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“I understand that you Jews pray every day that ‘all evil should disappear as the smoke,”’ said the minister. “You cannot fool me, you are referring to the czar and our government. I demand that from today onward you remove this chapter from your prayers and stop teaching it to your children in your schools.”

“We have no need to remove this prayer,” replied the Gaon. “For the government has nothing to fear as it will continue as it always had.”

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The minister became angry and shouted: “You pray for our demise and you want us to be quiet about it?”

“My dear minister,” replied the Gaon in a quiet tone. “What difference does it make if this prayer remains in our siddur? We have been uttering this prayer for the past hundred years; has it been fulfilled yet?”

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