There are a dozen or more things I should be doing tonight, including-
Preparing Tuesday morning’s “Practical Ethics” shiur;
Preparing Tuesday night’s in-depth Gemara shiur;
Answering a batch of emails;
Preparing for my trip to Israel next week;
And so on.
But I'm dealing with a bad cold, it rained here all day (sorry to anyone who expected to see the third game of the World Series earlier tonight, but we got soaked today), and I haven’t taken any post-Simchas Torah break, so it's hard getting in gear.
On the up-side: I voted tonight. I expect to be in Israel on Election Day, so I filled out an Absentee Ballot.
I enjoy voting, as a way to express citizenship. I don't recognize several candidates on the local ballot, and I have no clue what an Auditor General does, but I felt, for the most part, like an informed American doing his civic duty. Rav Moshe Feinstein’s famous 1984 endorsement of voting stands out in my mind:
On reaching the shores of the United States, Jews found a safe haven. The rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights have allowed us the freedom to practice our religion without interference and to live in this republic in safety.
A fundamental principle of Judaism is hakaras hatov -- recognizing benefits afforded us and giving expression to our appreciation. Therefore, it is incumbent upon each Jewish citizen to participate in the democratic system which safeguards the freedoms we enjoy. The most fundamental responsibility incumbent on each individual is to register and to vote.
Therefore, I urge all members of the Jewish community to fulfill their obligations by registering as soon as possible, and by voting. By this, we can express our appreciation and contribute to the continued security of our community.
Voting is usually pretty easy for me, because our shul is a polling place; I just walk upstairs from my office when the turnout gets light, and it takes only a minute. This year it’ll cost me a Forever Stamp, but that’s okay. Like I said, civic duty.
Best part: I’ll finally be able to tell all of those callers, “I voted already.” Maybe that’ll get them to stop calling.
I’ll admit I was confused about one thing, though: I didn’t see Sarah Palin’s name (or Tina Fey’s name, for that matter) anywhere on the ballot.
So I wrote her in for Auditor General.