Keeping the Faith in Our Democracy

Rabbi Yitzhak famously taught that "a ruler is not to be appointed unless the community is first consulted" (Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 55a).

Political participation is deeply embedded in our faith, and many Jews enthusiastically participate in the American electoral process by voting in large numbers. Because we take this civic obligation so seriously, during the civil rights movement and at many other times throughout our nation’s history, we have felt compelled to speak out to ensure that all citizens are afforded the opportunity to vote and have their voices counted.

This election is a referendum on the character of our society. It’s up to all of us to use our voices and our votes to create a more just and compassionate country.

On November 6, 2018, voters across our country will have the chance to bring their values into the voting booth with them. From my point of view as a young Jewish woman, I see the midterm elections as my chance to ask our leaders: Will you stand up for our shared humanity or will you continue to let divisive rhetoric and harmful policies be the new normal?

My vote represents my right to choose when I want to start a family. My vote represents my belief that no one should disrespect people based on their gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, income level, or immigration status.

As Jews, it is our faith in kindness and compassion that gives us our sense of urgency to stand up for others.This is a matter that rises above simple partisanship; it’s a matter of turning Jewish values into action, chief among them: “welcoming the stranger” and “treating others with dignity and respect.”

The 2018 election is not just a moment in time, it is part of a larger movement that can protect immigrant families. It is an opportunity to come together and fight to repair our broken criminal justice system and bring resources to those who have been left out and left behind. It is a chance to stand up for the LGBTQ community, a woman’s right to equal pay for equal work, a child’s chance at a good education, and so much more.

The results of this year’s midterm election will be a statement of who we are as a nation. It is critical that we do everything in our power to show that kindness and compassion are still foundational principles in our democracy.

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Wonderful piece and highly relevant! Hoping that our message gets across nationally this November.

How to cite this page

Dubinsky, Rachael. "Keeping the Faith in Our Democracy." 18 October 2018. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on April 24, 2019) <https://jwa.org/blog/keeping-fait-in-our-democracy>.

Women surrounded by posters in English and Yiddish supporting Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herbert H. Lehman, and the American Labor Party teach other women how to vote, 1936.

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