school, of having gone on a full academic scholarship, of having earned three degrees, of his ancestors having been miners, of having been a teacher, of having worked to desegregate restaurants and cinemas in Wilmington, of having been arrested in South Africa while attempting to visit Nelson Mandela, of having opposed the Iraq war from the beginning, and finally of not having met his corrupt son’s Ukranian partners. These were all lies.

    This brings us to his corrupt conspiracy with his son, under which foreign companies paid his son for his protection. Burisma paid Hunter Biden hundreds of thousands of dollars, for what? Does anyone think it was for his knowledge of the energy industry, of which he had none?! No, the answer is obvious: it was for the only thing he could provide: his father’s protection. And indeed when a prosecutor started investigating Bursima, Biden alleged he was corrupt and forced the Ukranian government to fire him. This is not in dispute — he bragged about it in public, and it’s on film! Nobody can deny it.

    That is who you lying Democrats claim is a better person than Trump?! Trump is no malach; but Biden is no better than him.

  43. @Huju
    You ask Where in Torah does it say that wealth begets vulgarity?
    The answer is Shloime Hamelech says so in Mishlei 18, 13
    תַּחֲנוּנִים יְדַבֶּר רָשׁ וְעָשִׁיר יַעֲנֶה עַזּוֹת

    As to your other point, there are always exceptions; but here we don’t get to choose someone who is both, good for the country and also more respectable (and BTW for which politician do you have the desired respect on a moral level!). So we can only vote for whom we have; and Daas Torah says its Trump.

  44. To Charlie Hall – if Biden is a good Catholic then I must be imagining his pro abortion stance and his party’s worshipping at the altar of infanticide. If Biden is a good Catholic then I must be mistaken about his close personal friend the Ill one Omar yms anti semitic diatribe of “it’s all about the Benjamin’s” etc. Ever hear his condemnation of the four machashaifos? Never lied? He’s the poster boy for plagiarism. You and your ilk hate President Trump more than you love klal Yisroel. You have a serious case of TDS. Putting all that aside, Biden is mentally deficient, probably early dementia. Who do you think will actually run the country (into the ground) if chas v’chalilah, he wins?? Do you seriously want four more years of the Satan’s servants, Obama and crew? Do you hate your fellow Jews and Eretz Yisroel so much that you can’t think rationally? Makes me sick to think that there are Yidden who think like you. Hashem yishmor…

  45. “Fortunately most American Jews will ignore Rabbi Kaminetzky on this issue.”

    Charlie: As a Avi Weiss devotee, that’s certainly your hope. But the reality is that the VAST MAJORITY of Orthodox Jewish voters in America will be voting to re-elect President Trump.

    In fact, the majority of Orthodox Jews already voted for him the first time in 2016. And that was BEFORE we know just HOW good he would be for Jews and America.

  46. WE NEED RACHAMEI SHAMAYIM!!!! HKB”H HELP US, HELP THAT IF FOR WHATEVER REASON BY NOVEMBER WE ARE STILL CHV”S IN GALUS, THAT WE WILL BE ZOCHE THAT OUR CURRENT PRESIDENT WILL RETURN TO HIS POSITION, AND THAT YOUR CHILDREN WILL UNDERSTAND THAT IT’S THEIR ACHRAYUS TO GO OUT AND VOTE FOR MR. TRUMP AND WITH YOUR HELP RE-ELECT HIM AS PRESIDENT. WE PRAY TO YOU THAT HE WILL BE AN AMAZING SHLIACH TO LEAD US IN THIS TERRIBLE GALUS AND DO ONLY GOOD FOR YOUR NATION!
    OF COURSE, WE BEG OF YOU “HASHIVA SHOFTEINU K’VARISHONA” THAT WE WILL BE ZOCHE TO HAVE B’NEI DOVID RULING OVER US IN YERUSHALAYIM WITH THE END OF THIS LONG, BITTER GALUS AND THE COMING OF MASHAICH! MAY IT BE SPEEDILY IN OUR DAYS!

  47. To those of you claiming Biden has better midos than Trump. I implore you to pull your head out of the sand and read up on the sexual assault allegations against Biden, and/or any of the hundreds of creepy interactions (and photo ops) he has had with women. It’s very well documented.

