Colors: Green Color

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.

Many years ago, a wonderful fighter for the Jewish people, Shifra Hoffman a”h, coined a term that I never forgot. She said that our leader, Moshe Rabbeinu, referred to the Jewish nation as “a stiff-necked people” (Sh’mos 34:9). Now, however, we have become “a short-necked people.” She explained this to mean that when things get difficult for our nation and we reach out to our leaders for help, they put their hands and shoulders up, making their necks very short, and say, “Sorry, but what can we do?”

I’ll get right to the point: Every Jew needs to see this movie.

This Yom Kippur marks 50 years since the Yom Kippur War, when Israel lost 2,656 brave soldiers plus had over 9,000 wounded. If not for Hashem’s help – guiding the hands of some incredible heroes – the outcome would have been far worse. During the war, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan told Prime Minister Golda Meir the famous words: “We are facing the destruction of the Third Temple.” The fact that this Yom Kippur – 5784 – we will pray to Hashem in a beautiful, quiet and Jewish Eretz Yisrael is nothing short of a miracle.

This is the time of year when people email each other far more than usual. Most of the correspondence centers around wishing “A Happy and Healthy New Year” but, for some reason, the emails I receive are much different.

On my recent trip to the United States, I spoke in several locations and noticed that the age of the crowd was older than usual. Yes, I am also “older than usual,” but something seemed different. Over the years, I have spoken in over 500 Jewish communities in the United States and Canada and am used to seeing Jews of all ages; but this time, there was not one person under 40 in any of my presentations. Baruch Hashem, in my personal goal of making it to 120, I recently entered the second half of life (Do the math), so I thought that maybe it had to do with me. Am I no longer able to attract the younger crowd? Are only older people interested in hearing about Israel and the Jewish nation? I spoke about this to a dear friend of mine and he explained what was going on.