How to Deal with People You Think Are Dead Wrong

Don't hate them; pray for their well being.

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Comments (27)

(15) RA'ANAN, November 12, 2020 6:57 PM


Avraham did NOT pray for the 5 kings whom he DEFEATED in WAR!!!
So, how do you know which approach to take???

(14) David Lindsay, November 12, 2020 2:31 PM

Prayer-considering and tolerating others!

An uplifting message thank you.My Mother endorsed such a message week after week during my childhood.
Once again many thanks


(13) Anonymous, November 8, 2020 11:02 PM

Your solution is simply amazing! Prayer costs nothing and yet soothes the soul and reminds us that we are all so much more alike than different. We only need pray for his enlightenment. Thank you Rabbi

(12) Anonymous, November 6, 2020 1:48 PM

I would also add ...

Pray that the anesthesiologist is competamt and alert. Pray for your surgical team to be at top.performance (since you're not there by yourself). Pray that the patient believes in you, your team and your skill (since their healimg depends on them too). Pray that you are not distracted during the procedure. Pray that you notice any problems and are able to effectively solve them. Pray that you accept help from your team should you need it.

(11) Anonymous, November 6, 2020 1:27 PM


Thank you Rabbi. I feel better already. I'd started praying for people on tge other side of the aisle though you gave me more clarity about it. Shabbat shalom to you, your family and friends!

(10) Nancy, November 6, 2020 12:08 PM

Praying is good for my mental health

If I am praying for the well being of one with whom I disagree, I will benefit as well. Yes, that sounds selfish but that is what happens to me. Hatred causes physical problems and emotional upset. Prayer and positivity help me to move forward in my life. No, I don't mean that I smile 24/7. Who does? I just want to eradicate the hate/negativity however I can.

(9) Dvirah, November 6, 2020 10:18 AM

Prayer for the Unliked

There are a number of people who have injured me; one of whom I would dearly like (given the opportunity) to bop on the nose. For those people I use the "prayer for the czar": let them live and be well - far away from me!

Anonymous, November 6, 2020 5:17 PM

To Dvirah

Re: Prayer for the czar. Yet another among the many reasons that Fiddler On The Roof is such a work of genius!! I had forgotten about that line, but I think I will add it to my repertoire. Thanks for refreshing my memory!

(8) Anonymous, November 6, 2020 3:56 AM


this is so insightful. I love our Torah.. i love our way i love our leaders our forefather. Thank you R Sytner. This blew me Way. This gives me life and hope nothing to do with politics in how we deal with ppl in general. He believed in sedom to be better he didn't think they were hopeless. And they hit the lowest of levels and cruel people. He asked for them to stay alive bec although different he didn't hate.. he saw opportunity for them to grow and be better . He had hope that maybe they will change for the better . WWow thanks again

(7) Anonymous, November 6, 2020 12:46 AM

Excellent advice

I will use this in my family relationships. I love both sides.

(6) Jane, November 5, 2020 7:30 PM

How can one pray for Hitler or anyone like him?

When one sees a leader who inspires hate and violence, and when one sees people supporting him, how can one pray for their well being. And, someone who is greedy, a criminal, abusing others and taking pride in it, or destroying peace and the earth......yet people support him, how can I pray for them?. When people support someone who is inhumane, immoral, unethical, criminally insane, I can only hope that God smites them. I pray for those would repair the world, not destroy it.

Nina Kotek, November 6, 2020 10:04 AM

You pray for those who would repair the world, not destroy it

And you hope that Gd smites the supporters of a politician you don't like. Do your eyes read what your hand is writing? Study Bruriah!

(5) Rachel Erlichman, November 5, 2020 3:47 PM

Jewith Vote

Pray for them? This President's administration put forth an agenda to benefit our people and the State of Israel. He, by Executive Order, protected Jewish students on college campuses, sold F-22 Raptors, established sovereignty over Golan Heights, moved the embassy and much more. And Jews show so little gratitude, ha'karat ha'tov? Are you kidding me. They should be rebuked for their lack of gratitude. Instead they vote for the most anti semitic platform in my life. For people who think opening the embassy for PLO is important. For killing a baby until birth. These people are beyond prayer.

Dvirah, November 5, 2020 4:18 PM

New Perspective

They may be - or are you? The real benefactor of the prayer might be the one who prays.

