It is funny how time works, isn’t it?
Four years ago, the election of 2020 seemed so far off. And, for me at least, the last four years have felt like they have moved, using an old expression, as slow as molasses. If Jewish tradition does anything well, it is marking time. It has been 208 Shabbats since the last presidential election. So much has changed in our country in these past 4 years. But, has our core remained the same? I have to believe it has, but I know there is anxiety about next week’s election.
As Jews, we know about slow-moving time. We’ve been around for more than 2 millennia. We’ve lived through destruction, exile, golden ages, unimaginable horrors and rebirth. I am certain that our ancestors felt anxiety about the future. And, yet, we have learned to take the long view. I’ve always believed that our beloved country has the same resilience. But, 244 years is not 2 millennium and next week is certainly a test.
Many of our neighbors in faith communities will be praying this weekend about the election. But, prayers don’t do much for Jewish Humanists. We see ourselves as the prime movers in our world. It is incumbent on each of us to do our part for our community in the upcoming week.
Make sure to vote, which seems obvious. But, if you haven’t voted yet and will have trouble making it to the polls on Tuesday, let me know. I will make sure to find somebody to take you.
Be kind to your neighbors. Every little kindness will help to lessen the collective anxiety and tighten the communal bonds.
Give others the benefit of the doubt. Be a skeptic, but a forgiving one.
Be ready to show patience. It is likely that the election results will be delayed. It is more important that we get this right than we get it done quickly.
If you hold a strong opinion about the election, there is still time to make your voice heard. Put out that one more sign, go to that final rally, make a last-minute donation, volunteer one last day, or just one last hour for your candidate.
And lastly, be kind to yourself. Step away from the news. Remember to breathe. And, look forward and not behind. Together, we will make the future.