The Mitzvah of Voting

October 11, 2018

RabbiWQAidzerheadshot-206x259Are you registered to vote?

Voting is a sacred Jewish act. It is an expression of our engagement in the community. It is one of the ways we bring Jewish values to bear on how our society operates. When we vote, we fulfill the blessing from our morning liturgy, “Praised are You, Adonai, who has made me to be free,” by exercising our right to have a say in our government.

On Yom Kippur morning, I imagined how the prophet Isaiah would exhort us to engage in civic life by voting. Political without being partisan, Isaiah voices God’s mandate that we be involved in the functioning of our society for the wellbeing of its members. We might interpret that in different ways. We might disagree over how we understand Jewish values and their application to social issues. But one way or another, regardless of who or what you vote for, the Jewish thing to do is VOTE.

On Yom Kippur morning, I asked all those who pledged to vote in this upcoming election to stand. Nearly the entire adult population stood! So now it is time to ensure that that pledge can be fulfilled.

The last day to register to vote in New Jersey is Tuesday, October 16. If you haven’t yet registered to vote, you can download the application form here.

If you want to vote by mail (what used to be called an absentee ballot), your request must be received by election officials by Tuesday, October 30. Information about this can be found here and you can download the form here.

If you want information about how to vote as a college student, click here. (And I’ve sent a copy of this blog to our Temple college students!)

You can find more information about voting in New Jersey at the state’s website or at the non-partisan U.S. Vote Foundation.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to fulfill this mitzvah. Be sure to register to vote. Isaiah would be proud of you!