On November 7, I emailed my community the following blessing that is said when voting:
Blessed is being called upon to exalt our nation with righteousness, and for being taught: “Seek the welfare of your community and pray on its behalf, so that all may share in its well-being” (Jeremiah).
I rarely step into politics in my blog, but today I couldn’t resist because what I will say will not only align with Mitch McConnell, John McCain, and Paul Ryan, but also John Podesta, President Obama, Hilary Clinton, and (oh yes!) the CIA.
It is our Jewish (heck, human!) responsibility to use our power to exalt our nation with righteousness, to seek the welfare of our community, and to make sure all share in our country’s well-being.
At the Holy Days, one of my sermons spoke not of politics, but of the opportunity to base our political decisions on the Jewish ethics we embody. Every time we make a political, or any other kind of decision, we are invited to remember the lessons learned through our holidays, our holy days, our texts, and our traditions, and allow them to inform and affect us. What actions we all take, with our votes or otherwise, while understanding these Jewish pillars, are up to us.
And here we are, Democrats and Republicans, nervous that a foreign leader has affected the outcome of our most important democratic process. The Republicans wants answers. The Democrats wants answers. 10 Electoral College members want answers.
This isn’t a political post. This is a spiritual post echoing the words of Jeremiah. What does everything we have learned teach us about this moment in history? What does being a couple weeks away from Chanukah, the holiday that celebrates fighting for one’s identity and right to exist even in the face of a more powerful force, tell us about how we should feel? What is more worth fighting for than our democracy’s right to exist?
Readers of this blog and partners of my community, I don’t know where this is all leading… maybe nowhere. But I want to promise you this. I am here with you and for you, not to fight for Democrats or Republicans, but to fight for the welfare of our community, and that means fighting for Emet, for Truth!