Choosing a leader

Theoretically, at least, leaders were appointed by God or by God’s spokesmen, but even that was not always successful – look at Saul, for example.

By RABBI REUVEN HAMMER
February 20, 2019 21:01
Choosing a leader

Prime Minister Menachem Begin meets with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington before signing the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty 40 years ago. (photo credit: YAACOV SAAR/GPO)

 
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The April election, when Israelis will choose the members of Knesset and thereby determine which party will form a government, has become the only topic of conversation in Israel. These are the times when I almost envy my diehard Likud friends and members of the Haredi community because they all know exactly which party they are going to vote for and are even enthusiastic about it. People like myself, on the other hand, only know which party (parties) they will absolutely not vote for, but keep looking frantically at all the others to find the one they can support.

As a committed Masorti Jew I usually look to our tradition and our sacred literature for guidance in issues of this sort, but that does not seem to work well in this instance. Truth to tell, we have had little experience in choosing our political leadership since we have not had control over our own land for thousands of years and even when we did the leadership was not chosen by the people. Theoretically, at least, leaders were appointed by God or by God’s spokesmen, but even that was not always successful – look at Saul, for example.

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