November 3, 2016
Dear Friend of Israel
Next Tuesday American voters will head to the polls to choose the next President of the United States, as well as Senators, Congressmen, Governors, and municipal officials. It has been an especially heated election season, and the rhetoric has increased exponentially leading up to Election Day.
Election years always remind me of something once said by the English writer Charles Moore. In a stirring essay on Israel, Moore praised the Jewish state as “robust in its legal and political institutions, free in its press and universities – a noisy democracy.”
Moore’s description also applies to the U.S. Both Israel and the U.S. engage in ongoing public conversation on a host of issues. Such passionate public dialogue can only flourish in a democracy. Under totalitarian regimes, where speech and action are tightly regulated and restricted, there is silence. As citizens, it is our privilege and responsibility to participate in our “noisy democracy.”
Sadly, I think most would agree that the noise has gotten out of hand this election cycle. Personal attacks, name-calling, accusations – both baseless and well-founded – and even violence have marked this political season. As it stands, we have perhaps the greatest rifts between the different sides of the voting public. Due to all of this, the prevailing emotion some American citizens will feel as they approach the voting booth next week likely won’t be pride in engaging in a healthy democracy, but rather fear for what the future holds.
Thankfully, those of us who believe in God have our hope in something higher than the winner of this election. We know that no matter who takes office come January, God is still on His throne, still in charge, still sovereign over all. As 2 Chronicles 20:6 assures us, “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.”
As you prepare to head to the polls, give thanks to God for the blessing of living under a democratic political system. There are many today living under oppressive rule who do not enjoy that blessing. And, at the same time, resist the temptation to give in to fear. May we all hold fast to our knowledge that God is – and will continue to be – in control.
I urge you to vote on November 8. I pray you will faithfully consider all the issues affecting our future lives and liberties – and those of our friends and allies like Israel – and that you will vote accordingly. On behalf of all of us at The Fellowship, I thank you for your continued support of Israel and Jewish people worldwide. May you be blessed, even as you have blessed God’s children.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President