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Counting Every Vote

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Updated on November 9, 2020:

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris stand for many of the values and are committed to many of the programs that Reconstructionist Jews champion. We have much work to do to heal our broken world. We stand ready to act in partnership with all people of goodwill.

 

Original Statement (November 4, 2020)

The Jewish people have been around for millennia and Jews have lived in many different kinds of societies and under many different forms of government. We have flourished in America’s democracy, with its commitment of free and fair elections to choose our leader.

E pluribus unum honors the many diverse communities of America, including the Jewish community, and insists that we can find unity together. Democratic practices, like free and fair elections, are essential tools in this hard yet exciting work. We must fiercely defend and uphold all democratic practices—including allowing time for all the votes to be counted. The campaign is over and it is time for the will of the people to prevail.

Many American Jews considering voting to be a mitzvah, a commandment. It is essential that every vote is counted so that every voice is heard and so that our full-throated democracy can flourish. In Hebrew, the word for vote (kol) also means “voice”. The beauty of a democracy is that every voice can be heard.

Genesis 1:27 teaches that we are all created in the image of God. If we take that teaching seriously, that means that we all deserve to live in safety and to be heard. In a democracy, voting is an essential way of expressing the value and raising up the divinity of every person.

Mordecai Kaplan, the founding thinker of Reconstructionism, taught that “where there is no diversity, there is no freedom.” Our ability to live freely and thrive in the United States depends thoroughly on other people’s ability to do the same. And only in a fully constituted democracy, where people have the ability to choose their leaders and, when necessary, to remove them from office, can such diversity and freedom flourish.

President, Reconstructing Judaism; Aaron and Marjorie Ziegelman Presidential Professor, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

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