The Welfare of the Government: A Jewish Concern #register #vote!
The Welfare of the Government: A Jewish Concern
Rabbi Menachem Creditor
The Mishnah teaches Jews to pray for their governments:
Rabbi Chanina deputy of the Kohanim said 'Pray for the welfare of the government. If it were not for the fear of the government, each person would eat his neighbor alive!' (Pirkei Avot 3:2)
Rabbeinu Yonah explains that praying for the peace of the government is a means to a greater end, and that one should pray on behalf of the entire world, and be pained at the pain of others, which is the way of the righteous. One should pray not just for one's own needs, but rather should pray on behalf of every person, that they too should have peace. This tradition is alive in the Jewish mandate to participate in civic society, calling us to see voting as a religious requirement. The Jewish mandate is not about whom you vote for, but that it is a mitzvah to vote. In that spirit, this email is a reminder to register and to vote.
The deadline for voter registration is only eleven days away, on October 22.
The easiest way to register to vote is to do it online. This is a brand new service from the California Secretary of State's Office. You can register online at:
The registration process takes you through a series of web pages that allows you to complete the registration process entirely online. You won't need to submit a paper form or a signature card, and at the end of the process you can print a receipt or obtain an electronic copy. Online registration will be valid for the November 6 election if you do it before midnight on October 22. Paper registration forms will be valid for the November 6 election if postmarked on or before October 22.
Here is information from the California Secretary of State's website about voter registration:
How do I register to vote?
To register to vote you must complete a brief voter registration application on paper or online. When you register online, the system will search the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database for your California driver license or identification card number, date of birth, and last four digits of your social security number. If your information is found and you authorize elections officials' use of your DMV signature, an electronic image of your DMV signature will be added to your voter registration application after you click "submit" at the end of the online application. If there is no signature on file with DMV, all of your information will be transmitted to your county elections office; you will just need to click "print," sign the paper application, and mail it. Your county elections official will contact you when your voter registration application is approved or when more information is needed to confirm your eligibility.
What is the deadline to register to vote?
The deadline to register to vote is 15 days prior to Election Day, often called E-15. You must submit the voter registration application by midnight on the registration deadline day. A timestamp will be attached to your online voter registration application. If you register to vote using a paper application, it must be postmarked or hand-delivered to your county elections office at least 15 days prior to the election.
I had a beautiful day today. I stood with my sister, a passionate rabbi serving the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. We remembered our grandfather of blessed memory, who fought for America and shared hard-earned wisdom with his children and grandchildren.
I looked to my right and saw the Washington Monument. Looked to my left at the Lincoln Memorial. I read quotes engraved on massive stones. And I felt, to my core, one sad feeling: too much war.
Too. Much. War.
The quotes and certain retellings of history would have me believe that we fought for pure purposes: we fought for religious freedom, we fought to end slavery, we fought for freedom for all humanity, we fought to end tyranny. But it's also true that we fought (and fight) for economic interests. It&…