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19:15
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News Brief

  3/20/2013, Nisan 9, 5773

Is Obama a King Who Must Receive a Blessing?


Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the influential elder rabbinic authority, discussed whether or not visiting U.S. President Barack Obama warrants the Jewish blessing for seeing a king. Rabbi Yosef, a former Chief Rabbi of Israel, discussed the issue in his regular lecture to his students and followers. He commented that the Shulchan Aruch states that upon seeing a gentile King, one must recite the blessing "Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, who has given from His glory to (humans of) flesh and blood." The blessing is also listed in many Jewish prayer books. 
 
Rabbi Yosef debated on whether or not President Obama would be considered a king as in days of yore. He clarified that such a blessing should only be recited if seeing the president face-to-face as opposed to through a television screen or computer.