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Adar I 21, 5779

Who to vote for in upcoming Knesset elections?

Rabbi Ari Shvat

Im debating who to vote for in the upcoming elections, could you please help me?

Free-Will is a Godly gift and you must decide for yourself how to vote. Just dont make the common mistake and remember that elections, especially in a coalition-based government, arent to "declare" what is your ideal, but rather which party can implement (!) your priorities and ideology best. When choosing a wife, her hair-covering should match your ideal, but when choosing a political party, that clearly isnt the most important issue for your MKs! Similarly, Rav Kook was strongly against Agudat Yisraels lack of participation in the national revival of Zionism, and Rav Avraham Shapira and Rav Mordechai Eliahu were livid when Shas enabled the Oslo government to strengthen Arafat and give away parts of Eretz Yisrael, even though their individual MKs may be greater scholars than those in other parties. Accordingly, it also makes no sense to vote for a party which matches your ideology best, but is in danger of not passing the minimum (historically, whenever theres a doubt, they almost never succeed). The Bayit HaYehudi seems to encompass it all in their slogan: Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael and Torat Yisrael but Ayelet Shaked isnt even religious, yet maybe thats why davka she implemented important (religious!) changes as Minister of Justice, which no religious MK or minister has ever succeeded in doing over 70 years. On the other hand her Yamin HaChadash (New Right), like the Likud, is unlikely to strengthen Torah observance and yeshivot, for even if theyre in favor, its clearly not their priority (not to mention the unfortunate precedent, which may repeat itself, where PM Netanyahu actually opted for Yair Lapid over the religious parties in his coalition). In short, no party is perfect, so the choice is: who do you think will actually and pragmatically implement the best, and not only will defend but will even strengthen the Jewish People in the Jewish State, building the entire Torah and entire Land of Israel. Let's also daven that Hashem should help His nation to the max!

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