The Mitzvah of Voting


We often note that the Jewish path relies heavily on community. So many of the mitzvot are impossible to do alone. If we really want to help the poor, clothe the naked, house the homeless, heal the sick, and pursue justice, we need to join with others, to pool our resources, and to act in a coordinated way to bring the divine values embedded in Torah down to earth. In medieval times, this was accomplished primarily through communal funds to which those in need could turn for help, and we still act in this way when we support institutions like the Jewish Family and Children’s Service or the Mitzvah Food Pantry, or when we join together in advocacy or protest. But one of the primary ways that we now fulfill the mitzvot that are focused on helping our fellow human beings is through the actions of our city, state, and national government. By choosing representatives who act on our behalf, we can harness our shared power and resources to make a huge difference in the lives of millions of our fellow citizens. Each of our individual votes, like each of our individual actions, may not seem significant. But in truth they are one of the most powerful ways we can fulfill the divine purpose in the world. So please, whatever your political preferences, please take the opportunity to express them this coming Tuesday at the ballot box, and may we all see the fruits of our joint action in a fairer, more compassionate, and more just world.