A Message from Rabbi Dean
I feel like I’ve aged a year this past week. As if this election cycle hadn’t run on and on, counting the votes feels interminable! I remember when, decades ago, ABC News used to project the winner before bedtime on the west coast! Now, with absentee ballots and mail in voting, Secretaries of State are taking their sweet time before revealing results. It’s infuriating!
It’s infuriating, but it is also necessary.
We Jews know the importance of the community. It’s in this week’s Torah portion, Vayera, that we learn the value of ten individuals. Ten righteous people are worth a city full of sinners. Ten Jews are needed to say certain prayers. If only one be absent – only one! – the community isn’t intact and the city is destroyed. Every one counts.
Thankfully, that’s the law of this land, too.
“One minute of patience, ten years of peace,” goes the Greek proverb. Let’s be patient; let’s stay calm. We can rejoice that our officials are doing their jobs, protecting both the voters and the electoral system on which our government rests.
Maybe you’ll join me in this prayer:
Avinu sh’bashamayim – God, our Parent up in Heaven.
Avinu sh’baaretz – God, our Parent here with us on earth.
Be with us now. We have grown weary of the squabbling and the fighting, the threats, accusations and harsh words. We’re tired of the turmoil, and crave to rest, to be done with all the drama. We’ve grown impatient with ourselves, and so we are calling out to you.
Our country, our home has been divided, uncivil. We’ve been antagonistic, shallow, and petty.
Be with us now. Remind us that each person matters, that every voice and vote count. Help us to live with the tension, the anxiety, knowing that the wheels of good government are working as they are meant to. Help us to be oases in deserts of despair, safe harbors in stormy seas. Remind us that, when we speak of “government of the people by the people for the people,” we are those people.
We are all those people, and we need Your loving care because we – each and every one of us – count.