Elections: Who’s Going to Win?

Question

What is the correct Torah outlook regarding the upcoming 2018 elections — both for Israel municipalities on October 30, and the US midterm elections on November 6? The US elections seem to be of greater interest and importance than any other midterm election in memory! Thank you.

, , 7 months

Answers

  1. We are taught that each person has a responsibility to actively help in establishing a just and “healthy” society. As our Sages say (Ethics of the Fathers 3:2), “Pray for the peace of the kingdom (government) for if not for the fear of it, people would swallow each other alive.” Voting is one way of helping establish a better society, and hence one has a responsibility to do so.

    And a Jew or non-Jew who firmly believes that either of the candidates is better for Israel and the US has every right to vote and even campaign for that person. This is especially so since the US is Israel’s most important ally.

    However, it is crucial to keep the following in mind in order to maintain a Torah perspective on the elections and their outcome. It says in Daniel (2:21), “He changes the times and the seasons, He removes kings and sets up kings; He grants wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who know understanding.” And as we are taught by the wise King Solomon in the Book of Proverbs (21:1), “The heart of the king is in the hand of God; He directs it anywhere He wishes.”

    These words are important to remember both now and afterwards. Although God has given each person the free-will to decide on good or evil, this free-will is suspended from a leader when it comes to the fate of a nation. History is replete with examples of choices made by leaders who went against their own evil designs because Heaven orchestrated the effects of the choice imposed upon them.

    No matter who wins the election, their decisions will ultimately be determined by Heaven, and this should enable us to be calm spectators or activists.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team