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Resulting from this Mi Yodeya question, the references in the question indicate that one does not recite "she-natan michvodo le-vasar ve-dam" upon meeting a non-Jewish head of state of a limited government, such as the President of the USA.

What beracha should be recited in this situation?

It seems to me that the same reasoning and answer would apply to the head of state of any limited government.

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I believe that Art Scroll Siddur addresses this question and states that one should say this bracha but without Shem umalchut because of uncertainty regarding this. I am uncertain of the reason behind the question as a U.S. president is the ruler of the country, unless we consider that Congress does have (some) power to overrule th epresident, so he is not an absolute ruler like a king or queen is? –  DanF Jun 6 '14 at 15:32
    
@DanF I think it would be a huge stretch to call the president the "ruler of the country". The President of the United States has very little power on his own besides pardoning prisoners and limited control of the military (the president can order military action without congressional approval, but it cannot last more than 30 or 60 days--I can't remember which--without congressional approval). –  Daniel Jun 6 '14 at 15:48
    
How do you know any bracha is recited? –  Double AA Jun 6 '14 at 22:22
    
Based on the current president you can bless either mishaneh habrios or mattir issurim. Or both. –  user6591 Mar 3 at 19:43

1 Answer 1

The prevailing practice is to say the bracha but without the name of God. So skip the parentheses of

baruch (ata Hashem elokeinu melech haOlam) she-natan michvodo le-vasar ve-dam

The Artscroll siddur says we don't do the full blessing (with the name of God) because he's democratically-elected, term-limited, and the like; the Tzitz Eliezer holds similarly.

Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef and the Piksei Teshuvot feel that the president is powerful enough to warrant the bracha; however, Nivchar MiKesef OC3 holds that no matter how powerful, if the ruler is going out as a commoner, you can't say the bracha as where's the royal pomp and circumstance? Therefore if the President is visiting a foreign country, "just wearing a suit like any commoner", with a non-showy security detail, Rabbi Yosef advises playing it safe and saying it without the name of God.

However, that same responsum of the Nivchar MiKesef that requires some pomp and circumstance also implies that seeing the royal residence meets that condition. So if you extended Rabbi Yosef's line of reasoning, you would probably conclude that meeting the President at the White House would get the full bracha with the name of God.

Practically, though, between the questions of both pomp and power, it seems the common practice is to say it without the name of God.

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