Democracy doesn’t happen every four years at the ballot box; democracy needs to be affirmed daily by each of us. That happens when we commit to engaging with one another, rather than tuning each other out.
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Here’s something we know about this election: Vulnerable and oppressed communities remain vulnerable and oppressed; this election was not a clear repudiation of white supremacy. Marginalized groups continue to be at risk from white supremacists and those who enable them.
It may prove difficult to wait for election results, especially in these times of heightened stress and anxiety; patience may seem impossible. Fortunately, Jewish faith and tradition offer lessons for us as we enter a period of waiting and uncertainty.
Just as the Torah is at the center of Judaism, the ballot is at the core of our democracy. We would not dream of returning the Torah to the Ark without first dressing it. It helps, then, to think of the outer envelope as the ark and the inner security envelope as our ballot’s Torah cover.
The Reform Movement supports a COVID-19 relief bill that will alleviate economic hardship, which puts tens of millions of Americans at risk of eviction and homelessness.
Typically, Jews have an extraordinarily high voter turnout, said to be the highest of any ethnic group, in a nation in which only an estimated 1 in 2 eligible voters actually vote. But this is a year like no other.
Taking Torah into the voting booth also means that pikuach nefesh, saving human life, is Judaism’s highest mitzvah, so consider your voting options carefully.
Election Day is fast approaching, but our work is not done yet. There’s still time to make a difference and ensure every voice is heard and every vote is counted this election.
"Have we forgotten the call of the shofar already / To gather and stand up for what’s right? / Have we forgotten what shofar’s demanding / That we pursue justice, compassion, holy light?"
Deuteronomy 16:20 directs us: “Tzedek tzedek tirdof” – Justice, justice shall you pursue. The words remind us of the importance of ensuring justice itself is achieved through just means.