Rachel, November 5, 2020 11:34 PM

Apparently you missed the message

As an American Jew, I don’t feel “benefit” from the Trump administration. In particular, the mishandling of Covid 19 tells me we need someone else. And while Biden is not conservative, he is a friend of Israel and of Jews.
I respect your opinion. FYI I am Orthodox. But you think I am “beyond prayer”. Wow.

Anonymous, November 6, 2020 10:07 AM

Mishandling of covid

I hear this a lot, but please tell me where covid has been handled well, and if you are prepared to adopt the measures of those countries that did it. I'd be ok with Taiwan, just for the record.

RA'ANAN, November 12, 2020 6:56 PM

American benefit of President Trump...

When President Trump renegotiated trade agreements with Canada, Mexico & China, that open up those countries to more competitive US products, creating more jobs, so much, in fact, that business were "forced," by the forces of the market place, to RAISE WAGES. That resulted in HISTORICAL employment rates of Black & Latinos. That resulted in more private spending, lifting the whole US economy & stock market, which rose to historical highs. Very few countries handled C19 well, but, ironically, mortality rates have stayed the same (less people are dying, but more are dying of C19).

Nancy, November 6, 2020 5:14 PM

To commenter Rachel Erlichman

It is not up to you, me or any of us to decide that someone is "beyond prayer," Btw--I did not vote for Trump, but I do give him credit for moving the embassy. Biden also gave Trump credit for this act. Please keep in mind that people are composed of shades of gray!

(4) Rennie, November 5, 2020 3:39 PM

Thank you

I opened my email a few minutes ago and saw your video. It brought tears to my eyes because although I do pray for others that don't see what I see, i wasn't praying for everything in my prayers. I'm pretty short tempered. Partly ah because I'm Irish, partly because I'm in chronic pain, partly because of a new illness (too much calcium in the blood tears you up) and mainly because I am strong willed. Thank you so much Rabbi Tzvi Sytner for your short but powerful video. It will make me a better person if I obey!! And I hope too. Rennie Stout

Anonymous, November 5, 2020 4:20 PM

Wishing You Good Health

May Hashem grant you a full & speedy recovery!

(3) Anonymous, November 5, 2020 3:38 PM

Thank you for speaking out

Thank you very much, Rabbi Sytner, for this critical message. We should feel sorry for those who are misguided, they must make their own lives difficult. Reacting violently, whether physically or verbally, never improves others or oneself, and a prayer never hurts.

(2) David M. Cohen, November 5, 2020 3:26 PM

or maybe Beis Hillel and Beis Shammai?

Beis Hillel and Beis Shammai also each thought they were right and the other was wrong. But they also each accepted that the other was honestly seeking to understand and fulfill the will of G-d, and just coming to different---in their own minds incorrect---conclusions on how to get there. Democrats and Republicans also can choose to see each other as honestly striving to do what is best for America and fulfill the vision of its founders and just coming to different, perhaps incorrect, conclusions about how to get there. I think that will do a lot more good than seeing each other as the people of S'dom and ourselves as Avraham Avinu.

Anonymous, November 6, 2020 10:14 AM

This is very good, and hard

But that is why they are always held up as examples. I can't resist the remark that surveys show that Republicans tend more to believe that the other side is misguided, whereas Democrats tend more to think that Republicans are evil. Also anecdotally, people who divorce or don't let their parents see the grandkids are Democrats, even in the examples I've read in the Forward.

(1) Dr.Helga Wall-Apelt, November 5, 2020 2:33 PM

Praying never helps. Acting does!

Rabbi Tzvie Sytner : please tell me how to pray!!
I am a medical doctor who needs to help actively
Otherwise the patent dies.

Yaakov, November 5, 2020 4:43 PM

Praying always helps.

Dr Helga Wall-Apelt

Of course you must act - but that does not preclude the need to pray

Pray you make the correct diagnosis
Pray you chose the correct treatmant path
Pray that if you are operating, you are do so with dexterity and accuracy.
Pray that any medication that is prescribed is effective
Pray the patient lives!

Then act...

Anonymous, November 6, 2020 10:09 AM

This is excellent!

Could print and frame on the wall of any doctor's practice!

Anonymous, November 6, 2020 4:04 PM

Advice that I have given to my husband who is a doctor

I have often told my husband that when a patient is sick they are at a doctor's mercy.
Being a doctor is special ,because the doctor is a vessel from G-d to heal and comfort a person who is most vulnerable.
My husband prays at Shul and at home asking G-d to help him heal his sick patients.
I am Blessed with a wonderful husband who is a doctor Blessed with a smart mind and a Wonderful heart!


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