Jerusalem – Last week Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who was visiting Israel at the time, made a pilgrimage to the Kotel and prayed that his state should not get hit by hurricanes this year, according to a Fox News report. With the deadly Hurricane Dorian bearing down on Florida at the beginning of the week it appeared as though his prayers were in vain. However the hurricane started moving north Tuesday and stayed far enough off the coast to largely spare Florida from the worst of its wrath, instead moving towards the Carolinas.
DeSantis followed the ancient tradition of sticking a slip of paper with a written prayer in between crevices of the ancient structure. He revealed Monday that his prayer said, “Good Lord, spare us hurricanes this year.”
Florida Emergency Management Director Jared Mokowitz says he also inserted a prayer at the Western Wall on the same trip. He says his prayer was the same as the governors.
During a news conference today, DeSantos commented on the hurricane’s amazing change, and referred to his previous prayers.
“All I can tell you is [that] last week the storm was a beeline, a buzzsaw, across South Florida. And it kind of stalled out and turned pretty dramatically 90 degrees to the North,” the governor said at the emergency operations center in Tallahasse.
“If we had a hand in assisting that, I’m not going to argue with the Big Guy upstairs,” he said.
Despite this, DeSantis admitted that Hurricane Dorian had left Florida with “tens of millions of dollars” in damage.
It is interesting to note that 3000 years ago, Shlomo HaMelech prayed that if a gentile will come and pray at the Temple, Hashem should immediately answer his prayers.
“And also to the stranger, who is not of Your people Israel, but will come from a far country for the sake of Your Name. For they shall hear of Your great Name, and of Your mighty hand, and of Your outstretched arm, and he will come and pray toward this house.You shall hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calls You for, that all peoples of the earth may know Your Name, to fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that Your Name is called upon this house that I have built.”(Melachim 1:8:41-43)
Rashi explains there that regarding Jews it is written “and You shall give to every man according to his ways”(8:39) whereas regarding gentiles Shlomo simply requested that their prayers be answered, since if a Jew is not answered he will ascribe it to his sins, whereas a gentile will complain and say “this house whose fame reaches the end of the earth, I made such an effort to come from afar and pray there, and didn’t find it effective just as idolatry is not effective.”