Yoseif Bloch

Mazeltov! (cocktails)

Oh, he’s not going to tie this to the weekly Torah portion, is he? [groan]

Sorry, but yeah. It’s the morning after Election Day, at least here in Israel, and most of the results are in. Much triumphant crowing, much gnashing of teeth, etc.

All I can think of is this week’s portion, in which (Genesis 14) Abram, founder of the Jewish nation, first prophet of God, girds his loins and orders his house to enlist in the defense of…

Sodom and Gomorrah! (Also Admah and Zeboyim… and  Zoar, which I guess we’re calling Bela. What happened to Lasha again? Never mind.)

In any case, we are supposed to root for Abram and his disciples, even though we were told a chapter earlier that:

10Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah…  13Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.

Abram sides with his (adopted) countrymen, against the armies from the land of his birth (or at least long-term residence). Why? Because his nephew Lot lives among them. And he knows that there are good people, even in the godless Jordan Plain.

So am I calling half the Americans who voted differently from me Sodomites? No, not with Mike Pence on the ticket. Gamorreans? No, those are Jabba’s guards from Star Wars. Adamantine? I’m pretty sure that’s the adjectival form for Wolverine’s claws.

No, my point is that Abram could see the good in his countrymen even when they were objectively bad. Now, are you better than he? I know I’m not, so I’m going to concentrate on advocating for what I believe in and making our nation better.

Here are things I’m not doing:

  • Complaining that it’s rigged
  • Blaming third-party voters
  • Saying “I told you so” to those who voted differently in primaries or caucuses.
  • Apologizing for the things I said during this season

Here are things I am doing:

  • Drinking heavily (see Gen. 14:18)
  • Blogging
  • Watching my son
  • Figuring out how to move forward in a new reality

Most of all, I’m trying to send a message:

Losers, get over yourselves.

Winners, mazal tov!

Everyone, get to work. We have a lot to do.

About the Author
Yoseif Bloch is a rabbi who has taught at Yeshivat HaKotel, Yeshivat Har Etzion and Yeshivat Shvilei Hatorah and served as a congregational rabbi in Canada. He currently works as an editor, translator and publisher. As a blogger and podcaster, he is known as Rabbi Joe in Jerusalem.
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