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It’s time to vote!

Each Shabbat we take a moment to pray for the welfare of the government. This prayer has been part of our liturgy for centuries. In Russia they prayed for the Tzar, in England they prayed for the King, in Germany they prayed for the Kaiser and in America. We pray for the President.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote during the exile to Babylonia that we are to engage deeply in the communities where we find ourselves, to build houses and put down roots, and to “seek the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you and pray to God in its behalf; for in its prosperity you shall prosper.” (Jeremiah 29: 4-7).

We have a responsibility to participate in our democracy because in doing so, we seek the welfare of our cities. Each and every one of us likely has deep feelings about the issues that affect us like, health, climate, economy, antisemitism, immigration and more. The way we get to have a say, a voice at the table, on these issues is by voting for the candidates that best reflect our values, ethics and political principals. Lyndon B. Johnson observed, “A man without a vote is a man without protection.”

We are a people who have experienced long periods of time living in places where we were denied the ability to vote. One of the greatest perks of living in the United States is our right to vote.

If you have not exercised your right (I would say your obligation) to vote, I hope you will use this weekend to educate yourself about the issues and the candidates, and then get out and vote.

Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom.

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