  48. I think its amazing most of the comments have written about Trump’s character as if most politicians are alter boys. Four years ago many including myself were disgusted by the brash, insulting manner of Mr Trump. I was very worried about how Trump would interact with world leaders. How he would get anything done with congress or senate if all he does is insult people. Four years later, I see the same Mr. Trump, but I also see the lawlessness, and anarchy going on in America. I see a democratic party which more and more is becoming beholden to anti-Semitic and anti Israel elements. I see a democratic party advocating a disgusting and depraved “progressive” social agenda. There is no doubt in my mind Mr. Biden will be a puppet in the hands of the leftist liberals now running the Democratic party. How anyone can vote for Biden is beyond me. Actually when Jerold Nadler said last week the violence in Portland “is a myth” and the next day how he and the other democRATs treated AG Barr that made it a no – brainer.

  49. TGI Shabbos: Thanks for the thoughtful diatribe. I look forward to January 21, 2020 when as I noted earlier, federal marshals may have to drag the Trumkopf out of the Oval Office screaming and whimpering (one of his favorite put downs for his critics) and shove him into an SUV for the drive out to Andrews AFB for a flight down to Florida. That is, unless he sneaks out of the WH on his own in the early morning hours of November 4th, resigns the office and leaves Pence to fill out the last few weeks of his term. I fully understand that R’ Kaminetzky and others use a narrow set of metrics to base their endorsement but others have a wider set of considerations. I regret the fact that BOTH parties continue to be captive to the extremes of their political base and look forward to the time when Americans have a real choice in national elections.

  50. “G-d has become a dirty word in much of America,” Kamenetsky says.

    And associating Torah with a רשע dirties Hashem’s name even more.

  51. charliehall: the jews you say will ignore the rav are people we in the orthodox world do not consider jewish. the real jews will vote for trump and did not need the rav’s endorsement in order to do so. Like it or not you are a minority in the actually real jewish world.

  52. If anyone wants to see how confused the frum world can be about who to vote for… See last weeks Mishpacha Magazine interview of Biden’s jewish guy he recruited to advertise for him. I apologize if the article makes you feel like throwing up.

  53. I’m sure R Kaminetsky shlita doesn’t watch the press conferences, doesn’t read the tweets, doesn’t read the bills and exec orders, and hasn’t read the latest gdp report.

    If I want a psak halacha- I’ll go to R Kaminetsky shlita. If I want a political endorsement- I’ll go to someone who understands that field.

  54. No one seems to get it. Every yid should move to Eretz Yisrael. Who said we have to stay in America until it gets intolerable? The same way that we didn’t have prophecy kicking us out of Eretz Yisrael 2,000 we don’t need prophecy to go back to Eretz Yisrael. There have been plenty of signs already that this is the will of Hashem. Get packing everyone, let’s not stumble in the sin of the spies by rejecting Eretz Yisrael again!

  55. The disrespect for the kavod Harav – one of the most venerated Roshei Yeshiva we have – by posters above is absolutely appalling! And all this on Tisha’a b’Av. Is there a wonder Mashiach can’t come!
    Comments like “the rav is entitled to his opinion and I’m entitled to mine!” ON TISHA’A B’AV!
    Where have we gone astray? Hashem please understand how much we need Mashiach NOW.

    I wonder if Hashem is worried that this generation will have its opinions about Mashiach too and that’s why we can’t have him!
    Hashem yerachaim!

  56. when moshiach comes im afraid half the people here will not live to see him, since they are so against gedolim. imagine if moshiach comes and forces you to change your ideas, you just will cease to exist. bunch of cowards to compare yourself to Gedolei Torah of the generation, you cant even come close to his toenails. it was already said by Reb Avigdor Miller, that we vote for people that bring values to the country that are closest to the Torah, which means 100 percent you should vote for trump. you dont need brains for this one at all actually, you cant compare trump to biden. one belongs in a nursing home next to obama, and trump belongs in the whote house. any yid that sees differently on this issue needs to be throughly questioned if his brains are there or maybe the corona somehow got to his brains too.

  57. It’s so blindingly obvious that Trump is working for Putin. On the day he leaves office, he will flee to Moscow to escape arrest.

    And all the arrogant, ignorant and selfish fake frummers who support him now will lie and pretend they never did. Just like always.

    And you wonder why the magefah sent to get rid of Trump also hit so hard where it did. But have learned nothing.

  58. All due respect to the Rav, but I cannot understand how a G-d fearing person can vote for someone who is so morally corrupt and incompetent, who undermines our system of government for his own personal ends, who praises dictators and spurns our allies, who suggests that we inject bleach into our bodies, who initially declares the greatest pandemic in our time to be a hoax, costing lives, who claims absolute authority and cedes responsibility to the local governors, who tear gasses peaceful protesters so he can hold an upside down Bible for a photo-op, who claims to love G-d but has barely been to a house of worship – ever.

    I just don’t understand it.