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A Word from Rabbi Schulman - 9/4/2020

The national election is 59 days away. As citizens of the United States, all of us can agree that we have a civic duty to vote.

But one can ask, Do Jews in America have a religious responsibility to participate in our democracy? In fact, we do.

The prophet Jeremiah instructed, “Seek the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you and pray to God on its behalf, for in its prosperity you shall prosper (Jer. 29.7). By voting, we are supporting those candidates whom we believe will enable our cities and nation to flourish.

Centuries later, Hillel admonished, “Do not separate from the community (Avot 2.4). In doing so, he reminded us that our well-being is inextricably tied with our fellow citizens.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, a significant Orthodox authority stated in 1984, “On reaching the shores of the United States, Jews found a safe haven. The rights guaranteed by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights have allowed us the freedom to practice our religion without interference and to live in this republic in safety. A fundamental principle of Judaism is hakaras hatov – recognizing benefits afforded us and giving expression to our appreciation. Therefore, it is incumbent upon each Jewish citizen to participate in the democratic system which guards the freedoms we enjoy. The most fundamental responsibility of each individual is to register and to vote.”

We can thank Phyllis Wood and Mara Sheade for their leadership in enabling our congregation to fulfill this religious responsibility. Click here to learn about the Every Voice, Every Vote campaign.

Let us make our voices heard on November 3. t is not only a civic duty, it’s a mitzvah.

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