Secular holidays give us the chance to widen our communities of celebration. We can join with other Americans for prayer, introspection or community service, as we observe holidays that connect us to each other. We can also interpret these holidays in a Jewish context, understanding them in light of the texts and experiences of our people.
Perhaps no single line from Jewish literature sums up the Jewish attitude about prayer and politics than the berakhah in Fiddler on the Roof: “May God bless and keep the Czar … far away from us.”
Let’s just put it this way: January 17th is National Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day.
Torah, prayer, and politics mix. Even in an elections season that has been characterized as bitter and nasty, void of civility or compassion, the Torah does not let us off the hook.
A Prayer for the Electorate allows us a moment in services to recognize that civic engagement can be religious engagement, that tzedek is often fulfilled through public policy.