The race to the White House is on! It's full steam ahead to see who will become the next leader of the most powerful country in the world.
The media has been focusing on the candidates and debates for several months, with a particular spotlight on the polls. Every time I turn on my computer lately, I see polls, polls and more polls.
They want to know who I'm voting for and who I'm most passionate about.
But that's not all. One poll is certainly not sufficient in this poll-obsessed America. Oh, no. There are polls in each state. What do the polls say in Iowa? New Hampshire? South Carolina? Florida?
And it doesn't end there. People are polled in every conceivable category. Men, women. First time voters, voters younger than 45, voters between 45 and 64, voters older than 64. Voters with a college degree, voters without a college degree. Registered voters, non registered voters. Voters who are liberal, moderate, conservative, or very conservative. Voters who are gun owners and voters who are non gun owners. Voters with income under $200,000 and voters who earn more than $200,000.
Watching all these polls and how obsessed Americans are with them, I realized there is a tremendous lesson here, which we can all utilize.
As Jews, the campaign for our big leader began in this week's Torah portion with the commandment, "Build for Me a sanctuary." This is the origin of the race to bring Moshiach, who will be the most powerful king to ever live. He is the one who will build G-d's White House—the third Temple in Jerusalem.
And so, as the race continues, we need to make sure we are polling ourselves.
Ask yourself: How am I doing as a Jew today? Am I a better Jew than I was yesterday? How passionate am I about Torah and mitzvot?
In fact, a general poll is not enough. We need to poll ourselves in every aspect of our lives. How is my kosher observance? How is my Shabbat observance? What is my tefillin status? Did I give charity today? Have I been lighting Shabbat candles at the right time?
We also need to consider others in our polls. What about my spouse? What about my kids? How deeply do I care if my children have a Jewish education?
We all—liberal Jews, democrat Jews, republican Jews, conservative Jews, moderate Jews—need to poll ourselves obsessively, to ensure we improve daily. Just because yesterday I polled myself and determined that I am a good Jew, doesn't mean that tomorrow the polls won't change. Maybe they will. Today, I cannot be the same Jew I was yesterday. And tomorrow I cannot be the same Jew I am today. We need to be constantly bettering ourselves and adding mitzvot to our arsenal.
So, nu? Who are you voting for?