Rabbi's Message - November 2, 2021
Rabbi Yitzhak taught, “A ruler is not to be appointed unless the community is first consulted.” – Talmud, Brakhot 55a
Today is November 2. It's election day. It's not a presidential election year, nor a midterm election, but Judaism still says you should go vote..
Who we elect to positions, even those that seem of little consequence, affects the management and governance of our communities. Our voices, as citizens, matter. As a Rabbi, I cannot, and would not, tell you who to vote for; but I will tell you to go vote. It is our duty as Jews and as good citizens of our communities.
We pray (and often sing) the words of the Geulah prayer (think: Mi Chamocha) daily as Jews, which thanks God for redeeming Israel, for making us free. For centuries, Jews were not full citizens of their countries and had no voice in the secular/national leadership. Speaking for myself, it is all too easy to see voting as another task, or perhaps even a burden, on today's busy schedule. It is. It is also a privilege to make an informed choice - to be consulted - about who our leadership will be. The "minor" offices that are decided today could be the candidates in more prestigious elections of tomorrow.
If you want a little more help reframing voting in terms of our Jewish selves, check out this article for more sources and a blessing to use before voting. If it's the first year you are eligible - don't forget to add a Shehechiyanu!