1 Marcheshvan 5777
Rosh Chodesh Bet
Life is all about choice. The Torah tells us: “I call heaven and earth to witness you today: I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse – therefore, choose life!”(Deut. 30:19)
All day, every day, our whole lives, we are making choices and they usually fall between one of two extreme opposites: yes/no, good/bad, black/white, bitter/sweet, obey/rebel, etc.
That's why, when it comes to the US Presidential Election, people are already conditioned from a lifetime of experience to feel compelled to choose one of the two candidates and to believe deep down that they represent positions which are polar opposites of each other.
But there is a big problem here, for this is not the real choice being presented to us. And the recognition of that fact is a huge test for humanity - one we all seem to be failing miserably.
In actuality, HKB"H has tried to give us hints, but some of us are slower to catch on.
Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel recently asked Hillary Clinton the following about political campaigning: "...Is it like professional wrestling where you guys all pretend to dislike each other to win these elections and then you're all pals behind the scenes?" It was meant as a joke, but it hits very close to the truth.
Today, there is no practical difference between the two dominant political parties in America. No matter who is elected or what promises have been made, only one agenda is pressed forward and it does not benefit the citizenry as a whole, but special interests controlling huge sums of capital.
Today, both candidates have been successfully proven publicly to be unfit for the office they seek.
The voters themselves are very aware that when it comes to their vote, they are choosing the "lesser of the two evils" in this election cycle.
What has been presented as a choice is really no choice at all. And the whole world has been caught up in this as non-US citizens discuss who they would be voting for had they the right to vote.
This blatant non-choice is supposed to wake us up to the reality that the real choice is far greater than who will occupy the Oval Office for the next 4-8 years. It's about whether we will continue to play this illusionary game which only pretends to offer choice or whether we will demand the changes necessary to ensure real choice - a real chance to follow a leader who will embody the good, the morals, the honesty, the justice, the compassion and the selflessness that marks the greatest of human leaders.
Ideally, Americans would wake up and wise up and speak for themselves, their children and the rest of the world and proclaim that they do not accept either candidate and will refuse to vote. The entire electorate should declare a nationwide citizens' strike on election day and go into the streets to demonstrate that they are not abdicating their right to vote from apathy, but from idealism. Then they should, united in their resolve, publicly call on the Creator of the World to send the Redeemer of Humanity, because they will no longer accept anything less. Ideally, the rest of the world would follow suit in solidarity throughout all the nations of the world.
As someone sagely once said: "The only way to win is not to play the game."
Realistically, however, what are the chances of this happening? So, it is left to us, each of us individually, to create this scenario in our minds and in our hearts and to imagine it as well as our participation in it. Let it sprout and bloom and fill us full of yearning for its realization and let it inspire our thoughts, words and emotions as well, as we entreat the Creator to make it so - now - with no further delays!
I propose today that each of us should reject what has been chosen for us and insist on a better way, a truer way forward - the Torah's way for humanity.
"For I know the thoughts that I think about you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. And you shall call Me and go and pray to Me, and I will hearken to you. And you will seek Me and find [Me] for you will seek Me with all your heart." (Jer. 29:11-13)