A thought on Politics

I can feel already that 2020 is going to be a major year for Chabad of Temecula.  We're making progress on the property and hope to have more to share in around a month, but be sure that lots is happening behind the scenes. 

2020 will also be an election year, and if we don't have enough politics in our lives already, we can look forward to much more this year. 

Chabad stays out of politics.  Not that we don't have personal opinions or that the issues aren't important, but so many other good organizations are involved in politics and our work transcends political issues or parties.

Many religious organizations are heavily involved in politics, precisely because the issues are so important.  People invoke "Jewish values" "Christian values" or any other religious or moral value into the conversation to argue why their political views are correct. 

What are these "Jewish or other values" that are being attributed to their political party?  If you ask for a Torah source for the political view, will you get an answer?  It's as if, many times, the connection goes like this:  "Of course my political views are good, right and true, and since the Judaism & Torah are also good, true and right, my views must be the values of Torah!"  In psychology, I think it's called "projecting." 

Which reminds me of a story:

Back in Russia over 100 years ago, elections were coming up and a chossid asked his Rebbe which party was in line with Torah and he should vote for.  The Rebbe responded that all truth is from Torah, and whatever truth is in each party comes from Torah.

The Torah has opinions on many things, which are completely different than values that we are used to, in a good way.  As we enter this election year of 2020, I encourage you to learn the values of Torah SEPARATE from politics, and I'm sure you'll be glad you did.  How wonderful would it be to have opinions that are genuinely based on Torah and Judaism, not just fed to us by some politician or media personality.

Which brings to mind (after I finished writing this whole email), the next JLI course is entitled "Judaism's Gifts to the World."  Please click this link to see the video on it.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Abrams


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