Monday, March 19, 2018

After all the inspiration and davening, not to mention all the shopping, cooking and cleaning, it’s perhaps difficult to believe that we are on the other side of the Yamim Noraim and the festive days of Sukkot and Simchat Torah.

As we head back to our regularly scheduled programming of work and school, we now look ahead and realize that in less than two weeks, the nation will be heading to the polls to vote for its 45th President of the United States, not to mention control of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

While we remember so much of the meaningful drashot and conversations we learned and took part in over the holidays, there was one repeated theme we did hear from time to time that concerned us, and it had nothing to do with the holidays and everything to do with the state of our nation. So many times we’ve listened to friends and relatives who are so unhappy with our choices that they are choosing not to vote at all.

In a nation where studies have shown that better than 50 percent of registered American voters do vote, this is neither the time nor the election to stay away from the polls. Neither one of our two presidential candidates is without serious flaws. But this is a democracy that was built for debate and for participation by its citizenry. We have a non-violent turnover of governments as part of our republic’s history. This is not a monarchy. If a president or any other elected official underserves our state or our nation, we don’t have to send them back to the White House or Capitol Hill. But we still have to do our part, and that means making a choice.

By now we know how the candidates stand on issues that impact from Teaneck to Washington, D.C., to Jerusalem. We know how Congressman Scott Garrett and his challenger Josh Gottheimer feel about issues close to our hearts. We welcome you to read our letters this week, several of which mention local races.

But more than everything, don’t be a no show on Election Day. Your decision is more important than ever.