“Pray for the welfare of the government, for if not for the fear of it, people would swallow one another alive.” (Avos 3:2)
Commentary: This instructs us to pray for the peace of the entire world and to empathize with the suffering of others. Thus is the way of the righteous, as David states, “But as for me, when they were ill, my clothing was sackcloth and I afflicted myself with fasting” (Psalms 35:13). A person should not engage in supplicatory and petitional prayer for his needs exclusively. Rather, one must pray for the peace of all humanity, and that through the welfare of the government there will be lasting peace (Rabbeinu Yonah of Gerona, ad loc.).