In an extremely rare comment on politics, Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky, one of the most highly respected Ultra-Orthodox rabbis alive today, endorsed Donald Trump in his bid for reelection.
In an interview with Yisroel Besser of Mishpacha magazine, Rabbi Kaminetzky said, “You see the [situation], 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 [the mercy of heaven]. If Trump doesn’t win in November, it’s worrisome.”
In the interview, the rabbi was asked if he recommended that people vote for Trump.
“Yes, I think people should vote for him,” Rabbi Kaminetzky said. “He’s done a good job. It’s hakaras hatov [recognition of good/gratitude].”
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,” Rabbi Kaminetzky said. “That’s because he’s a gvir, a wealthy man.”
The rabbi then cited a Jewish aphorism.
“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.”
Rabbi Kamenetsky is the co-founder and dean of the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia. He is one of the most widely known living Haredi leaders outside of Israel.