Prince William Visits the Kosel- Did He Get a Mitzvah?


By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for

Prince William on Thursday had his final day of his tour of Israel. This is the first official visit to Israel by a member of the British royal family.

Accompanied by rabbis, William walked up to the Western Wall through a passage formed across the Kotel plaza by plastic police barricades.

With a yamulkah on his head, Prince William prayed silently at the Kosel and placed a note in the wall.

The question is:  Did he get a Mitzvah for doing this?

Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l rules (Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. II #25) that although the Umos HaOlam are not obligated to pray to Hashem, if they do so they get a Mitzvah in the form of aino metzuvah v’oseh – a person who performs a Mitzvah even though he is not commanded in it.

So, the short answer is yes.

What about the long answer?

The long answer is also most probably yes.

To read the long answer click here.

The author can be reached at [email protected]

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  1. ahavas_yisroel,
    Well said . was planning on saying just that
    With so much cameras and paparazzi in his face however it’s hard for it to be a beis tefila

  2. ChadGadya: Exactly. As an Xtian, is his tefillah considered “to Hashem”? I think this depends on his Kavanos, based on xtian theology, (which Rabbi Tovia Singer shilta has given me a heter to know for “V’da ma sheteishiv l’apikorus) which I’m not going to discuss here, it could go either way. Then you get into an issue of whether the Kavanos that would seem to be “to Hashem” are really “to Hashem” if we’re dealing with an xtian. Yushke or no Yushke, there’s still an issue if an xtian can ever be considered to be davening “to Hashem”

  3. Also, Rav Hoffman seems to be ignoring the fact that the Monarch of England is nominal Head of the English Church. Though this is mostly ceremonial, being second in line to the throne, and probably future monarch (once the Queen dies, and his father, Charles becomes Charles III, William will be in line to be William IV- this isn’t considering the fact that Charles will predecease the queen) he probably has more knowledge of Church theology then most Englishmen, to the point it might not be considered “minhag avosav”