How Do You Feel About The Polls?

Polls, polls and more polls. We are obsessed with polls. With the election just days away, the media is in a poll-obsessed frenzy. And everyone has an opinion: The polls are accurate. No, they’re not accurate. They were wrong in 2016. They’re wrong this time. It seems like that’s all anyone’s talking about.

And the polls are endless: Each state has its own version. Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida… we need to keep tabs on them all. Then there are polls for men, polls for women, first-time voters, college-educated voters, non-college-educated voters, polls by age, by political leaning, by every demographic you can imagine and then some.

Watching the poll-craze sweeping the nation, I realized there is an important lesson here we can all utilize in our daily lives, well after this election is behind us.

Our ongoing mission is to campaign heavily to bring Moshiach. He will end Covid-19 once and for all, lower our taxes, enable free healthcare, build a powerful economy, end all conflict and crime, and solve the immigration problem. He will be the most powerful ruler to ever live, the one who will build G-d’s White House—the third, final, and everlasting Temple in Jerusalem.

Every night, as part of the Shema, we take a poll and ask ourselves: What did I accomplish today? What did I do to make the world a better place? Was I a better Jew today than I was yesterday?

In fact, a general poll is not enough. We need to poll ourselves in every aspect of our lives. How is my kosher observance? How is my Shabbat observance? What is my tefillin status? Did I give charity today? Have I been lighting Shabbat candles at the right time?

We also need to consider others in our polls. What about my spouse? What about my kids? How deeply do I care if my children have a Jewish education?

We all—regardless of our political or religious affiliation—need to poll ourselves obsessively to ensure we stay on a trajectory of improvement. Just because yesterday I polled myself and determined that I am a good Jew, doesn’t mean that tomorrow the polls won’t change. Maybe they will. Today, I cannot be the same Jew I was yesterday. And tomorrow I cannot be the same Jew I am today. We need to be constantly bettering ourselves and adding new mitzvot to our arsenal.

Oh, and as for who will be the next President of the United States?

The next President has already been chosen—by G-d. We think we have control, but He, the supreme and Almighty leader, is the one Who decides. And G-d is all good, so no matter who wins, no matter how bleak we may feel, we can reassure ourselves that G-d is in charge and His choice is for our ultimate good.

About the Author
Zimbabwean-born Rabbi Uriel Vigler has been directing the Chabad Israel Center of the Upper East Side of Manhattan together with his wife Shevy since 2005. In addition, he founded Belev Echad which helps wounded IDF soldiers. He has a weekly blog on current events. He is the proud father of eight children (including triplets) and leads a very young, vibrant and dynamic community.
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