...I would like to magnify the importance of voting by pointing out that participation in elections is not only a civic responsibility, but also a halachic obligation for Orthodox Jews. This point must have resonance with our co-religionists who are deeply disappointed in the candidates and, therefore, are considering sitting out this election.
I would respectfully suggest that we follow a path consistent with Halacha, as articulated by Rav Yosef Soloveitchik TZ’L and Rav Moshe Feinstein TZ’L. In 1940, Rav Soloveitchik wrote “only a political system can guide people” within the marketplace of political and legislative ideas. The Rav concluded that a Jew “fulfills G-d’s will in working for the public good” and, as a consequence, we must vote in elections. Also, the words of Rav Feinstein are decisive when he wrote in October 1984: “A fundamental principle of Judaism is hakaras ha-tov – recognizing benefits afforded us and giving expression to our appreciation. Therefore, it is incumbent upon each Jewish citizen to participate in the democratic system which guards the freedoms we enjoy.”
Furthermore, on a practical level, elected officials are attentive to Jewish voting turnout. As a result, our ability to influence legislative decisions impacting our community is linked to engagement in the electoral process. So, I urge each and every Young Israel Branch member and supporter of the Young Israel movement to vote in this year’s election.
Chairman of the Board
National Council of Young Israel
Tuesday, 1 November 2016
Voting in the Upcoming U.S. Elections
The following is from a message that was sent out to Young Israel members from Bob Levi, Chairman of the Board, National Council of Young Israel. I thought it was worth sharing - RBH