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5 Things we Learn From the Election

Thursday, 19 September, 2019 - 6:43 pm

blogisrael.jpgIsrael held an unprecedented election redo this week, making it the second election in a single year.

The Baal Shem Tov, whose birthday we celebrate this week, taught that we can learn a lesson from everything we see. Here are five I’ve taken from the Israeli election that we can all adapt during this spiritual election season as we prepare for the High Holidays.

1. Never underestimate the power of an individual. We see how one individual has the power to decide the fate of an entire country, and on a personal level, the mitzvah of a single Jew can decide the fate of all Jewry forever. Never think that your good deed does not count. It counts and it counts a lot! 

2. In life, you always get a second chance. Just because you did not get the vote the first time around, does not mean you cannot get it the second time. G-d always give us another chance. Even if we sinned the whole year, it’s OK. G-d offers us the opportunity to come back, cast our vote differently, and regain His trust. 

3. Never take your voters for granted; just because they voted for you once does not mean they will vote for you again. Likewise, just because G-d voted for you last year, don’t assume you can sit back and coast through this election season. His vote is not guaranteed.

4. By the time the election rolls around, the candidates are hoarse from lack of sleep and constant campaigning. Politicians work hard, day and night, doing everything in their power to find favor with their voters. We need to work just as hard to curry favor with G-d and secure His vote for the upcoming year.

5. One of the greatest obstacles politicians face is apathy and voter fatigue. Yes, the voter may like the candidate and agree with his or her policies, but that’s not enough. The voter needs to be motivated enough to actually go out and vote on the pivotal day. We also struggle with apathy in our service of G-d, and we need to find ways to overcome that so we can serve Him with joy and vigor. Apathy is dangerous. 

 Each of us wants to go into Rosh Hashanah and say, “You chose us from all the other nations,” but we have to earn it. This is the season. We have the entire month of Elul to campaign and make commitments. We tell G-d we’ll pray more and give charity more generously in the coming year. We repent and hear the shofar every day this month. “Choose us!” we beg G-d. “Give us life, give us health, and make sure all our needs are met. We are worth your vote.”

As for Israel, who will lead? At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. G-d is in charge; He runs the world. We’re just along for the ride. Let’s hope it’s a good one.

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