2

Does anyone know of sources which discuss prayer by a non-Jew on behalf of Jew? Just as we pray for a fellow Jew in time on need or otherwise, what about a non-Jew who, lehavdil, "prays" for a Jew?

I could not find any source which discuss the topic and would appreciate any references.

Thank you.

1
  • I guess I would have thought it would come up a lot. I mean, More than 99% of people in the world are not Jews. And doesn't Sukkot have an offering for the nations? If the sages didn't write about how to pray for Gentiles, then maybe a hitbodedut-style prayer would be appropriate. You already have something in mind about a friend and you want to talk to God about it. So just talk to Him.
    – user34203
    Feb 25 at 6:05

1 Answer 1

2

A relevant source that shows that prayers by non-Jews on behalf of Jews (to G-d, that is, not to their own deities) are not only appreciated but have a definite effect:

וְאָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר אָמַר רַבִּי חֲנִינָא: לְעוֹלָם אַל תְּהִי בִּרְכַּת הֶדְיוֹט קַלָּה בְּעֵינֶיךָ, שֶׁהֲרֵי שְׁנֵי גְּדוֹלֵי הַדּוֹר בֵּרְכוּם שְׁנֵי הֶדְיוֹטוֹת, וְנִתְקַיְּימָה בָּהֶן, וְאֵלּוּ הֵן: דָּוִד וְדָנִיֵּאל. דָּוִד — דְּבָרְכֵיהּ אֲרַוְנָה, דִּכְתִיב: ״וַיֹּאמֶר אֲרַוְנָה אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ וְגוֹ׳״. דָּנִיאֵל — דְּבָרְכֵיהּ דָּרְיָוֶשׁ, דִּכְתִיב: ״אֱלָהָךְ דִּי אַנְתְּ פָּלַח לֵיהּ בִּתְדִירָא הוּא יְשֵׁיזְבִינָּךְ״.

And Rabbi Elazar further said that Rabbi Ḥanina said: One should never regard the blessing of an ordinary person [hedyot]* as light in your eyes, as two of the great men of their generations received blessings from ordinary people and those blessings were fulfilled in them. And they were David and Daniel. David, for Araunah blessed him, as it is written: “And Araunah said to the king, May the Lord your God accept you” (II Samuel 24:23), and it was fulfilled. Daniel, for Darius blessed him, as it is written: “Your God Whom you serve continually, He will rescue you” (Daniel 6:17), and this too was fulfilled when Daniel was saved from the lions’ den.

(Talmud, Megillah 15a)

* Both Araunah and Darius were kings, actually, but relative to the spiritual stature of David and Daniel, they can well be called "ordinary people."

3
  • Thank you Meir. This is exactly what I was looking for. I will include it when i speak this Shabbat on the occasion of the Yahrzeit of my mother Chaya bat Zelig A"H. Feb 26 at 16:11
  • @stevenachman A pleasure, and may her neshamah have an aliyah. Now, one thing that I didn't think of when writing this answer: the two examples given in the Gemara there are where these non-Jews prayed using G-d's name. It would probably be something else altogether if they're praying to their deities.
    – Meir
    Feb 26 at 17:18
  • Meir, you make an excellent point. Learning further on the issue based on your source, I found that the Chida says as follows: מדבר קדמות מערכת ב אות יא ברכה אפילו של הדיוט אם מברך בשם ה' או מברך לאדם גדול מתקיימת. כן כתבו המפרשים במ"ש אל תהי ברכת הדיוט קלה בעיניך: The issue of brachot also comes up as to Lavan and Rifka. What sparked my question was not necessarily blessing, but rather the "prayers" of an evangelical minister and his congregation -- will let Hashem decide what to do with those. Feb 27 at 23:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .