The earth is rotating just enough to reveal the first rays of sun on this Election Day 2012. A certain calm pervaded Kabbalah classes yesterday after weeks of expressing worries and concerns about the election. Perhaps it was tiredness or resignation or the anticipation of acting on convictions. Often the most challenging for us is the unknown—and even more challenging waiting for the unknown.
Today many will volunteer their time to get out the vote. This can mean knocking on strangers’ doors and asking them if they have voted. Four years ago a good friend of mine was out doing just that. The first door he came to had a mezuzah on the doorpost and an older Jewish woman opened the door. In answer to his question she replied that she would be willing to vote but did not know where the polling place was and had no way to get there. My friend, excited to have a stellar start to his day, waited for her to find her purse and get her coat on. It was clear that this would be a fairly long process—one vote for an hour of dedication.
Once in the car and on the way to the polling place the woman, who was clearly well informed about the Presidential candidates, let it be known that she was voting for the ‘other’ candidate–not the one my friend assumed she would be voting for and who he was supporting. As he recounted this story four years ago he conveyed to me his initial visceral response—sick to his stomach. He was aiding and abetting the opposite of his intentions. He dropped her off, waited for her to vote and returned her home. She thanked him profusely.
I still feel the joy I experienced four years ago when he told me this story. What a great country we live in where we so fully support the right for each person to vote their conscience. Indulge that awareness of the freedoms we share—to vote, to encourage others to vote and to even be willing to take someone to the poll to vote for the ‘other’ candidate.