Reciting the Prayer for the State of Israel
Q: Should we recite the Prayer for the State of Israel when the State is acting improperly. After all, it says, "And send Your light and truth to its leaders, ministers and counselor and provide them with good counsel before You," and they are not demonstrating the light, truth or good counsel!
A: If the leader, ministers and counselors are following an improper path we should recite the Prayer of the State of Israel twice! They need more illumination and more good counsel, since they are currently the leaders of the State. Not reciting the Prayer for the State of Israel does not lead to a change of leadership. It is similar to flying in an airplane that is not flying well. The people investigate, and it turns out that the pilot does not know how to fly. What do you suggest, sitting next to him, insulting and cursing him? The plane will then almost certainly crash. On the contrary, we should encourage him to do the best he can. He is the pilot. There is no choice. Whether our current leaders are suited to their positions or not, we must pray that they perform their jobs the best way possible.
Standing for the Prayer for the State after the Expulsion from Gush Katif
Q: Is there an obligation to stand for the Prayer for the State of Israel, especially after the Expulsion from Gush Katif?
A: There is no source regarding this matter since it is a new prayer. One can stand or sit, it is unimportant. It does not strengthen the State if one stands, and it does not weaken the State if one sits. Each place should act as it desires. The prayer is not connected to the Expulsion from Gush Katif in any way. Even before the Expulsion there were problems: violations of Shabbat, a problematic system of justice, etc… If the Government is acting inappropriately we should recite this prayer twice. If someone is sick, we pray for him. If he becomes sicker, we pray more. Maran (our revered teacher) Ha-Rav Kook wrote that our Nation is sick, but it will heal. Whether standing or sitting, we must pray for its recovery. Fortunate is the Nation that loves to argue in Shul regarding proper practice instead of arguing over money, riches, glory, etc…