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.

Rabbi Moshe Hauer, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union (OU), issued a statement after some Jewish men went into the Arab town of Hawara and destroyed property. This was in response to the brutal murder of two brothers, from Har Bracha, who were shot – execution style – while driving through this town.

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.

I have spoken to thousands of people about making aliyah and have received some very interesting reasons why – even though they would love to make aliyah – they have decided not to. I must state that my focus and direction on speaking to my brothers and sisters about this life-changing move is different from almost everyone else. I do not push aliyah because of rising anti-Semitism, intermarriage, or the high cost of yeshivah education. I do not talk about the crumbling of America nor the change of the political map. I focus on the positive, always the positive, because that is why I made aliyah back in 1990, and that is what gives one the strength, attitude, and relentless dedication to make it work, despite the difficulties and challenges.

Tens of thousands of leftist Israelis have taken to the streets to protest against the judicial reforms of the Netanyahu government. They have held massive rallies, blocked roads, and caused disruptions within the building of the Knesset. Many of my friends have bitterly complained against these people, and their actions, but I strongly disagree. Part of the democratic process is the right to protest, and they have every right to do so. As far as I’m concerned, they can gather every night, make as many speeches as they want, and even use civil disobedience as a tactic in their protest movement. I would like, however, to ask these protestors just one simple question.