Election Day is around the corner, so I’m here to tell you exactly how to vote. Surely, without me, you wouldn’t know what to do, and now I’m going to tell you.
And the parshah couldn’t be a better one for dealing with this topic, starting as it does with Abraham in discussion for services from the existing authorities, the Hittites. But what is it that Abraham asks for? What is it he wants?
T’nu li achuzat kever imachem, v’ekb’ra meti milfanai – “Grant me an estate for a burial site with you, that I may bury my dead from before me.”
What is Abraham interested in? In ensuring that he will be able to fulfill the practices and beliefs of Judaism properly – that is what he needs.
And my friends, that is what we need to consider, that is my first instruction on what you need to do on Election Day:
You need to get up and come to minyan. All Jews are required to pray daily. Afterwards, eat a kosher breakfast because, a) you should keep kosher and b) one doesn’t eat before praying. Throughout the day, conduct yourself in an upright and respectful manner, be sure to pray minchah and maariv, and without stealing time from your employer by going at a non-approved time – vote, because dina malchuta dina, the law of the land is the law.
My second comment then, is for all those issues and candidates on which you might vote, the Jewish issue for all of them is to remember, hevu z’hirin barashut – “be weary of those in authority.” This campaign cycle stands out for the extreme partisanship we have experienced. As Jews, whatever your political party, you as a Jew should be better than that. You should be thoughtful, you should be sifting through the hyperbole. You should be aware that neither party fully aligns with Jewish causes on all issues, and so you need to pick and choose carefully.
Heed me well and do these things this Election Day.