Four years ago, I wrote this Torah poem on Election Day. That year, Election Day fell during the week when we read parashat Lech Lecha, in which God tells Avram to go forth from his native land and his father's house to the land which God will show him. (This poem now appears in 70 faces, my collection of Torah poems, published 2011 by Phoenicia Publishing.)
FIRST STEP (LECH LECHA)
It's not going to be easy.
All of your roadmaps are wrong.
That was another country:
those lakes have dried up
and new groundwater is welling
in places you won't expect.
You'll begin the journey in fog
destination unknown, impossible.
Don't be surprised by tears.
This right here is holy ground.
Take a deep breath and turn away
from cynicism and despair
listen to the voice from on high
and deep within, the one that says
I'm calling you to a place
which I will show you
and take the first small step
into the surprising sun.
I still find the poem meaningful as an expression of Torah and of my own experience of entering the voting booth and casting a vote for hope and change. Even if we're not reading Lech Lecha this week (we're not; this year, Election Day falls during the week of parashat Chayyei Sarah), there's something about the act of voting which feels to me very lech-lecha, very much a journey into hope for new possibilities.
Also worth reading today: Jay Michaelson's The Nexus of Spirituality and Politics in Zeek.
And: Rabbi David Seidenberg's Prayer for Voting, which I shared here four years ago.
May the outcome of today's US elections bring blessing to us and to the world.