Today is the day that many people have circled on their calendars for a long time. While we may not find out the results of today’s election for several days, there will be many happy and sad people at some point this week or next. I know this is a simplistic message, but I think it is important to remember. And we need to be patient and let the process play out.
Yesterday, I was in a briefing with Consul General of Israel Hillel Newman, where he provided an overview of the results from the Israeli elections that took place last week. During his remarks, Newman presented the issues that Israelis believed were their most significant concern. He also reiterated a comment made by Israeli President Isaac Herzog when he addressed last week’s Jewish Federation of North America’s General Assembly. In his remarks, Herzog urged the US Jewish community to respect Israel’s election results as the will of the Israeli population “even though they may or may not be to your liking.”
I share this in my column today as a reminder that while we may be dissatisfied with the results of the midterm election, it is imperative that we respect them, even if we are annoyed, frustrated, upset, disappointed or any other emotion. The hallmark of democracy is that each person is given a vote and is free to cast their vote for the people they feel best to represent who they are and the values that are important to them. And what I think people forget, in many ways, is the more critical part of democracy; making sure that we watch our elected officials to make sure they are doing what they have been elected to do and hold up the oath of office they swear to follow.
To conclude my column today, I feel it appropriate to share two different portions of prayers for our country that are found in our prayer books:
From Siddur Sim Shalom (Conservative)
Our G-d and G-d of our ancestors: We ask Your Blessings for our country, for its government, for its leaders and advisors, and for all who exercise just and rightful authority. Teach them insights of Your Torah, that they may administer all affairs of state fairly, that peace and security, happiness and prosperity, justice and freedom may forever abide in our midst.
Creator of all flesh, bless all the inhabitants of our country with Your spirit. May citizens of all races and creeds forge a common bond in true harmony to banish all hatred and bigotry and to safeguard the ideals and free institutions which are the pride and glory of our country.
From The New Union Prayer Book (Reform)
Bless our land and all its inhabitants. Prosper us in all our undertakings. Be with those whom we have chosen to lead us, that they may strive to establish justice and opportunity for all, and labor to bring peace to the family of nations.
And together, let us say… Amen.
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