Colors: Green Color

By the time you read this, we may well know the result of the Special Election for the City Council. But if you think there will be a respite from politics, guess again. The big election this year will be the Primary on June 22. The winner has already started running for re-election and potential opponents are already gearing up. They will start collecting signatures to get on the ballot in less than three weeks.

 Jackie Mason made a joke recently that there are three things we can always count on: death, taxes, and antisemitism. While I consider Jackie Mason a very funny guy, that was not a joke; it was 100 percent true, and it brought a few questions to mind – profoundly serious and basic questions that I don’t want you to brush off: Yes, antisemitism is on the rise; so what are you doing about it? And how are you going to defend yourself, your family, and your property?

Many of us would not consider ourselves political individuals and do not put going to the polls on our list of priorities. Nonetheless, casting your ballot gives you a voice on issues ranging from housing and education to employment and healthcare. Being involved in the voting process allows you make a real difference in the makeup and decisions within your community. Casting a vote has dire consequences for the quality of life that both you and your family experience today and in the years ahead. From riding the bus or train to raising minimum wage to getting better textbooks in school, your vote decides how these issues will play out. Casting your ballot affords you the opportunity to delegate how your hard-earned tax dollars are divvied out for necessities like medical expenses and social services that many take for granted.

Israel’s new Prime Minister is Naftali Bennett, and I sincerely wish him well. I will daven for his success and hope that Hashem will help him do good things for Israel and world Jewry. Yes, I would have preferred that the elections turned out differently, but they didn’t – and I’m okay with that. When you enter a game, you try everything possible to win, but you must also be prepared to lose. If you’re not ready to lose, don’t play the game.

I have received many emails and phone calls from people all over the world asking me the same question: “What can we do, from where we live, to help our beloved Eretz Yisrael during this difficult time?” Here’s my answer. (Thank you to my daughter Nava for brainstorming these ideas with me and, by the way, 11 in g’matria is alef + yud = Eretz Yisrael!)