Op-Ed: US Elections: You Gotta Accentuate the Positive
Go'el (Glenn) JasperThe writer is an 18-year PR veteran and the Managing Director of Finn Partners Israel (www.finnpartners.co.il), a full-service international public relations firm based in Jerusalem.
I have a bunch of children, thank G-d. Five girls and three boys. And they’re wonderful.
But when you have eight children, you learn to never get too high nor too low about anything.
Son comes home with a 97 on a test. Fantastic, but no reason for throwing a party. Daughter comes home and says she has no friends in school. Hey, let me give you a hug, but don’t worry. You do have friends. You just had a rough day.
Not too high … not too low. Because if my wife and I would get too emotional about anything, well, I’d have even more gray hair than I already do, and she’d, oh, who am I kidding? She’d still look 25!
But I digress.
Several months ago, I committed to only writing positive pieces for IsraelNationalNews.com. And so far, so good.
But when the U.S. election started heating up, I asked myself, what will I do if Obama wins a second term? “Nothing good could come from that,” I thought.
I mean, sure, there are the quasi-jokes going around pro-Aliyah circles today that “maybe now American Jews will see the light and make Aliyah.”
And there are those who are saying that, “well, this is what G-d wanted to happen, so it happened, and is therefore – by definition – good.” And that’s true, but that’s a tough pill to swallow for a lot of folks who live day-to-day here on Earth, rather than up in the clouds.
Those two “positives” are simply not enough for most people.
Most people want to see some REAL positives – rational positives that will impact them NOW in a happy way. Most people just want to feel good. In fact, that’s probably why Obama was reelected. When he speaks, he makes people feel good. Well, not “good,” rather “gooooooood.”
That’s the most special thing about this newly reelected U.S. president. He has an undeniable way of speaking in such a way that people just feel “gooooooood.”
But we Jews know that life is not about feeling “gooooooood.” It’s about being good. It’s about doing good. It’s about the Torah instructing us to behave a certain way, and following through on those instructions.
In short, it’s about the “let there be light” kind of good, not the shallow “finger-lickin’ good” of KFC or the “good to the last drop” of Maxwell House coffee.
Truth be told, I feel really good today. I woke up at 5:40, said Modeh Ani, went to pray at the 6:15 minyan, and then came home to (help my wife) get my kids ready for school. Then, I came to work.
Here and there, I checked my phone to see if Romney had yet conceded, because I really hoped that he would win. I really believed he’d be better to and for Israel. But I didn’t let what was looking more and more like an Obama victory impact my morning. And I’m not going to let it impact my next four years.
Because I’m never too high and never too low.
We are all just Torah Jews, trying our best to do what G-d has instructed us to do. Working with our wives/husbands to raise Torah kids. Running our careers from the perspective of Torah. And asking ourselves everyday how we are doing so that we can always improve and grow.
So today’s a good day. It’s a good day for Israel and it’s a good day for the Jewish people, because we still have our Torah and our Land, and we still have whatever we had when we went to sleep last night.
Will Obama be tougher on Israel over the next four years than he was in the previous four?
But we can’t let that take our attention away from our real focus.
The Torah tells us that we have really important work to do, and we have a much more impactful goal on the horizon than electing a “more pro-Israel” U.S. president.
And that, my friends, will be as “good” as it can get.