Rabbi Chanina, the deputy Cohen Gadol, says “Pray for the welfare of the government, because if people did not fear it, a person would swallow their fellow alive.” [Translation by Uri L’Tzedek. Edited for gender neutrality]
Suggested Discussion Questions:
1. How does fear of the government maintain civil order?
2. Is fear necessary for a functioning society? Is there an alternative way to ensure that every citizen is protected?
3. What does this text presume about human nature? Do you agree?
Time Period: Rabbinic (Maccabees through the Talmud)