by Rabbi Adam Morris
Enough already! Like so many of you, I am fighting election fatigue. I have wondered how it is possible for there to actually be undecided voters after the weeks and months of campaigning. I am amazed how polls can seem to change on the hour. (Are they asking different people the same question or the same people different questions?) Is this election really the most important election of our lifetime or in the history of the United States, or is each of these rallying points merely one tool in the motivational get-out-the-vote toolbox?
It was just a few weeks ago that we were reminded of the most important ‘election’ (or at least choice), as Yom Kippur reconnected us with Deuteronomy. In the portion we read from Deuteronomy on Yom Kippur morning, the Israelites are ‘electing’ a deity. Despite the fact that the Israelites already have been redeemed from Egypt, heard from the deity at Sinai and wandered in the wilderness for a generation — this generation must choose again to be a part of this divine covenant. In the dramatic words of that Yom Kippur portion — the Israelites are told that before them is Blessing or Curse, Life or Death. Was there much of a choice to make?
It may not have seemed like much of a choice, but I would like to think that even the choice seemed pretty obvious to our spiritual ancestors… the fact, the blessing was that they still had a choice. It was not a done deal. It was not set in stone. In fact, they HAD to choose… for it was their future and their fate that was tied up with this deity. Exercising that choice — no matter how academic it seemed — mattered in how they progressed. Exercising that choice acknowledged they were still part and present in the messy complexity of being Israelites heading toward the Promised Land.
Standing here in the wilderness of an election season, facing the powerful winds of political machination and manipulation… there is still great blessing in the fact that we have a choice to exercise.
Rabbi Adam Morris serves Temple Micah in Denver, CO.
Originally posted at Temple Micah’s Blog