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Rosh Hashanah & the Presidential Race

Sunday, 7 September, 2008 - 1:09 am

Rosh Hashanah & the Presidential Race

By Rabbi Yisroel Freeman

Barak Obama, Sarah Palin are just a few of the exciting twists and turns of this exciting election season we find ourselves in. The nominations of the candidates have been accepted by their respective parties and exciting Vice Presidential candidates have been chosen. The network ratings, the conventions, the amount of viewers of acceptance speeches, opinion polls, and the endless media flow of information will keep coming as we approach November 2008.

All this election mania brings to mind another big convention and nomination night, for a nomination of a candidate and party platform that truly crosses party lines, which will take place on the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah later on this month.

In Jewish tradition Rosh Hashanah is not the anniversary of the creation of the world; rather it is the anniversary of the sixth day of creation, the day G-d created Adam, the first man. Thus Rosh Hashanah does not actually celebrate the creation of the physical world; rather it celebrates the creation of mankind, in other words the role and purpose of people over the physical world in general.

G-d didn’t create the world to have static and lifeless planetary matter. He wanted a dynamic changeable environment whose material crassness could be transformed into a dwelling place for Him and a place where the human race could thrive together in a productive and peaceful world. These goals are achieved by our actions, thoughts and words as individuals and communities. Our divine mission is to change the world for good, and make it into a place where G-d and G-dliness are welcome.

Furthermore, our sages teach us that the reason Adam was created a single being (unlike other species which were created in large numbers) is to demonstrate how even one person is as valuable to G-d as the whole world. Every single individual has the capacity to attain the highest degree of fulfillment for his/her self and the rest of the world.

So as Americans nominate their choices for presidential leadership and prepare for this historic general election, in our own way this Rosh Hashanah each one of us will be a delegate at another convention in which we will nominate G-d and his party platform for another year-long term. Opinion polls, ratings, blue collar, white collar, and everything else won’t determine this race, rather with simple acts of devotion, goodness and kindness to our fellow beings, and belief in G-d, we issue our vote of confidence in the Creator (and I am pretty sure of his acceptance of our nomination). In return we can prepare for another year of life, good health and blessings and the opportunity to continue to make the world an even better place for ourselves, our communities, and our children.

With best wishes for a Happy New Year for the Jewish calendar year of 5769


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