Blow the Shofar, Not Your Right to Vote!

As the final days of 5774 wind down, we approach the upcoming New Year with a blend of excitement and trepidation.  The excitement is for the opportunity to begin the New Year with a clean slate, eradicate bad habits, and commit to be a better person, which will hopefully lead to a better life.  However, we have all been through Rosh Hashanah before and therefore realize that for all of our good plans and positive resolutions the upcoming year will feature its fair share of failures, sorrow and disappointments.   While there is much about the upcoming year that we cannot control, we recommit to make the most of the scenarios that we can control.

We celebrate Rosh HaShana later this week and the American elections will probably be very far from your mind – and for good reason.  But that does not mean that they are not extremely important to America, to Israel, and specifically to US citizens living in Israel.

Reports suggest that for the first time since the Vietnam War, America’s foreign policy-with the Middle East in particular-is expected to be a central issue in the November elections.  Candidates have already been asked about their views on the appropriate level of America’s engagement with Islamist entities in the region and the nature of the threat that Iran represents.  America will be reassessing its relationships with countries throughout the Middle East and even with a post-Protective Edge Israel.  Will the US demand more accountability and transparency from the UN? Will the US form alliances with nations in the region to fight ISIS? These are some of the more tangible issues that cut to the core of the American-Israeli relationship (iVoteIsrael will be facilitating a platform for Americans in Israel to ask questions directly to the candidates – follow us on Twitter to participate).

But our concerns also lie with many domestic, specifically economic, issues. With many of us maintaining assets, businesses, clients and friends and family in the US, the nature of the US economy and job market are also consequential to us.  Are you familiar with FATCA?  If not, you really should contact your accountant because as opposed to voting which you can ignore, when it comes to paying taxes and being subject to banking and other regulations, compliance for US citizens is mandatory.  These issues will all have some level of impact on your life and the lives of those who you care about.  You have been granted the opportunity to make your voice heard.  So, make it count and vote!.

As we enter into the High Holidays we ask forgiveness for not making the most of the opportunities that were presented to us.  Don’t make squandering the opportunity to vote in the US elections one more thing that you need to ask forgiveness for.

Blow the shofar, not your Vote!

About the Author
Matt Solomon is the National Director of iVoteIsrael. His articles have appeared in numerous publications both in Israel and the US. He lives with his family in Alon Shvut.