HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein: Daven For Elections On Yamim Noraim

HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein at Kol Nidrei. (Photo: Shuki Lehrer)

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In a rare shailos and teshuvos from HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, published in the Bama magazine ahead of Yom Kippur, the Rosh Yeshivah answered a number of questions about the Yamim Noraim.

The questions were posed to HaRav Edelstein by HaGaon HaRav Mordechai Bunim Zilberberg, Rav of the Shikun Heih neighborhood in Bnei Brak.

In response to a question about whether to daven for the upcoming elections, the Rosh Yeshivah answered yes.

Another question was regarding those who complain that they don’t feel a spiritual “high” from the Yamim Noraim davening and feel broken about it. The Rosh Yeshivah responded that “they shouldn’t think about it. They should just focus on the meaning of the words.”

The Rosh Yeshivah was also asked about the fact that some people consider the place they daven during the Yamim Noraim – close to the chazzan or bimah – as very important. Is this truly an inyan? The Rosh Yeshivah responded: “There’s no inyan.”

In response to a question about a good kabbalah to accept upon oneself ahead of the Yom HaDin, the Rosh Yeshivah responded: “To learn mussar.” And for women? “To recite Tehillim.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Do we know what is Rav’s shita for elections? Is it based on general improvement of the kahal or is it based on immediate benefit for the yeshivos?

    This may not be a nafka mina in Israel, where you elect your narrow-defined party and it is up to those reps to make compromises. This might be different in NY state – voting for Rs may give you a good feeling that you are voting for good social norms and a R candidate claims to support yeshivos. At the same time, Ds are responsible for the current yeshiva and welfare system that are supported by many communities – and will likely stay in power. So, it is not clear who would Rav suggest to vote for.